Chilled Tomato Soup With Shallots,

Cucumbers and Corn

4 servings

"Chilled soups are a great way to eat vegetables in the summer; they're so refreshing and reviving on a hot day. But the kicker is that they're even quicker to prepare than salads -- everything goes in the blender and it's done. This particular soup, inspired by Alice Water's Gazpacho, can also be served at room temperature or even warm, and it is especially good with thick slices of bread."

3 pounds tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt

1 large shallot, finely chopped

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus additional to taste

1 ear corn, shucked

1 cucumber

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, tarragon, parsley or cilantro (one or any combination)

In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the salt and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the shallot and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Let sit for 15 minutes.

In a large saucepan, bring 12 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the corn and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the corn to a plate; refrigerate until cool enough to handle. Cut the kernels off the cob.

Peel the cucumber, halve it lengthwise, and use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds. Cut the cucumber into small cubes.

In a food processor or blender, puree the tomatoes. Strain the liquid into a large bowl, using the back of a wooden spoon to press some of the liquid from the solids. Discard the solids. Use a slotted spoon or a fork to transfer the shallots to the tomato mixture. Stir in more of the vinegar to taste. Stir the corn kernels, cucumber and basil or other herbs into the soup. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Per serving: 116 calories, 4 gm protein, 25 gm carbohydrates, 1 gm fat, 0 mg cholesterol, trace saturated fat, 327 mg sodium, 2 gm dietary fiber

Black Bean and Zucchini Quesadillas

4 servings

"A good quesadilla fresh off the skillet offers some of the finer pleasures in life: crunch, ooze, salt and spice."

2 pounds zucchini, coarsely grated

11/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt or kosher salt, plus additional to taste

Two 15-ounce cans black beans, drained

12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated

2 scallions (white and light green parts), chopped

1 jalapeno chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped

8 flour tortillas

Extra-virgin olive oil

Tomato salsa (homemade or store-bought)

In a colander, toss together the grated zucchini and 11/2 teaspoons salt with your hands. Squeeze the zucchini to remove its liquid.

In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, beans, cheese, scallions and jalapeno.

Brush 4 of the tortillas with oil on 1 side and turn so the oiled side is on the bottom. Divide the bean mixture between the tortillas, spreading it to the edges. Top each with a plain tortilla and brush the top with oil.

Warm a large skillet over medium heat. If you have 2 skillets, use them both. Place a quesadilla in the pan and cook until the cheese melts and the tortillas are golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining quesadillas. (Alternately, arrange the quesadillas on a rimmed baking sheet and broil, about 6 inches from the heat, until the cheese melts and the quesadillas are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side.) Serve with salsa.

Per serving: 697 calories, 38 gm protein, 76 gm carbohydrates, 31 gm fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 17 gm saturated fat, 1375 mg sodium, 15 gm dietary fiber

Watermelon With Fleur de Sel

4 servings

"The simplest and the best dessert I know."

4 slices chilled watermelon

Fleur de sel

Sprinkle the melon lightly with salt and serve.

Ingredients too variable for meaningful analysis