A Late-Summer Market Menu

David Tanis has three recipes for everyone coming home with bursting bags from the farmers’ market.

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By Melissa Clark

David Tanis looked right into my soul with his latest column in today’s Food section for The Times. At the farmers’ market this time of year, when there’s an eye-popping display of vegetables overflowing from stalls and “we are gleefully overwhelmed with choice,” he writes, we should buy anything that appeals to us. Even if that means overindulging in glorious late-summer bounty.

Permission to overindulge! This is me all summer long, lugging home bags bursting with produce without any weekly meal plan whatsoever. For everyone who can relate, David’s got a fantastic menu.

He starts out with a salad for all those lovely sweet bell peppers, soaked in an assertive vinaigrette with capers, garlic, olives and — my favorite — anchovies. The next course is a lively shrimp pasta with corn and basil (above), perfect for those late summer ears that are still sweet and plump. And for what David describes as a festive, “half-frozen drinking dessert,” there’s Prosecco lemon slush topped with whatever fresh berries you can’t resist.

The only thing missing from his menu (IMHO) are slices of late-summer heirloom tomatoes. Arguably, they live their best lives in some version of a tomato sandwich (bacon optional). In September, every time I eat one, I panic a little. Is tomato season about to run its course? Is this my last perfect sandwich until next year? Be sure to savor every bite.

If cucumbers are piling up in your fridge, Kay Chun has an excellent new tzatziki recipe to put them to use. Her method calls for squeezing the grated cucumbers in a dish towel before mixing them with the yogurt. It makes a thicker, richer dip. You might want to try it alongside Naz Deravian’s dal adas, a spicy and spiced red lentil tamarind soup.

Or for something heartier, you could pair tzatziki with any simple grilled chicken recipe, maybe Naz’s gorgeous joojeh kabab ba holu (saffron chicken kababs with peaches) or Sam Sifton’s glossy barbecued chicken that gets singed at the edges.

Dealing with unrelenting temperatures? Take comfort in Eric Kim’s cold noodles with tomatoes in a chilled broth. (We also have all sorts of no-cook recipes for a heat wave.)

If you’re a New York Times Cooking subscriber, you’ll be able to access these recipes. If not, now is the time! You could get one subscription for yourself and maybe one for that grown-up offspring that just left your nest. We are also on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, where you can watch Zainab Shah make her easy one-pot vegetable biryani.

Please reach out to [email protected] if you run into trouble with our technology. And speaking of: If you use the Cooking iOS app, you can now sort results by rating after you search for a recipe. You’ll notice two icons at the top right of your screen; one filters results, and the other will sort them.

Now, here’s a no-recipe recipe for what I lovingly refer to as twice-cooked eggplant mush.

Slice some eggplants, toss with olive oil and salt, and roast them on a sheet pan with thyme sprigs (425 degrees until browned all over). Meanwhile, sauté garlic with a spice blend (garam masala or baharat works well), then add a cup or two of chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned). Simmer until it looks like tomato sauce, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the roasted eggplant and let it all simmer until the eggplant collapses, another 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, flaky salt and some torn herbs. It’s the very best mush of summer.

That’s all for now. Sam is back here on Friday, and I’ll see you Monday.

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