101 Cool Summer Dishes

Be the star of the 4th of July picnic in 20 minutes or less
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2008 11:00 AM CDT
A worker harvests romaine lettuce in Salinas, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007.    (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – With the summer picnic season heating up, Mark "The Minimalist" Bittman of the New York Times checks in with his semiannual list of quick, easy dishes. He calls for fewer tomatoes than you might expect, and many, many lemons. Some high points:

  • "Take cold pizza and lemon. Squeeze lemon over pizza. Really."

  • Avocado mashed into fresh or prepared salsa to make "guacasalsa" and served with chips.
  • Rice vermicelli with kimchi, cilantro, and chopped shrimp or chicken.
  • Asparagus and orange salad garnished with sesame seeds.
  • A classic potato salad, dolled up with chopped egg, Cheddar, and bacon. "You don’t have to pack much else except blood thinner."