Slideshow SLIDESHOW: How to Add Spices to Your Summer Cooking

[Photographs: Max Falkowitz, unless otherwise noted]

What does summer cooking mean to you? For me it's a question of how little I can alter ingredients to transform them into a meal. My kitchen heats up in a flash, and around this time of year there's little sympathy for pot-stirring. And when there's gorgeous produce popping up everywhere, I don't need to do much to my food to get a tasty meal out of it.

But no self-respecting spice hunter would take a season off from the pantry. Just as the right hint of spice can elevate summer fruit to exceptional levels, thoughtful uses of exotic ingredients can transform homey summer fare into something really special.

The slideshow above is all about simple, unfussy ways to bring spices into your summer cooking lifestyle, whether you're beating the heat with salad for dinner or firing up the grill for a weekend meat-fest. How do you bring spices into your summer menu?

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