Summer is all about easy. Things you can make ahead or put together in a snap. Big white platters, colorful ingredients and just a little seasoning go a long way.
Most of these recipes require just a few pantry items like fresh pepper, great-quality olive oil, lemons and a special finishing salt called maldon — large flaky crystals that add so much depth to summer ingredients — as well as meats, chicken and fish.
Here’s what’s been on my menu for the past few weeks. Healthy, flavorful and easy-to-assemble salads make this season’s entertaining and weeknight meal beautiful, wholesome and a total piece of cake.
Marinated artichoke salad
Cut prepared, marinated artichokes in half. Distribute on the platter and drape white anchovies over each. Decorate the platter with dollops of prepared tzatzki and a few handfuls of arugula.
Hearts of palm
Drain a few cans of hearts of palm. Slice crosswise into bite- size pieces and distribute over a platter. Slice a few pints of different colored cherry tomatoes in halves lengthwise and crosswise and sprinkle all over the platter as well. Season with maldon salt, freshly cracked pepper, olive oil and a few splashes of red wine vinegar. Tear parsley leaves and sprinkle all over. Serve immediately.
Charred summer vegetable pudding
Char your choice of favorite vegetables. I like yellow and green zucchini, scallions, corn and even tomatoes. Allow to cool and dice into small pieces. Season fresh ricotta cheese with salt, pepper, lemon zest and Parmigiano. Layer the cheese and vegetables in mason jars, drizzling with a little prepared pesto between layers. Close and refrigerate up to one day in advance.
Avocado, egg, and feta salad