Dinner for a hot night

Posted by August 24, 2011 Summer cooking No Comments
This is only my second post for August. I blame the weather. I’m not complaining about it, the heat is better than the cold, even when it’s humid. However, by mid-afternoon my brain turns to mush and I find it difficult to focus. I end up dozing, which doesn’t improve my mental powers, or playing sudoku which can help but usually just frustrates. So that’s my excuse.

The heat not only muddles the mind, it dampens the appetite. Luckily the abundance of fresh vegetables at my local farmers markets inspires. Simple quickly cooked meals, laden with vegetables will lure me into my non air-conditioned kitchen on the hottest days.

Usually I start with bacon, duck fat or olive oil, add chopped shallot or onion then whatever I’ve bought at the market. Broad beans or favas, depending where you live, diced red pepper and a little vegetable stock. Cooked orecchiette were added to the mix and a little pecorino grated over the top. Then out  on my deck with a chilled rosé, a perfect summer meal.

Morels and peas have reappeared in my market. The morels  from British Columbia are too beautiful to resist and the peas and baby potatoes are local. I’ve been making a stock with the pods. Simply simmer the pods with a little onion for a light, flavourful, and very useful stock. I was inspired by a recipe from my friend Annie Wayte’s Keep It Seasonal: Soups, Salads, And Sandwiches.

Same method, cook the potatoes separately in that stock then add them to the mushrooms and peas. No cheese here, but if you have any truffle oil a few drops will enhance this dish.