We've long been looking forward to the bounty of summer, food-wise; the garden makes big promises. Now it's here. The problem is, however, that to be enjoyed to the fullest the bounty must be consumed immediately. So a few weeks ago we were eating a great many snap peas and strawberries (not to mention the lettuce), and then it was the turn of the raspberries—and now we've entered cucumber season. So cucumbers for dinner three nights in a row, but at least I vary the presentation a little bit. Tonight it was couscous with cucumber and artichoke hearts and basil, plus some cucumbers with hummus; last night rice and bean salad with cucumber.
The latter was actually so delicious I want to record it here—not as a recipe I suppose, since I didn't bother to make a note of the proportions, but as a general idea. It was short-grain brown rice, black beans, cucumber, purslane, early onions, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, and salt.
As well as the cucumbers we're also getting as much basil as ever we could want, so pesto is involved in many dinners and most lunches. The only problem with pesto—and I could have sworn I had written this before but I can't find it in the archives, so you'll forgive me if this is an old complaint—is that, while the basil is cheap or free, the other ingredients are pretty pricy. Extra virgin olive oil? Parmesan? Pine nuts?! But now that I have a moderate handle on the recipe I can go heavier or lighter on those various things depending on how my wallet feels, and sometimes almonds or even walnuts will do just as well standing in for pignolias. Also, I confess that we buy the cheap grated parmesan in the jar—not the Kraft kind, true, but no parmagiano reggiano or whatever either. But that's alright: the rest of our ingredients are top notch, this time of year.