A Hamburger Today

Composed Summer Salad with Lemony Aioli from 'Canal House Cooks Every Day'

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[Photograph: Hamilton and Hirsheimer]

This summery composed salad from Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer's Canal House Cooks Every Day is my favorite kind of summer finger food. I can cook an array of colorful produce (and indispensable hard boiled eggs) whenever the kitchen is coolest and stick it in the fridge until dinner time. Once hunger strikes, all I need to do is whip up a sunny lemon juice-infused aioli, which isn't as hard as it sounds. This recipe makes plenty of aioli for dipping, drizzling, and smearing over dinner, with some leftover for sandwiches the next day.

Why I picked this recipe: I don't think I need a reason to eat vegetables dipped in souped-up mayonnaise for dinner.

What worked: Everything was perfectly in tune here.

What didn't: No problems at all.

Suggested tweaks: You can pick and choose any assortment of summer vegetables. I used little yellow fingerlings, baby golden beets, and long and slender green beans. Tomatoes would be an obvious inclusion, as would steamed baby squash. If you're not up for making aioli from scratch, you can mix garlic and lemon juice into store-bought mayo, but know that it won't be quite as good. If you have a hand/immersion blender, you can also give our foolproof two-minute mayo a shot.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Canal House Cooks Every Day to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American and Berkeleyside NOSH, and she blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.

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