Remember when June 21 was the "first day of summer"? But it didn't really feel like summer until this weekend. On the East Coast, at least, temperatures rose to 99° F (for context, that's 1° higher than the hottest boy band in '90s pop history).
We're also nearing a federal holiday, the only one between Memorial Day and Labor Day (that's all the way in September)—prime cookout season. So right now, everyone might be celebrating burgers and hot dogs. But what of the supporting characters that buoy up the leads? The ones we won't shuffle to the edges of our plates but instead will pile on high, because we really want to eat them, maybe even before the sticky ribs and juicy steaks?
It helps anyway, in this heat, to fill up on veg (you need the water!) and to celebrate summer's bounty with all of the tomatoes, corn, zucchini, and salad. Check out our favorites, below:
Eric Kim is a Senior Editor at Food52, where his weekly solo dining column, Table for One, runs every Friday morning. Formerly the Digital Manager at Food Network, he writes about food, travel, and culture and lives in a tiny shoebox in Manhattan with his dog, Quentin "Q" Compson. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can follow him on Twitter @ericjoonho.