Good morning. It’s hot in New York, punishingly hot in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Arizona. It’s been extraordinarily hot in Britain, which recorded its highest-ever temperature on Tuesday. Many of us aren’t turning on stoves or ovens for anything today. Instead, I’m looking at easy summer salads: crunchy greens with carrot-ginger dressing, say; corn salad with tomatoes, basil and cilantro (above); spicy watermelon salad with pineapple and lime; or avocado salad with herbs and capers.
As Cathy Lo wrote for The Times last week, these all can be loose formulas rather than proper recipes, similar to the no-recipe recipes I occasionally offer in this space. (And here’s one now, for truly beautiful beefsteak tomatoes: Slice them thick and shingle them onto a platter. Brown some butter on the stove, and pour it hot over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with a flaky salt and serve.)
But we have actual recipes, too. Try a chicken and herb salad with nuoc cham, or an arugula salad with Parmesan. Here’s a green bean and tofu salad with peanut dressing. And a radicchio Caesar! I like this crunchy kale salad with plums and dates. Also, this tuna salad with hot and sweet peppers. And absolutely this sugar snap pea salad with radishes, mint and ricotta salata.
If you’re air-conditioned and game to heat a wok, try this wonderful vegetarian take on the classic salt and pepper stir-fry: salt and pepper tofu with five-spice powder and ground ginger. Not pressing the tofu before you fry it keeps the cubes pillowy and soft within their crisp shells. Look, too, at this skillet shrimp and corn with lime dressing. Served over rice, it makes for a fantastic summer meal.
And how about this carrot tart with ricotta and feta, salty-sweet above the puff pastry? Or the cheese buldak, “fire chicken,” that I learned to make from the cookbook author and internet star known as Maangchi?
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Now, it’s nothing to do with Mexican oregano or Tupelo honey, but I got an early copy of Meg Gardiner and Michael Mann’s novel “Heat 2,” a sequel and prequel to Mann’s 1995 film, “Heat.” It’s propulsive.