Let’s pretend I have all the time in the world to create sumptuous feasts. And all the resources in the world to gather up the tastiest ingredients. In this fiction, I wave my wand and on the table every night fantastical, incredibly delicious multi-course meals appear.
My reality, of course, is quite different. Cooking is hard, time-consuming work that I squeeze in between trips to pick up children from swim team and summer camp and ballet classes. But at this time of year with the ripest, most flavorful fruits and veggies just outside my back door, I often feel like the richest girl in the world.
And sometimes my recipe results are magical. All the work is worth it for that moment when I taste a dish I’ve been preparing — and it is sublime.
So maybe I can’t produce drool-worthy dinners every night or — let’s be honest — even one fantastical multi-course meal in a given week. But I can stitch together my successes from my last several meals. And from them, let’s imagine together that I created one very memorable Midsummer Night’s Meal.
It would begin with an app, of course, and in early August with the tomato vines heavy and the pepper plants producing, what could be better than a simple pico de gallo? This fresh salsa recipe is a new one for me and I am not looking back. For years, I have stirred up a salsa that called for oil and vinegar, but I loved how bright this salsa tastes, powered only by tomatoes, jalapeño and lime juice.
For the main course, I bring you a standby of my summer cooking repertoire, Asian Cucumber Salad. It’s a dish so crisp and fresh, it embodies the very essence of summer. I’ll pair that with a quiche, also a summertime staple. If I fed only myself, I would ply my crust and egg with spinach, tomatoes, peppers — all things crunchy and juicy. But alas, my family members prefer their eggs untainted by their vegetables. I gave this Martha Stewart Bacon Gruyère Quiche a whirl and it received rave reviews.
For dessert? I present to you … Crispy Peanut Butter Cookies. Why peanut butter cookies, you ask. Well, because, cookies. But also, I’m still tinkering with my Peach Cobbler recipe. (Stay tuned for it in a future post.) This is where that whole lack of wand thing comes into play again.
What have you been stirring up in your kitchen on these midsummer nights?