It’s that time of year. Farmer’s markets are overflowing, it’s hot, and you don’t feel like turning on the oven for dinner. Seems like someone’s grilling every weekend, and it never hurts to have a fantastic side dish–that isn’t a dessert–in your back pocket, ready to bring. I’ve been craving this simple, light shrimp and orzo salad all summer long. It’s healthy, lemony, and can be both a great side dish and a main (and a great leftover lunch… just sayin’).
The May Gray and June Gloom have mostly burned away; the Fourth of July is almost upon us and summer is in full swing. I don’t know how it happened so fast, but there you go.
Summer brings with it a slew of weekend cookouts loaded up with burgers, dogs, ice cream, potato salad–I could go on–suffice to say, with so many irresistible delicacies of the season, during the week, I like to cook pretty light and healthy to balance things out.
Like almost everyone I know, I love ramen and eat it often. I find it even more irresistible when the weather is rainy and chilly. Then, just try to keep me away from a big bowl of noodles and throat-soothing, savory broth. I dare you. I fell in love with ramen in earnest while living in the East Village in New York City. As luck would have it, the wonderful, postage-stamp sized ramen spot Minca was just a few blocks away. People came from all over to wait outside, no matter the weather, for a chance to sidle up to their bar overlooking the tiny open kitchen or to squeeze into a table and hunch over a bowl of rich, slurpy, nuclear-hot heaven.
Salmon bisque has, perhaps oddly enough, figured frequently into my happy childhood memories of dining out on vacation with my family. I absolutely gorged myself on it when in Alaska–literally, much to our tour guide’s amusement I scraped the bottom of a cauldron full of salmon bisque after getting not just seconds, but thirds
I’m willing to go out on a limb here (heh) and admit that my favorite of all the nuts is the pecan. So anything crusted in pecans appeals to me. The flaky, tender texture of Dover sole, a wonderfully delicate and versatile fish, finds a delicious contrast in the toasted flavor and crunchy texture of this simple pecan coating.