I can hardly believe it, but here we are in grill season, beach-picnic season, salad-for-dinner season — summer, my favorite time of year to cook. Some people prefer fall for its crispness; winter for its coziness; spring for its promise of something green. Not me. I am here for summer.
Proof that this is one of my favorite subjects: Yesterday, I was a guest on the WNYC show “All of It,” talking summer cooking and having a ball. You can listen here, and these are the fried chicken biscuits with hot honey butter that we discussed at length. (Other recipes that came up: gazpacho, chilled corn soup, egg salad, lemon potato salad with mint, blueberry pie and Caprese antipasto — a.k.a the super Caprese.)
What are you cooking? What do you want to be cooking? Send me intel and requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love the contrasting textures in this main-course salad from Yasmin Fahr, which mixes rich pieces of salmon, pebbly pearled couscous and soft herbs with the crunch of cucumbers. The tangy dressing draws inspiration from mast-o khiar, the cucumber-yogurt dish from Persian cuisine, which is unmatched in its exuberant use of herbs.
Alert: We have a new 20-minute pasta recipe from Melissa Clark, with fresh chopped herbs, ricotta (make sure it says “fresh” on the label) and a lot of coarsely ground black pepper. This is a great way to use the herbs you may have bought for the salmon dish above.
More herbs and feta! This time, Lidey Heuck uses them to dress crisp romaine and skirt steak, a fairly forgiving cut of meat that is especially delicious with the vinegar-laced sauce. The toasted pine nuts are a nice touch, but you can skip them.