a quick summer supper
(A fast meal for a busy night)
It was not my intention to pack my schedule with so much evening work this summer that Susan would be left to figure out dinner a few nights a week. I have long been the designated cook in the house; she is the designated baker (and an excellent one). But back in the spring, I started teaching three memoir workshops a week, and so here we are.
After twenty-two years together, we have come to understand that we have very different ways of cooking, and when Susan takes over the kitchen, I try and stay out of her way. I usually succeed, but not always, The thing is: if someone is going to go to the trouble of cooking for you, the least you can do is not tell them that they’re doing it wrong, or commenting on their process, even if the recipe is yours. As a baker, Susan needs specifics: a quarter teaspoon versus an eighth (the latter of which constitutes a pinch), or eight grape tomatoes versus ten. This is not how I cook; I tend to be far less precise, which is also why I’m a truly shitty baker.
Anyway, we’re now at the beginning of August, and it is garlic scape pesto season, which not only goes well on pasta and pizza; I like to use it as a condiment, especially if I’m pressed for time and in need of a lot of flavor. There are a lot of garlic scape pesto recipes out there, but we have long loved our friend Deborah Madison’s, which includes walnuts, and is incredibly simple (recipe below). Make a double batch, and freeze half of it in small jars for use throughout the fall and winter. Dollop it on white fish before broiling it; toss it with herby grilled vegetables before layering them with mozzarella and baking it; swipe it across grilled sourdough bread. Or make this dish which, in Susan’s capable hands, took less than an hour from start to finish, most of it spent in the oven. Very simple, very fast, very good.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Poor Man's Feast to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.