This is the kind of meal that personifies summer. It’s light, fresh and simple. It relies upon the best ingredients available because there are so few of them. It’s easy but heart satisfying. While I look forward to the root vegetables, hearty greens and warming foods that symbolize fall, I must first say goodbye to summer. This was one of those goodbye meals.
It’s August in Paris and all the Parisians have left the city. Everywhere you walk you see signs in the windows that say that businesses are closed for weeks or even the whole month. The only parts of the city that are crowded are the tourist areas. It feels a bit as if you have the city to yourself and it is actually quite enjoyable. It’s nice to go to my neighborhood cafe or restaurant (the ones that are open!) and be able to have my pick of tables. Still a bit of the energy is missing from the city too. I have decided to spend my touristing and visiting all the beautiful places I love in this city that I never have time to visit.
What are your summer travel plans?
I have spent the past three weeks traveling in Europe. First to London, then on a trip to Berlin, Hamburg and Amsterdam. It has been a blast but a hot, sweaty blast. A heatwave has consumed us and made me realize how inadequate some of my packing (3 pairs of jeans?!) was. If I could do it over again, here are my summer travel essentials.
Zucchini is an interesting vegetable. I feel like it changes its flavor by cutting it in different ways. With pasta, I really like zucchini ribbons. Sautéed very briefly they retain a bit of their crunch and add a nice texture. I like to make easy summer pastas with sauces that require barely any cooking if any. This is the kind of dish you can throw together in a flash and it is healthy, fresh and bursting with flavor. What is your favorite summer pasta?
Last weekend I had one of those perfect summer days in Paris. Lovely weather, great company, and lots of amazing food and wine. We wandered Paris, content to relax and take it all in. It was my favorite kind of day.
This is the kind of meal I love to eat during the summer. Simple, delicious and tasting of ingredients at their finest. I’m not going to give you a recipe because none is needed. What you need is just-picked summer fresh produce or this won’t be the same. You also need buffalo mozzarella (not the one made from cow milk) which is life-changingly flavorful. The caprese salad was made with an heirloom tomato, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil, and drizzled with balsamic reduction*. The rice was tossed with some leftover pesto but if I didn’t have that I would have just added a bunch of herbs. The zucchini was tossed with olive oil, garlic and salt then roasted. Prefect! Just another reason why I love summer.
*I make my own balsamic reduction. Slightly sweet, this thick syrup is perfect drizzled on fruits or salads in appetizers. To make balsamic reduction, boil regular (not super expensive) balsamic with a teaspoon of sugar until thick and reduced by half. About 30 minutes. Warning: this does not make your house smell good!
Perhaps it’s wistful thinking on my part, but I figure that winter has to end eventually. I’m dreaming of the day when I can walk out of my apartment without being bundled up, when I can sit outside in the warm sunshine. I’m dreaming about summer dresses. I feel like I am always on the hunt for the perfect summer dress. I want something comfortable, cooling and easy. A dress I can pull on, add some nice sandals, and walk out the door looking good. Here are a few dresses that I love. This is my summer style. What’s yours?