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[Photographs: Carrie Vasios]

What ever happened to the lunch hour? What ever happened to taking a break in the middle of the day to pause and refuel? Grabbing a turkey sandwich at your local deli and eating at your desk doesn't count as lunch, and reheating last night's dinner in the office microwave (after cleaning up someone else's tomato soup mess) should really be considered working. So take back your lunch hour. Martinis optional.

Butter Lettuce Salad with Peaches and Feta

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Summer is the time to have fun with salad, and I love to switch in fruits for vegetables. Butter lettuce (also known as Boston Bibb lettuce) has large, loose leaves with a soft texture and sweet flavor. It pairs well with slices of sweet peaches and crumbled, salty feta.

Zucchini Goat Cheese Tart

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The simple crust for this tart is made from flour, butter, and yogurt. It makes a crisp base that's topped by goat cheese and overlapping layers of paper-thin zucchini. Finish it off with a bit of fleur de sel, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkling of thyme.

Three Melon Salad with Mint

Instead of a heavy dessert, end your meal with this refreshing salad of watermelon, cantaloupe, and honey dew melon. I even forwent the mint simple syrup that I use on citrus salads in the winter, finding that fresh mint was enough to highlight the candy-like sweetness of the ripe melons.

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