When temperatures rise, our whole way of eating changes – we often make dinner out of nothing but a good, lean protein and a whole mess of veggies. Again, it’s about stripping things down, simplifying flavors so that the freshness of the good stuff we bring home from the market shines through.

Last night was another of those meals. A couple halibut filets, seared in olive oil until golden, and served on top of a beet “carpaccio” – red and golden beets sliced as thinly as possible (and since my mandoline slicer has disappeared since our move, I did it the old fashioned way), steeped briefly in vinegar (champagne vinegar for the golden beets; sherry for the red), then layered on our plates. They got a sprinkling of lemon thyme, some thinly sliced purple scallions, Maldon salt, freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of grassy olive oil before the fish went on top, and I finished the plates with a salad of baby mustard greens and picked flat-leaf parsley.

Dinner:  July 2, 2008

The flavors were fresh and vibrant, and dinner was ready in minutes, with minimal cleanup – leaving us more time to enjoy the warm evening. Isn’t that what summer cooking is all about?


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