I’m in the honeymoon phase of summer cooking, the golden time before I can’t even look at the six zucchini that are in permanent residence in my fridge. Right now I’m especially enamored of nectarines and peaches — for breakfast, for snacks, for dinner, for dessert. (Nectarines are in fact superior to peaches, but both are so much better than other summer fruit, with the possible exception of watermelon, that we should just think of them interchangeably here. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have feelings about this!)
There’s a recipe below for roasted peaches with chicken, but you could also have grilled peaches with pork; grilled peaches with shrimp; grilled peach toast with pimento cheese (the chef who wrote that recipe, Todd Richards, likes to have it for breakfast, but I say live dangerously and have it for dinner). This arugula salad pairs peaches and goat cheese, or do what I do and tuck slices of peach into a caprese salad: heaven.
And one more bonus recipe: Mashama Bailey’s pecan pesto. She’s one of the extraordinary chefs featured in this list of 16 Black Chefs Changing Food in America, and if you can’t get to her restaurant, the Grey in Savannah, Ga., you can at least taste her food.
Lastly, I try never to talk to you about the weather, but it’s too hot to ignore. Two of the dishes below are served cool or cold; one is grilled; all are fast.
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Here are five dishes for the week:
Stone fruit pairs delectably with meat, and so peaches and chicken are a formidable team. Here, the fruit roasts alongside boneless thighs, softening and soaking up flavor and becoming even more delicious in the oven. You can use peaches at any stage of ripeness here, but firm ones will be easiest to slice. Serve with rice or crusty bread.
I find cold noodles to be totally irresistible during a heat wave: the spice; the crunch of cucumbers, nuts or both; the languorous way the cool noodles dangle off your chopsticks or fork. This recipe has five stars and rapturous comments, and you can adapt it to use tofu or tempeh to make it vegetarian. (Swap in a few tablespoons of soy sauce for the fish sauce.)
Sara Bonisteel, one of our editors, loves this recipe and has made it twice already this week. You just throw everything in a blender, and while it’d be nice to strain it, you can skip that. (You also could reduce the chilling time to 30 minutes: It’ll still be good.) In Spain, this recipe is served as a drink, in chilled glasses. I’d serve it in a bowl with avocado toast on the side, or grilled cheese (so classic) if you’re hoping to convince kids that it’s basically just tomato soup and they should try it already.