Passive-aggressive behavior can be a deal breaker in a relationship. In cooking, though, it can be a saving grace.

We've already discovered the delicious results of a “let it be” attitude when it comes to desserts; chefs across the country are also embracing the savory joys of simply walking away from their “cooking”:

Fish: Los Angeles’s king of Peruvian cuisine Ricardo Zarate has just revamped the focus of his flagship, Mo-Chica, to give even more attention to his minimalist specialty: ceviche. His advice for ceviche newbies? Halibut and lime juice. Halibut is a forgiving white fish that “cooks” quickly in citrus and also retains its distinctive flavor. Handily, lime juice has the necessary acidic power to enliven the halibut without completely overwhelming your taste buds.

Fruit: We are devotees of the sweet-savory gospel, but fruit at the height of summer can be oppressive in something like a soup or a salad. The solution came to us via New York chef Dan Silverman, who pickles strawberries overnight before tossing them in a salad (see the recipe). Try the technique with other berries or peaches to punch up your greens.