These savory summer sides include warm potato salad with arugula and chilled cucumber soup with salt-roasted shrimp.
Food & Wine
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Summer Vegetable and Potato Salad with Anchovy Dressing
This colorful salad of green and yellow beans and waxy potatoes reminds Jonathan Benno (an F&W Best New Chef 2006) of his brief stint in the kitchen at Al Di Là, a wildly popular Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, New York. His friend Anna Klinger, the chef and co-owner, taught him how to make this deliciously tangy dressing, a mix of anchovies, poached garlic and olive oil.
The bright flavors of tomato, orange juice and smoked paprika make this soup perfect for summer, as does its versatility: It's delicious chilled or hot. Naomi Pomeroy (an F&W Best New Chef 2009) serves the soup with a side of maple-candied bacon, which she prepares by sprinkling bacon slices with maple sugar and baking them until crisp.
F&W Best New Chef 2008 Giuseppe Tentori's quinoa salad is a delightful mix of cucumber, thin green beans, parsley and feta. What makes it special is that Tentori pickles the radishes in red wine vinegar and sugar before tossing them into the salad, where they add a puckery crunch.
F&W Best New Chef 2008 Jim Burke's cucumber with lime, garlic and ginger is light, refreshing and restorative; his kitchen staff jokes that it's like a mini spa treatment. For extra substance, Burke adds salt-roasted shrimp, avocado and a hit of spicy chile oil.
Homemade ricotta cheese is completely delicious and unbelievably easy to prepare—all it takes is milk, lemon juice and a little heat. Paul Kahan (an F&W Best New Chef 1999) spreads it on crostini, then adds a few slices of pretty red radish and a sprinkling of pepper.