We’ve had a hot spell here in Oregon. Not like the heat and humidity that other parts of the country have been experiencing, but hot for us. My inner Oregonian has struggled to cope. It’s much easier to go out at this time and let somebody else heat up their kitchen or to rely on the most minimally of cooked items. That’s what I tried to do this week.
One of my favorite hot weather “recipes” is basically making a fresh tomato salad and tossing it with hot pasta. We had some small orange cherry tomatoes from the farm this week and I bought some additional smallish red tomatoes at the Saturday market. They also had lovely basil so I grabbed that too. To make the sauce/salad, all you have to do is chop up the tomatoes and basil and add really good tasting olive oil (you get whatever flavor you put in since there’s nowhere to hide, so use your good stuff!), a vinegar you like (I usually use regular or white balsamic, but I had some champagne vinegar I wanted to try), coarse salt and pepper. I’d guess it’s about 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, but I don’t measure and just taste as I go. Stir it all together and let it marinate until the pasta is done. Then toss. If you want cheese, you can add some parmesan, but it’s a simple and lovely thing all by itself.
We’d had a lot of green veggies lately too, so in addition to the pasta (which would have been enough, but I was mindful Tuesday was coming and more veggies would appear), I did a quick saute of green beans, garlic scapes, fresh garlic, small padron peppers (little mild green peppers, also called shishito in Japanese), broccoli and a zucchni-ish summer squash with light green and white skin. Once everything was a bit tender, I threw in basil, salt, and pepper and happily devoured the whole thing.
On another night, I couldn’t be bothered so I made myself a version of “air conditioning” to cool off — a scoop of really good vanilla bean ice cream in a glass with sweetened coffee syrup. Divine!