And it's August. Gorgeous tomatoes fill the farmers markets, the days get shorter and the dark creeps in quicker, noon in the city is hot and crowded. I can hardly believe it.
Maybe because this is the first it's felt like summer, well, all summer. Sure, there have been long days on the boat and fireworks and weddings and corn on the cob, which all scream summertiiiiime (and the livin's easy). But here in Chicago, the summer weather hasn't been as vocal. In fact, it's been nearly silent all of June and July. Cloudy skies, cardigans and jeans, one sunny day followed by three cool and rainy ones.
I feel almost cheated. As if August came marching in and said, "Hey, I'm here! And I brought summer with me! But enjoy it while it lasts because I'm taking it back on September 1st."
Luckily for me, along with August came a new apartment. With windows. And a nice kitchen. And a porch. The other night, as we sat outside with friends, citronella candles burning and sausages on the grill, I realized that I had been missing out all summer. The balcony at the old apartment had been too small to fit more than two people comfortably, let alone a grill or even chairs. The kitchen was uninspiring and tiny. The one window in the apartment wasn't enough to fully appreciate the evening light. I had been gypped big time.
But August has just begun, and that comforts me. I have Pyrex bowls filled with fresh tomatoes, and that comforts me. And of course, roasted vegetables with lemon are always comforting. This time, broccoli. With tomatoes.
I ate this on the porch with leftover steak and a cold beer. I might toss the remainder of the dish with pasta for lunch tomorrow, but I'll probably eat it later tonight, straight out of the Tupperware, in front of the open fridge. Because with August comes the lazy days of summer, and I welcome those, too.
Lemony Roasted Broccoli and Tomatoes
adapted from Food Network's "The Neelys"
2 bunches broccoli, cut into florets
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 a lemon
salt, pepper, oregano
Preheat oven to 450 F. In a large bowl, toss broccoli, tomatoes, and garlic with enough olive oil to lightly coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano. Transfer to baking pan, making sure the tomatoes are skin-side down. Roast for 20 minutes, or until broccoli is tinted golden brown. Return to bowl and toss with lemon juice. Serve immediately.