There are many things I’m openly in denial about—the ending to the Lost television series, for example, or the “idea" that we humans need eight hours of sleep to function optimally—with the preeminent of said things being the impending conclusion of summer 2018.
There’s still so much I want to do: go to the beach six thousand more times, buy the best-looking heirloom tomato at a farmers market and devour it on the spot, and eat fresh corn by the bucket-full, so I don't feel its absence quite as sharply in the upcoming colder months.
Which is all to say: I have a lot of cooking left to squeeze in. Here are the 16 recipes I'm most excited to revisit while my favorite summer produce is ripe and plentiful—if you need me, I'll be in the kitchen, toiling away over a cutting board, a smudge of tomato juice on my cheek, blissfully in denial about summer's looming close.
I don't mean to start things off on the wrong foot, what with a sub-section on tomatoes (technically a fruit!) in my summer veggie round-up, but I'd be remiss to skip these classics. In fact, I plan to start my own around-the-farmers-market-in-three-weeks produce tour with the big reds. To me, a peak-season tomato is unbeatable. Bring on the flaky salt. And the brown butter. Oh, and the mascarpone...
The only thing better than corn on the cob is corn that someone has already stripped from the cob for you. Whether as a topper to grilled pizza, tossed with a zingy Sriracha-lime dressing, as fresh polenta, or as the star in a warm-weather risotto, corn is always the answer when I ask myself, "What tastes like summer?" (The second answer is typically, "Stop talking to yourself, you're at work!")
Don't forget to save your cobs to make broth for the risotto!
I'll admit it, there was a time in my life when I didn't love squash. Was that because no one had ever taken the time to make me a Summer Squash Gratin, tossed with brown-butter-breadcrumbs, Gruyere, and salsa verde?
I don't like to point fingers. The bottom line is that now, I can't get enough of the stuff.
In the summer, I love to cook green beans using quick, fresh preparations that leave them just al dente, and preferably tossed with enough acidity to really make them sing. (Casseroles are great and all, but I like to save those softer, creamier green bean dishes for later in the year, when the beans aren't quite as sweet and snappy—I consider it a consolation prize for entering into autumn gracefully.)
The recipes I've included here are a great jumping-off point, but you should riff away to your heart's content—no one ever asked for fewer caramelized shallots!
How do you plan to celebrate the last of summer produce? Let us know what you're most excited to cook, in the comments.