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Improvised Summer Dinner

Nutrition, From Our Kitchen

Recently, I invited a friend for dinner, but with the temperature in the mid-90s, cooking was not an enticing prospect. What could I throw together that would be tasty, seasonal and simple, with little or no cooking required?

At the farmers market that morning, I was enticed by the sweet corn and vivid red tomatoes. (The heirloom tomatoes growing in my backyard are getting there, but are not quite ready to eat yet.) The plump, glossy blackberries and fragrant peaches also called to me.

I recalled summers past, when I prepared a simple tomato and corn salad. All you need to do is husk the corn, submerge the ears in boiling water for five minutes, cool them, then strip off the kernels with a knife. Cut up the tomatoes in one-inch dice. One tomato and one ear of corn per person is about right.

Mix it all together, add salt and pepper to taste, and add 1-2 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro. For a little heat, you can shave some red onion into the salad, but I prefer it without. Dress with the juice of one lime and a drizzle of olive oil. If you have a ripe avocado handy, cut it up and add that to the salad as well.

For the main course, I made tartines, or open-faced sandwiches, of smoked salmon and egg salad. For the egg salad, mix the chopped hard-cooked egg with Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, fresh dill and salt and pepper to taste. Thinly slice a French bread boule and toast several slices. Top each slice with a single layer of smoked salmon, then spread the egg salad over the salmon. Sprinkle with fresh dill, slice into thirds and serve. Three tartines should serve two adults.

The blackberries and peaches found their way into a cobbler, which ended our summer meal quite nicely.

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