Even if you don’t feel like cooking—it’s brutally hot, school just started up again, work is annoying, you’re crashing on your friend’s couch and they don’t like you using the oven—you can still be a whiz in the kitchen. These late summer salads are in turn juicy and crisp, delightful and alluring, all easy as hell but with complex flavor combos that trick you and yours into thinking you’ve done something masterful. But, then again, haven’t you?
GETTING TO KNOW YOU, LATE SUMMER PEACHES WITH TOMATO AND BURRATA
Ever noticed how peaches look like hearts? And butts? If you make this on a first date, they will love you forever.
3 ripe peaches, sliced bite-sized
1 pound mixed cherry and grape tomatoes, some halved, some whole
1 8-ounce ball burrata, torn up into pieces
Herbs for serving (basil, parsley, chives, and/or tarragon, or some combo of them), chopped finely
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp honey
A few vigorous dashes of your favorite hot sauce
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
I mean, it’s a summer salad, designed to be refreshing and sexy and easy as hell. The honey, vinegar, olive oil, and hot sauce go into a small bowl, whipped until emulsified. Cut up the rest of players and toss gently with the dressing, seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, with good bread and ice cold white wine.
WE’VE BEEN TOGETHER AWHILE RADISH SALAD WITH ANCHOVY DRESSING
Make this for someone whose breath you love, no matter what.
1 large bunch radishes, washed and cut as thin as possible. Use a mandolin. (If you can find black radishes, they work really beautifully and dramatically here, but regular ones are wonderful, too!)
1/4 c Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped rough
Tiny pinch kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper (add more later to taste, but remember anchovies are way salty)
1 fat nub Parmesan cheese, grated super fine on a microplane, for serving
3-4 anchovy filets
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic
Prep radishes and parsley, and set aside in a large bowl. Place the lemon juice, garlic, and anchovies into a blender or food processor, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil, while pulsing the dressing to emulsify.
Pour dressing over salad, and toss well to combine. Season with salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Serve immediately, with cold bitter beers and a warm-hearted friend or lover.