it's time for revisiting mark bittman's genius list of 101 10-minute meals. some—no, many—are commonsensical, but helpful in brainstorming meals that require very little stove time. a good reminder, too, that lightness and simplicity rule in summer.
a few highlights:
14 - put a few slices of chopped prosciutto in a skillet with olive oil, a couple of cloves of crushed garlic and a bit of butter; a minute later, toss in about half a cup bread crumbs and red chili flakes to taste. serve over pasta with chopped parsley.
19 - chinese tomato and eggs: cook minced garlic in peanut oil until blond; add chopped tomatoes then, a minute later, beaten eggs, along with salt and pepper. scramble with a little soy sauce.
20 - cut eggplant into half-inch slices. broil with lots of olive oil, turning once, until tender and browned. top with crumbled goat or feta cheese and broil another 20 seconds.29 - chop prosciutto and crisp it in a skillet with olive oil; add chopped not-too-ripe figs. serve over greens dressed with oil and vinegar; top all with crumbled blue cheese.
38 - fried rice: soften vegetables with oil in a skillet. add cold takeout rice, chopped onion, garlic, ginger, peas and two beaten eggs. toss until hot and cooked through. season with soy sauce and sesame oil.
40 - put a large can of chickpeas and their liquid in a medium saucepan. add some sherry, along with olive oil, plenty of minced garlic, smoked pimentón and chopped spanish chorizo. heat through.
45 - sauté shredded zucchini in olive oil, adding garlic and chopped herbs. serve over pasta.
60 - peel and thinly slice raw beets; cook in butter until soft. take out of pan and quickly cook some shrimp in same pan. deglaze pan with sherry vinegar, adding sauce to beets and shrimp. garnish with dill.
80 - not-quite merguez: ground lamb burgers seasoned with cumin, garlic, onion, salt and cayenne. serve with couscous and green salad, along with bottled harissa.
90 - thai-style beef: thinly slice one and a half pounds of flank steak, pork shoulder or boneless chicken; heat peanut oil in a skillet, add meat and stir. a minute later, add a tablespoon minced garlic and some red chili flakes. add 30 clean basil leaves, a quarter cup of water and a tablespoon or two of soy sauce or nam pla. serve with lime juice and more chili flakes, over rice or salad.
95 - veggie burger: drain and pour a 14-ounce can of beans into a food processor with an onion, half a cup rolled oats, a tablespoon chili powder or other spice mix, an egg, salt and pepper. process until mushy, then shape into burgers, adding a little liquid or oats as necessary. cook in oil about three minutes a side and serve.
100 - cook red lentils in water with a little cumin and chopped bacon until soft. top with poached or six-minute eggs (run under cold water until cool before peeling) and a little sherry vinegar.