Keep It Simple (and Delicious)

Make a slow-cooker cherry tomato compote, and then use it on toast, in pasta or salads, or on top of anything grilled.

By Sam Sifton

Good morning. I haven’t been writing much about no-recipe recipes these past few weeks, probably because so many of us are cooking no-recipe recipes all the time now, using the bounty of the season for freestyle tomato sandwiches, big bowls of steamed clams, piles of corn. It’s hot and sticky where I stay, and sometimes the idea of following instructions step by step by step fills me with dread. I’d rather sear some scallops in butter, serve them with warm tortillas and a bowl of mango salsa without reading a word.

But wow, would you look at this recipe for slow-cooker cherry tomato compote (above)! It’s simple and delicious and yields a kind of chunky sauce that you can use for all kinds of instant meals: on toast, mixed into pasta, as part of a salad, on top of anything grilled.

This one-pan shrimp and corn dinner with lime vinaigrette isn’t much more complicated. Nor is this cucumber-avocado salad. Nor are these frijoles de la olla.

A few meals like that can jump-start your desire to cook more involved food later in the week and into the weekend — grilled salmon escabeche, say, or chicken braised in two vinegars. You might even make an Atlantic Beach pie.

I like the look of this chickpea salad sandwich, as well, and this pasta with caramelized peppers, anchovies and ricotta. A zucchini salad with pecorino, basil and almonds? That, too.

Go take a look at New York Times Cooking and see what else you find. We have thousands and thousands of recipes to surprise and delight. Yes, it’s true that you need a subscription to access them. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. If you haven’t yet signed up, I hope you will do so today.

Please visit us on YouTube while you’re out there exploring the web, and on Instagram and Twitter as well. And reach out for help if anything goes sideways while you’re cooking or using our technology. Just send us a note: [email protected] Someone will get back to you.

Now, it’s a far cry from reading about mille-feuille and the proper way to grill a steak, but I liked Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell in The Atlantic, pondering the post-pandemic future of the necktie, which has long been “an important emblem of both group identity and individual taste, sending subtle signals about the wearer’s wealth, social affiliations, culture, and intellect.”

Here’s Danielle Henderson in The Cut on the endless outdoor summers that came with being an ’80s kid: “I want to get poison ivy, I want to get sprayed by a skunk, I want a thin film of dirt winding toward the shower drain at the end of a long day of nothing.”

I loved Tina Jordan in The New York Times Book Review on airplane thrillers, so much so that I read her piece a second time, imagining that she’d just made up the plots.

Finally, there’s new Soccer Mommy, “Rom Com 2004.” (Jon Pareles wrote about it last week.) Listen to that while you’re cooking. I’ll be back on Friday.

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