Cook a One-Pot Summer Wonder

We're pretty sure that ratatouille loosely translates to "late-summer deliciousness." By the time August rolls around, when tomatoes are at their peak and eggplant and summer squash hang heavy on the vine, the best thing to do is to bring the trio together for a little Provençal party by making the vibrant French stew. Though there are many interpretations, some that call for cooking the vegetables separately or slicing the vegetables paper thin and baking until very soft, the only thing to truly be conscious about in our version is to cook the ingredients slowly so that the flavors come together. Go on, revel in ratatouille.

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Use Your Vacation Days

Squeeze in one last adventure with the excuse of bulking up for the chilly fall ahead. Jet to the West Coast this month, where you can hang with Curtis Stone and Questlove while you take in all the beats, bites and more at the fifth-annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, or soar north to Eat Drink SF for the Bay Area's brunch- and wine-filled weekend. Take off a couple more days for an eating itinerary of international proportions, starting in the land of ash-cooked things with Copenhagen Cooking, Northern Europe's biggest food fest, or belly up to the storied, postrace celebratory foods at Italy's yearly Il Palio horse race. And though summer is winding down, restaurants certainly aren't, so book it to this month's biggest openings for blind tasting menus, Madrid-Midwest mash-ups and more.

HIT UP AUGUST'S BIGGEST OPENINGS

Crossover to Adventure

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Make a Dessert That Pops

It's high time to relish one of the season's finest, cheapest and most abundant vegetables: We're all ears for golden ears of corn—and we're even letting it star in dessert. To make our luxuriously silky (and sophisticated) semifreddo, fresh-off-the-cob kernels and Corn Pops® cereal, a childhood favorite, are infused with milk to yield a creamy base. The Corn Pops® show up again as a crunchy, espresso-dusted topping for a double dose of nostalgia. It's a dessert that will make you give a shuck.

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Lee Anne Wong

"Late summer is for wine and sake drinking and long, lazy dinners under the stars. It's also a great time for traveling before the fall comes and it's back to business as usual." — Lee Anne Wong, chef of the soon-to-open Hale Ōhuna, O'ahu


Raise a Glass of Pineapple Limeade

Don't put your lawn chairs away just yet: The temperature is still toasty as ever, so you still need refreshing beverages. Our tropical, tangy nonalcoholic drink will cool you off as you cling to the final warm weeks of the season. Whip one up by muddling three to four cubes of fresh pineapple, four large lime wedges, three basil leaves and three quarters of an ounce of raw sugar in a shaker until the sugar is partially dissolved. Add about one ounce of sparkling water then fill with ice. Shake vigorously. Empty the entire contents into a glass and garnish with a lime wheel and piece of pineapple. Find a good spot in the sun and enjoy.

Marry Tomatoes with a Buttery Crust

You've been waiting all year for this one, but even when it arrives in front of you, sloppy, colorful and stunning, a well-made tomato pie will take your breath away. It's an abundance of late-summer produce, ripe to bursting, herb-studded and roasted to concentrate the flavors, then nestled within a short, sharp, savory crust packed with cheese and plenty of lemon thyme. It's perfectly delicious when it's piping hot but somehow even more special at room temperature when the tomato filling has had a little time to meld with the dough. Finish it all with a drizzle of olive oil and a flick of flaky sea salt for a generous, crowd-friendly dish that's a true celebration of the season. Put trust in the crust.

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Make a Blanket Statement

The window for eating outside is, sadly, winding down, so it's on you to throw at least one last really great picnic. Before you head to the great outdoors, gear up with everything you need for an alfresco feast, from a cooler-and-picnic-basket in one to a chic waterproof blanket and a lawn game to "work off" some of that potato salad. As for what to feed your crew, may we recommend our fully stacked Italian sub?

SHOP FOR NEW GEAR

Save Your Peaches for Winter

Though there's nothing like biting into a perfectly ripe peach in August, there's also nothing like having a beautifully preserved one at your fingertips in February. The process of preserving may be intimidating at first, but canning peaches leads to a deeply fragrant and concentrated flavor that adds great acidity to grilled meats in the summer and to stews in the dead of winter. In our recipe, we infuse a simple syrup with lemon thyme and strips of orange peel for a bright, sweet, citrusy flavor, but you can use spices such as cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg to imbue a warmer, smokier flavor. Either way, you'll thank yourself when it gets cold outside.

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Jason Fox

"Late summer is all about trying to get in as much beach and barbecue time before the days get a little longer and the family has to go back to school and work. To me, this is when the great summer produce, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, are really at their best."— Jason Fox, chef at Commonwealth and the upcoming Oro, San Francisco


Vacation in Vancouver

Montréal may get all the poutine and foie gras double-down glory, but there's a lot happening on Canada's West Coast. Straddling prime agricultural land and pristine waters and right between the well-worn path to Asia, Vancouver is bursting with super-fresh sushi counters, superb speakeasies and even legit Neapolitan pizzas. And August is the perfect time to visit the normally gloomy, drizzly city, now soaked in sunshine. So stroll through our guide to the 36 best restaurants, bars and shops to make the most of your Canadian adventure. Then trek over to Canada's best coast.

CHECK OUT THE CITY GUIDE

Get Creative with Panzanella

Think panzanella is just stale bread and ripe tomatoes? Think again. The classic Tuscan bread salad is the perfect vehicle to showcase all manner of seasonal produce. Take, for instance, summer squash, which you can toss in either raw or grilled, and adorn with tons of fresh herbs (basil, flowering thyme, purslane) and a classic olive oil-balsamic vinegar dressing. Or cucumbers, which, when tossed with crusty bread, olives, pine nuts and anchovies, transport us straight to the Mediterranean. Or there's eggplant, which does quite well when roasted with a miso glaze and tossed with airy bread, sesame seeds, cilantro and scallions. The point is, panzanella is a blank slate—let whatever's overflowing at the market be your palette.

Take TMBG's Tour of the Catskills

With songs including "E Eats Everything" and an entire Wiki page dedicated to the culinary references in their tunes, it's safe to say that They Might Be Giants delights in food. So it's no surprise that cofounder John Flansburgh knows all the best places to eat in the Catskills, where he spends summers. His picks include Tilly's Diner for an all-American roadside-diner breakfast, Big Kev's BBQ stand ("their smoker is the size of a VW bus") for lunch and Henning's Local for a locally sourced dinner.

SEE TMBG'S CATSKILLS PICKS