BEAT the HEAT with easy, no-fuss market recipes!

When it's this hot, I like to ingest foods that make my body temperature plummet and I certainly don't want to be lingering in a hot kitchen.Unfortunately, one can't live on peach, plum and raspberry smoothies alone.

If I must cook - I want to prepare something that's deliciously uncomplicated. My brain is too sun-fried to follow a recipe.

That's why I turn to Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express cookbook. Each "concept" recipe takes about ten seconds to read &  20 minutes to prepare. What's more, recipes  are organized by season so that they really read as though Mark had taken a weekly stroll through our market  for inspiration.

Consider the Scallop and Peach Ceviche recipe:

Dice high-quality scallops and peaches into equal-sized cubes about a quarter to a half inch square. Toss them together in a bowl, along with finely diced red onion, finely chopped tarragon, lots of lime juice (which will "cook" the scallops in a matter of minutes), salt, and pepper. Adjust seasonings and serve.

Or, the Prosciutto, Peach and Mozzarella Salad:

For each person cut a fresh peach into eight wedges. tear prosciutto (why not use duck prosciutto, or thin slices of smoked duck from Hudson Valley Duck?) into bite-size pieces. Dress mixed greens with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Toss in the peaches, prosciutto and cheese and serve. Or, Arugula with Balsamic Strawberries and Goat Cheese (raspberries will do if the strawberries run out. This may be the last week for strawberries!)

Hull and slice a pint of strawberries and put them in a large salad bowl. Toss with two tablespoons balsamic vinegar and several grinds of black pepper. Let sit for five minutes. Add a bunch of arugula, some crumbled goat cheese and a sprinkle of salt. Drizzle of olive oil toss and serve. You get the drift...

Make it easy on yourself. Buy great ingredients and do very little to them.