Summer Lovin'

Now is the time to gorge

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In the absence of 100-degree temperatures, we Bay Areans look to the farmers' market for the true signs of summer: Tomatoes. Green beans. Stone fruit. And they are in the ascendant. Here are six of our favorite summer dishes–some iconic, others of the moment.

DISH WHY WE LOVE IT
Squash Blossom Tempura Long and golden, half vegetable and half air, squash blossoms do not travel well and keep no more than a few hours after being picked. Right now the flowers are at the center of Nojo's ever-changing tempura ($10), encased in translucent, crisp batter along with tree mushrooms and shavings of Meyer lemon.
 Cherry Soup Chilled fruit soups were fading into obscurity until Bar Tartine's Nick Balla decided to feature them on his menu. This is the time of year when we monitor the website for the annual début of meggyleves . The creamy, pink, bewitchingly spiced soup is pitched somewhere between sweet and savory.
Padrón Peppers a la Plancha  In the past five years, small, gnarled Padróns have become the ubiquitous summer bar snack. At Zuni Café, cooks blisters their green skins on the plancha ($12), combining the peppers with baby beets and shaved Parmesan one day, cherry tomatoes and purslane the next.

Grilled Corn With Curry Butter

As July brings on the succotashes and corn puddings, James Syhabout at Hawker Fare is treating corn differently: The kitchen grills lengths of corn on the cob ($4) until the kernels start to pucker and char, then slathers a wicked green-curry butter on top.
Heirloom Tomatoes Starting in just a couple of weeks, the summer tomato cart returns to Bix. Dispatch a waiter to carve off slices of the ripest fruit on hand, and she will dress them to order and present them to you along with a coin of freshly made mozzarella.
 Peaches With Raspberry Sorbet Now that Chez Panisse Café is back up and running, we're planning on finishing our meal there with one of our favorite summer desserts: a bowl of sliced, tart-sweet Frog Hollow Farm peaches ($8), often garnished with a scoop of berry sorbet in a nod to Peach Melba.