The Perks of a Simple Summer Meal

Kitchen Diaries: Kate in New York City

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This week was an epic one in the kitchen. With the weather getting increasingly hot, the urge to park it in front of my AC after a long day at work has never been higher. I've been doing some serious nesting, and eating out way less than normal. The results? I renamed the location of my apartment "YUM" on Instagram.

It always seems like New Yorkers really nest two times a year like clockwork: in winter when it's too cold to bear walking anywhere at all, and in summer, when it's too hot to bear walking anywhere at all. While you might expect us to be drinking slushy cocktails outdoors with friends, instead we've been cooking up our favorite meals using the bright, gorgeous produce of early summer. Combined with a revival of the cocktail obsessions of my bartending days, we might as well start taking reservations for Chez Kate.

Some of the most gratifying favorites lately have been simple, showcasing the fruits of summer over any fancy technique. Stir fry, chopped salad, panzanella. Basically, the common denominator has been chopping a lot of vegetables into precise, small shapes. Luckily, it's a task I love and find deeply therapeutic. Just put on some tunes, hand me a sharp knife, and let me go to town on the chopping block!

I'm sure many of you will comment that you've been grilling. Oh what I would give for a barbecue (and requisite outdoor space to accommodate that)! For now though, I'm juicing the fruit of summer for all it's worth via fresh veggies one meal at a time.

Have you been summer nesting? What are you favorite simple meals for the season?

(Image credits: Kate Gagnon)