Crisp, tender summer squash have a slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with rich and substantial ingredients, such as olive oil, garlic, and cheeses.
Quick idea No. 1: Sauté diced squash with garlic, olive oil, and herbs. Use to top toasted baguette slices spread with goat cheese. Sprinkle with dill, mint, or basil.
Quick idea No. 2: Roast long thin slices of squash with garlic and olive oil until very soft. Layer in a pan with goat cheese, pesto, and finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Serve with multigrain crackers.
Arugula is an assertive green with a peppery bite and great versatility: it complements sweet and rich ingredients, such as figs or roasted onions, while holding its own alongside stronger flavors, such as olives and lemon juice.
Quick idea No. 1: Use in sandwiches instead of lettuce. Great with chicken, turkey, or steak, hearty cheeses, and spreads such as mango chutney or cranberry relish.
Quick idea No 2: Toss with sliced stone fruit, pecans, and a dressing of lemon juice, honey, and olive oil. Sprinkle crumbled feta or blue cheese on top.
Bell peppers are sweet and brightly flavored, with a refreshingly crisp texture when raw and a lusciously soft texture when cooked.
Quick idea No. 1: Sauté minced garlic and diced onion in olive oil. Add chopped bell peppers, tomatoes, and basil. Cook on low heat until the mixture is thickened and reduced by half. Serve over tofu, chicken, omelets, or toast.
Quick idea No. 2: Cut tops off peppers and seed them. Stuff with cooked bulgur, crumbled tofu, sautéed garlic and onion, olive oil, parsley, tomato, and mint. Bake until peppers are softened.
Refreshingly crisp and sweet, Asian pears are delicious on their own or with salty, substantial flavors.
Quick idea No. 1: Cube peeled Asian pear and combine with watermelon and/or honeydew cubes. Sprinkle with feta cheese.
Quick idea No. 2: Peel and finely chop Asian pear and toss with rice wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar. Spread small toasts with cream cheese and a slice of smoked salmon. Top with Asian pear mixture and a sprig of dill.