What I’m Cooking Now

Come along with four chefs as they journey from farm to table.

There are so many ways to use summer squash. Stuff the blossom with ricotta and fry it in a light tempura batter. Shave it thin and dress it with a little lemon, olive oil, oregano and whatever other spices you like and eat it raw. Or slice it a bit thicker, marinate in balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and grill it to eat solo. I also like to dice it up and sauté with red onions, fava beans and corn to make a summer succotash.

Chef Gavin Humes, Inn of the Seventh Ray, Topanga

I do something really simple but delicious with tomato. First blanch off the skin by putting in boiling water, then dunking in ice water. Cut in half. Season and put slice of garlic and sprig of thyme on each half. Drizzle with olive oil and put in 425º oven for 20 minutes. Turn the oven off but keep the tomatoes in oven overnight. The next day you can eat them plain, on a sandwich or spread on top of a homemade pizza. Keep them in the refrigerator, and you’ll just keep thinking of ways to use them.

Chef Erin Ramsey, Robert Sinskey Vineyards, Napa

My favorite way to take the bite out of garlic is by roasting it. Place 10 to 20 cloves in a small cast iron pan, cover with aluminum foil and roast in a 375º oven for about an hour. The roasting alters the garlic’s chemical makeup—turning the biting, acidic raw garlic into caramelized, deliciously spreadable nuggets. Use roasted garlic as its own spread or to accompany another dish. Fry the cloves (think garlic chips) or press them raw into ramen noodles.

Chef Jerry Yu, Vegetable, Studio City

The mild poblano chili pepper can be used raw or roasted. Make a salad of roasted poblano (use an open flame). Peel, remove seeds and chop with nopales (cactus leaf paddles), tomato, cilantro, a little onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Eat immediately or let it sit in the refrigerator for one day so the flavors mix. Blend a whole, raw, seeded poblano with avocado, garlic, onion, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, pepper and a cup of cold water for a great salad dressing or dip.

Chef Nabor Diaz Prado, Hugo’s, Studio City