“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”— James Beard
I love the ease of summer eating. Whether it’s the warm weather or the abundance of produce at the farmers market, there’s something about summer eating that just feels celebratory. A wise woman once said to me, “There’s a difference between following a recipe and learning to cook,” and summer is the perfect moment for that kind of cooking.
Summer is a simple pasta that starts with a tray of fresh, ripe tomatoes roasted in the oven with garlic, herbs, olive oil, and salt.
Summer is certainly the time to think about the grill. I love to grill 365 days a year on the little gas grill right off my kitchen, and if you happen to have a grill and you haven’t gotten it out yet, now is absolutely the time. Grilled skirt steak, pork chops, Heroine Chicken, and a shrimp platter are all divine options. (If you don’t have a grill, many people love to use the Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan.)
A lovely platter easily put together includes these skinny grilled pork chops—it comes together in no time. Enjoy any of these with the bounty of the season: corn sliced off the cob sautéed and served with feta cheese, summer tomatoes, and a store-bought crisp cracker (though the ones pictured above are homemade crisps made from a baguette).
Doesn’t summer fruit just restore your faith in the world? Breakfast can be as easy as a smoothie or a breakfast bowl with fresh fruit, oats, and nuts in a halved cantaloupe. Luscious fresh fruit can be served with skyr and oatmeal (pictured below).
These easy to do soft serve skyr with cookies are a cool sweet treat that will make your favorite eaters happy.
My very favorite breakfast on repeat when I’m not doing Whole30 is toasted bread with feta or mozzarella, tomatoes, and Marinated Red Onions. When doing Whole30, the ease of a jammy egg, sliced tomatoes, Marinated Red Onions, and fresh basil is a great way to start your day.
Veggies and Magic Elixirs
Summer is a plethora of vegetables, like zucchini sautéed in olive oil till browned on one side, flipped till browned on the other side, and topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan.
Now is a pretty spectacular moment to find these early vegetables: baby carrots, baby pattypan squash, and baby zucchini. Sauté with herbs until brown and finish with browned butter. Lovely as is or served over rice or cauliflower rice.
Then there’s the ease of salad dressings to dress your gorgeous summer greens. Don’t forget your Preserved Lemons! They make a fabulous dressing when macerated with olive oil. There’s nothing better or easier than using this delicious Magic Elixir to dress your salad.
For a summer vinaigrette, think two parts olive oil to one part sour (citrus juice or vinegar), whisked together. It’s that simple. Feel free to blend in a bit of summer fruit: a couple of blueberries, a strawberry, or blackberry. If your vinaigrette needs more sweetness, add a drop of honey and a sprinkle of salt.
Here’s another summer celebration of goodness that I love: in the height of corn season, cut corn cut off the cob and sauté with pieces of sausage and bits of red pepper. With slivered garlic and fresh herbs like julienned basil, this is a pretty delightful way to enjoy the corn that’s been basking in the sun all summer long.
Whatever it is you choose, get cooking.
This is an excerpt from our Friday Favorites newsletter Issue #84, which was all about Summer Eating. The issue had contributions from @inspiredwithatwist, @sherriesavorsthecity, @southernfatty, @crowded_kitchen, @thisafricancooks, and @kalejunkie, who all shared some incredible tips for summer eating. If you enjoyed this post, sign up to get future Friday Favorites right to your inbox HERE!
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