Home Food ‘This Is So Enjoyable to Make’

‘This Is So Enjoyable to Make’

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Melissa Clark’s versatile fruit galette is an “easy and beautiful” five-star reader favorite.

The above note about Melissa Clark’s fruit galette from Walter, a reader, stuck with me. Making this adaptable recipe truly is a joy. You have the chilled, floured dough on your hands; a sculptor’s satisfaction of rolling the dough lump into a smooth sheet. Preparing the colorful fruit maybe leaves a soft fuchsia blush on your fingertips, an endearing souvenir from assertive plums or melting raspberries. Then out comes the pastry brush — always a small rush of pride to use those specific, dedicated cooking tools — to coat your dough folds in eggy cream, knowing they’ll bake into a burnished wabi-sabi crust. Eating the galette is great, too — it is Melissa, after all — but making it is a wonderful bit of summer arts and crafts, a dose of hands-on happiness.

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Fruit Galette

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Let’s stick with this “making is as fun as eating” theme, shall we? I love cooking any recipe that involves lots of spices: It makes my home smell amazing, of course, and gives me the satisfaction of actually using all those powders and seeds and grains that I’ve crammed into my cabinet. Zainab Shah’s quick chicken karahi (spicy chicken and tomatoes with chiles) adds layers of heat and flavor with Kashmiri chile powder, cumin, coriander and turmeric; pull back on the dried chiles and chile powder to scale down the spiciness.

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Something about cooking swordfish is really satisfying — it’s a meaty fish that stands up well to strong flavors, and it’s also a nice break from the usual salmon and white fish fillets. I’d pair Pierre Franey’s five-star grilled marinated swordfish steaks with Kia Damon’s snappy sautéed green beans for a very nice summer dinner.

It certainly feels good to cook something delicious with zucchini, that inexpensive, almost overly enthusiastic summer squash. (We get it, zucchini.) Ham El-Waylly’s crispy chicken thighs with charred zucchini make for a gorgeous and easy dinner, with an herby, lemony pumpkin seed dressing. “Save this sauce in your back pocket,” Ham notes, “as it does everything a green goddess dressing can do, but is much lighter — and equally great on a wedge of iceberg or as a dip for potato chips.”

And I always give myself a little pat on the back whenever I make myself lunch. This tzatziki tuna salad from Genevieve Ko gets its verve from Greek yogurt (instead of mayonnaise), lemon and garlic, as well as a little yellow mustard and chopped dill. Her recipe serves one, so it’s perfect for those work-from-home weekdays.

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