When it’s mid-summer and too hot to even think about cooking, make this
soup. Toss a handful of things in a blender and, before you know it, you have
something cool and refreshing yet surprisingly satisfying. The latter is thanks
to tahini, the sesame seed paste that’s most commonly used to make hummus.
It lends creaminess and nutty flavor but, more importantly, it adds a bit of
protein and healthy fat, which turns this chilled soup into a light meal. My
favorite part, though, is the crispy spiced chickpeas. They also add protein
but, really, they’re there for the textural contrast they give every spoonful.
Just be sure to make them right before you serve the soup, as they’ll lose their
crunch if made too far in advance.
What’s not to love? A sweet and salty pretzel base, fresh strawberries barely held together with their own juices, and a whipped coconut cream topping. This is something I remember eating during the peak of hot Nebraska summers. I always tried to scrape more than my fair share of the salty pretzels on the bottom.
Israeli couscous may be Israeli, but it’s definitely not couscous. Couscous is ground semolina (crucially without being mixed with either egg or water) rubbed together with wet hands until tiny granules form and are then dried. Israeli couscous, on the other hand, is tiny balls (about the size of larger peppercorns) of true pasta made from both wheat flour and semolina then toasted.
Don’t shake the can of coconut milk before opening it—you’ll use the layer of cream on top in this sweet and spicy dressing, which is mellowed by the cooling iceberg lettuce and rich dark-meat chicken. Transfer the unused coconut milk to a clean jar and refrigerate it for making soup or a curry (it will hold for several days).
This recipe comes to us from chef Hugh Acheson and his book Pick a Pickle. You can also try his recipe for Pickled Blueberries. Acheson discusses more things to consider when pickling fruits and vegetables with Francis Lam during the listener question segment of our episode "How Restaurants Are Dealing." He also suggests two great pickling and food preservation resources, the Ball Jar website and University of Georgia's National Center for Home Food Preservation.
This recipe comes to us from chef Hugh Acheson and his book Pick a Pickle. You can also try his recipe for Pickled Cherries. Acheson discusses more things to consider when pickling fruits and vegetables with Francis Lam during the listener question segment of our episode "How Restaurants Are Dealing." He also suggests two great pickling and food preservation resources, the Ball Jar website and University of Georgia's National Center for Home Food Preservation.
I love a chewy grain salad (this one has lentils too) with a lot of contrasting flavors and textures. Sweet, sour, chewy, crunchy, salty. You can go crazy and add more ingredients here; just don’t add toasted nuts or seeds ahead of time, as they will get soggy—throw them on top just before serving.
This salad is perfect over mixed greens, spinach, or arugula or served in lettuce cups for a quick easy lunch. It keeps well for five to seven days in the fridge. I adore using Homemade Avocado Mayo (recipe follows), or Primal Kitchen’s avocado mayo if you’re short on time, in this recipe.
This soup is a lovely soft yellow; it sings with the color of spring, and gently soothes.
If you cook for others on a regular cadence, you’ll discover that not all the meals will be beautifully planned. Sometimes one thing leads to another and you forget to shop, or you forget that you need wood or propane or time to brine the meat. Sometimes you run out of time. Sometimes you run out of energy. Sometimes you just want to cook something simple and eat, toast one another, wash everything up, and take a long walk with the dog.