Colorado Table

This June 1, 2015 photo shows gomasio in Concord, N.H. Gomasio is a Japanese dry condiment made from lightly ground sesame seeds and salt. Some variations also include toasted seaweed. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Gomasio traditionally is made using a suribachi, a Japanese-style mortar and pestle. The interior of a suribachi has sharp ridges, which make it excellent for grinding nuts and seeds. But a food processor works just as well.

This June 15, 2015 photo shows penne pasta with tomatoes, zucchini and creme fraiche in Concord, N.H., a weeknight-friendly meal that is big on flavor, but not on labor. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

To make the point, I created this fast and flavorful pasta dinner that tosses whole-wheat penne with cooling diced tomatoes and zucchini, a mess of fresh basil and a dollop of creme fraiche to tie it all together. Of course, feel free to substitute whatever fresh veggies inspire you. But since you’re serving them raw, be sure to finely chop them.

This June 1, 2015 photo shows blistered corn salad in Concord, N.H. This dish is from a recipe by Elizabeth Karmel. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

One of my favorite ways to make corn salad is to blister the kernels on the grill, then toss them with onions, heirloom tomatoes and jalapenos. The result is a classic summer platter of tomatoes and onions mixed with spicy chilies and char-grilled corn tossed with a tangy red wine vinaigrette.

This May 18, 2015 photo shows Wozz Kitchen Creations finishing vinegars, from left, spiced pear, strawberry rhubarb, balsamic blueberry and maple, spiced beet, and cranberry saffron in Concord, N.H. The sharp acidity and natural sweetness of vinegars are useful for uniting the many ingredients and flavors of a dish. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

When searching for that something, American home cooks frequently overlook one of the best and most ubiquitous choices: vinegars. The sharp acidity and natural sweetness of vinegars — not to mention their affinity for salty, savory flavors and ability to cut through fat — make them perfect for uniting the many ingredients and flavors of a dish.

This Jan. 12, 2015 photo shows baked garlic thyme curly fries in Concord, N.H. This dish is from a recipe by Melissa d'Arabian. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

If you haven’t seen a spiral cutter, it is a small piece of kitchen equipment (several companies offer different models and styles) that cuts vegetables into (very!) long, curly noodle shapes. You push the vegetable into the blade area, turning it, hence the “spiral.”

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