A lot happened in April. I packed away my winter clothes. I suffered through my annual spring cleaning. I started wearing flip-flops. I got out of my kitchen.
My love of food has gone outside. I no longer want to spend long afternoons inside simmering meat until it falls off the bone or creating hearty stews that fill our home with the most comforting aromas. Instead, I want to stroll through my local farmer’s market and pick out the perfect artichoke. I want to sit on our balcony and drink a refreshing glass of sauvignon blanc. I want to pull out the grill every night of the week and I want to eat my lunch in the park.
As a result, my cooking has gone simple which is exactly what it should do at this time of year. My motto is less is more and I’m armed with olive oil, salt and pepper as my staple ingredients.
Fortunately, cooking simply is easy with spring and summer produce. Grilled corn needs only butter (enough to dribble down your chin while you eat it) to be memorable. Zucchini, red peppers, and eggplant drizzled with olive oil and then grilled, become a delightful side dish to the meat your grilling.
Fresh greens tossed with a colorful bounty of vegetables and then dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil showcase produce in its freshest form. While vanilla ice cream needs just a handful of fresh strawberries to become the perfect warm day treat. With good ingredients and a little prep work, dinner is served.
And the best thing about getting out of the kitchen and keeping things simple is the time you’ll save. Extra time that allows you to catch up with your neighbors as your steaks slowly cook, savor that perfect cocktail on your front porch, and linger over dinner just to enjoy the final moments of another beautiful day.