It’s salad-for-dinner season

2. Salad 1
A salmon and pearled couscous salad with cucumber-feta dressing. This main-course salad from Yasmin Fahr, which mixes rich pieces of salmon, pebbly pearled couscous and soft herbs with the crunch of cucumbers, draws inspiration from Persian cuisine. (Photos: NYTimes)
I can hardly believe it, but here we are in grill season, beach-picnic season, salad-for-dinner season — summer, my favorite time of year to cook. Some people prefer fall for its crispness; winter for its coziness; spring for its promise of something green. Not me. I am here for summer.اضافة اعلان

Proof that this is one of my favorite subjects: a few days ago, I was a guest on the WNYC show “All of It,” talking summer cooking and having a ball. We discussed fried chicken biscuits with hot honey butter at length. (Other recipes that came up: gazpacho, chilled corn soup, egg salad, lemon potato salad with mint, blueberry pie, and Caprese antipasto — also known as the super Caprese.)

Here are a couple of options.

Creamy Pasta With Ricotta and Herbs
A chicken, artichoke and broccoli bake. This casserole from Kay Chun is light enough for the weather and lets the oven do the work. 

In this simple, springy pasta, milky ricotta thinned out with a little starchy pasta cooking water makes for a saucy, soupy dish that’s seasoned with loads of black pepper and herbs. For the best flavor, use at least three different kinds of herbs, break out some nicer olive oil and look for fresh ricotta. Lemon lovers can grate in the zest of half a lemon as well.


> Step 1: Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve two cups pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.

> Step 2: In the same pot, make the sauce: Add ricotta, Parmesan, olive oil, pepper, and a large pinch or two of salt, and stir until well combined.

> Step 3: Add one cup pasta water to the sauce and stir until smooth. Add the pasta and herbs, and continue to stir vigorously until the noodles are well coated. Add more pasta water as needed for a smooth, soupy sauce. Taste and add more salt if needed.

> Step 4: To serve, spoon the pasta into bowls and finish with more Parmesan, olive oil and pepper.

Salmon and couscous salad with cucumber-Feta dressing
The dressing in this 30-minute recipe is inspired by green goddess dressing and mast-o khiar, a Persian side dish of cucumbers and yogurt. Here, thick yogurt is combined with fresh herbs, tangy feta, and crunchy Persian cucumbers. If you have trouble finding Persian cucumbers, they can be swapped for similarly sweet-skinned English cucumbers or peeled regular cucumbers. Flaking the salmon into the salad evenly distributes it and is a nice alternative to serving a fillet for dinner. Leftover salad can be enjoyed cold for lunch the next day, freshened up with a squeeze of lime juice and more fresh herbs.


> Step 1: Heat the oven to 205 ºc. In the center of a sheet pan, place salmon skin-side down. Pat the salmon dry, then coat with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric. Coat 1 of the lime halves in some of the olive oil in the pan, then place cut-side up in the corner.

> Step 2: Roast the salmon on the center rack until opaque on the outside and light pink in the center, about 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

> Step 3: While the salmon roasts, make the couscous: In a lidded pot over medium-high heat, toast the couscous, uncovered, stirring until fragrant, about three to four minutes. Add three cups water, season with salt, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain an active simmer, then cook until the couscous is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the couscous in a colander, then drizzle with olive oil, tossing to coat. Stir in the arugula, letting it wilt. Leave in the sink to cool slightly while you make the dressing.

> Step 4: Prepare the dressing: In a serving bowl, combine the yogurt with 1/4 cup room temperature water and the zest and juice of 1 lime, then whisk until smooth. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin, plus 1/4 cup feta, most of the herbs (reserving some for garnish) and the cucumber. Stir to combine, then season to taste with salt. Set aside.

> Step 5: Add the cooked couscous and arugula to the yogurt mixture, tossing to combine. Remove the salmon from the skin, then flake with a fork. Add half the salmon to the couscous, mixing it together. Place the remaining salmon on top, squeeze the roasted lime half over the dish, then garnish with the scallions, remaining feta, parsley, and mint. Quarter the remaining lime half and serve it on the side.

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