In Austin, where I grew up and where I'm spending time now, summer arrives with the subtlety of a two-by-four to the back of a head. You wake up one day, and suddenly its 95 degrees and humid—and not getting cooler until October. It's barely June, and we've already crossed that threshold.
But I've noticed an important compensation for the brutal heat: Peak-season summer produce arrives early, too. In the high country of western North Carolina, where I've lived for years, we don't start harvesting green beans, garlic, and squash until July, and tomatoes don't come in until August. On a recent Saturday visit to Austin's excellent inner-city Boggy Creek Farm, I was surprised to find all of that and more on display.
So I grabbed a bunch of it and did what I have done so often at Maverick Farms with similarly excellent produce: minimally cooked it and tossed it into a pasta, goosing it with chickpeas, walnuts, and Parmesan for a little extra flavor and protein.