Is anything more wonderful than summer produce? From the snap peas and tender lettuces of the early summer to the peppers, corn, and tomatoes of late summer, this season makes cooking easy. Our staff took inspiration from the fruit and vegetables at the farmer’s markets to drive our cooking this summer. While we tended to not use as many recipes for our cooking (it’s easy to improvise with so much fresh produce!), the recipes below are some of the standouts that we made and loved.
Our collective love affair with Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons continues. Abby and Jen both made Pasta alla Gricia with Slivered Sugar Snap Peas, which makes for a delicious early summer dinner, as well as the Corn and Tomato Salad with Torn Croutons. Abby also made the Fava Bean, Farro and Pecorino Salad. Jen made the New Potato Salad with Crumbled Egg and Sardines and the Kale Sauce with Pappardelle, Cucumbers, Celery, Apricots, and Pistachios. Lara loved the Roasted Cauliflower, Plums, Sesame Seeds, and Yogurt. Mira made the Roasted Summer Squash with Caper-Raisin Vinagrette, and Carrie made the “Couscous” Cauliflower with Almonds, Dried Cherries, and Sumac, the Rigatoni and Eggplant alla Norma, and the Farro with Tomatoes, Raw Corn, Mint, Basil, and Scallions.
Summers are so busy, especially in the Pacific Northwest where we feel the need to soak up every ray of sunshine and enjoy every blue-skied day. Simple, uncomplicated recipes spoke to us, so that we could better spend every last minute enjoying the summer. Abby made Green Onion and Herb Salad from the upcoming Ottolenghi Simple (pre-order your signed copy now!). Dee Dee has been loving A Simple Table by Australian author Michelle Cranston, and made the Poached Chicken & Mango Salad, the Prawn Salad with Pearl Couscous, the Avocado, Bacon & Watercress Salad, the Lemon Pasta with Garlic Prawns, and San Choy Bau (minced pork in lettuce cups). Dee Dee also made Vietnamese Lettuce Cups & Greek-ish Grilled Shrimp from Small Victories, the Quick Pickled Carrots from Amy Pennington’s Urban Pantry, and Baby Potatoes with Watercress & Garlic Cream from Diana Henry’s Simple. Jen made the Savory Peach and Tarragon Salad from Kaukasis, the Speedy Summer Zucchini Spaghettini from A Modern Way to Eat, and from Melissa Clark’s Dinner, the Farro Salad and the Vietnamese Ginger Chicken. Amanda has been loving David Tanis Market Cooking, and made his Tomato Tian. She also made the Griddled Haloumi Salad with Date Dressing from Alice Hart’s Good Veg, the Cacio e pepe from Repertoire. and the Salmon with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce and Carrot Salad from Sara Dickerman’s The Food Lover’s Cleanse. Lara busted out her instant pot for the Black Beans with Green Chile + Cumin from Dinner in an Instant. She also made the Cornell Chicken from Joe Carroll’s excellent grilling and barbecue book Feeding the Fire, the Tuscan Bread Salad from Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen (a classic!), and Vietnamese Caramel Salmon from Dinner.
As summer started transitioning to autumn, we were drawn to adding more spices to our food. Lara made the Sabih from Jerusalem, which takes time but is absolutely worth it. Mira (and everyone else) loves Meera Sodha’s second book Fresh India, and made the Eggplant and Pea Curry. Jen has also been on a Meera Sodha kick, making the Chana Masala, Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin, Turmeric and Lemon, Aunty Harsha’s Naan, and Turkish Lamb Chops from Meera’s first book Made In India. Lastly, Jen made the Za’atar Chicken from Dinner, which continues to be one of her favorite cookbooks.
Summer would not be complete without some fruit-focused baking. Mira made the Lemon and Blueberry Buckle and the Double Crust Pluot Crisp from Rustic Fruit Desserts, the Cornmeal Pie Crust from Four Twenty Blackbirds Pie, the Zucchini Bread from The Silver Palate Cookbook, the Summer Spelt Almond Cake from The Violet Bakery Cookbook and the Corniest Corn Muffins from Baking by Dorie Greenspan. Abby made the Peach Crumb Cake from The Violet Bakery Cookbook as well as the Frozen Blackberries and Labne with Honey and the Strawberry Shortcake Cobbler from Dining In. Jen was also inspired by Dining In, making the Honey-Yogurt Pound Cake with Raspberries and the Buttered Raspberry Hand Pies. Jen also make Marian Burros’ classic Purple Plum Torte, and David Lebovitz’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop. In preparation for her Flaky Dough Class, Amanda tried the Old-fashioned Flaky Pie Dough from Bravetart. She also made Blueberry Muffins from Huckleberry, Coconut Sticky Rice from True Thai, the Pavlova from Repertoire, and the Sour Cream and Brown Sugar Tart from her favorite baking book, Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts. Lara also found inspiration in Dining In, making the Blueberry Almond Cake and World’s Luckiest Biscuits. For summer celebrations, she made the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake from Sweet and the Stone Fruit Slump from Rustic Fruit Desserts. Lastly, Carrie made Peach and Sour Cream Pancakes from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, and Dee Dee made Strawberry Rhubarb Quick Jam from Megan Gordon’s Whole Grain Mornings, and the Chocolate Buttermilk Cake from Amy Pennington’s Urban Pantry, because chocolate cake is always in season.
What did you made this summer? What are your favorite summer recipes? Let us know!