Summer Cooking at the Canal House

Authors, Celebrity Chefs, Cook, In Season, Learn, Meet, Summer, Tips & Techniques

Williams-Sonoma collaborated with Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton of Canal House for our latest catalog, and we were inspired by their endless enthusiasm around summer ingredients. These cooks revel in the simplicity of the season’s tomatoes, okra and squash, letting fruits and vegetables shine at their peak.

 

We asked them their favorite ways to prepare summer staples. Read on for delicious ideas!

 

The way we cook in the summer couldn’t be simpler. In fact, we call ourselves salt-and-pepper cooks. We forsake the convenience of the supermarket and live in the season—slicing big ripe tomatoes, preserving tomatoes, grilling leeks, roasting chickens and slathering them with herb butter, foraging for chanterelles, turning corn into succotash, baking berry cobblers, and making apricot jam. Cooking is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the season around you. Now get out there and cook.

 

Beets  We always roast our beets; it concentrates their earthy sweetness. Then we serve them…sliced with hard-boiled eggs and dressed with oil, vinegar, and chives…with grilled onions and walnut oil…with butter and tarragon…cold with an arugula salad…with feta and chives…

 

Broccoli  Steamed and dressed with anchovy butter…in florets, sautéed in olive oil, with garlic and red pepper flakes…sautéed and tossed with penne…

 

Carrots  Cooked in butter and tossed with lots of fresh mint…stewed in olive oil then dressed with mint and vinegar…

 

Cauliflower  Boiled and served with brown butter and bread crumbs…grated and sautéed in butter…blanched, dipped in egg batter, then fried in oil flavored with garlic…stewed with chickpeas and cumin…pickled…warm with garlic mayonnaise…

 

Celery  Chopped, tossed with vinaigrette, and served with blue cheese…poached, then bathed in an anchovy vinaigrette…celery root remoulade…

 

Swiss Chard  Sautéed in olive oil with lemon…cooked, drizzled with cream, dotted with butter, sprinkled with grated cheese, then browned under the broiler… sautéed in olive oil and butter…sautéed and served on toast topped with a poached egg…

 

Corn  Creamed…cooked kernels, lima beans, and parsley, tossed in vinaigrette…cooked with string beans…cooked with tomatoes and cream and topped with crispy bread crumbs…sautéed with chanterelles…grilled in its husk then slathered with an herb butter…

 

Cucumbers  Sliced with chopped mint and rice wine vinegar…seeded, chunked, and sautéed in butter…thinly sliced and layered with paper-thin sliced red onion dressed with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and cracked black pepper…grated, salted, drained, and tossed with minced garlic mint, and Greek yogurt…chunks with tomato wedges, feta, black olives, olive oil, vinegar and oregano (the authentic Greek salad)…

 

Eggplant  Roasted in its skin, scooped out, and mashed with garlic and walnut oil…sliced, fried, and served with crumbled feta…

 

Fennel  Thinly sliced with lemon, olive oil, and parmesan…roasted with bread crumbs and grated cheese…poached with lots of green olives…à la Grecque…

 

Okra  Dipped in buttermilk, rolled in cornmeal, and deep fried…stewed with tomatoes…pickled…

 

Scallions  Grilled with Romesco Sauce (page 121)…sautéed in butter with lemon and lots of chopped parsley, served as is or piled on toast and topped with a poached egg or spooned on grilled or poached fish

 

String Beans  Boiled together with potatoes…boiled and served with tomato wedgesand vinaigrette…cooked and served warm with grated raw tomato vinaigrette…cooked with gnocchi…

 

Potatoes  Cooked in chicken stock or milk with minced chives…

 

Peas  Buttered with loads of chopped mint…mashed with butter, chives, and topped with crisp bacon…raw right out of the pods…

 

Radishes  Buttered…sliced in open-faced sandwiches…with anchovy butter…

 

Tomatoes  Broiled with grated aged white cheddar and pepper…sliced peeled beefsteaks with crushed anchovies, garlic, and olive oil….rubbed on toast…grated raw with minced garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar to spoon over grilled vegetables, fish, meat, pasta…chopped and cooked in butter with lots of chopped basil…peeled and seeded, stewed with peeled and seeded peppers in olive oil and butter, with garlic and basil (peperonata)

 

Zucchini  Sliced paper-thin and dressed with olive oil and grated pecorino…deep-fried slices…fritters…little ones poached in olive oil…halved and grilled…provençal style…

 

Zucchini Blossoms  Dipped in a thin batter of flour and white wine, and deep-fried…stuffed with fresh ricotta and deep-fried…

One comment about “Summer Cooking at the Canal House

  1. Q&A with the Canal House Cooks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *