They’re not cooking, they’re assembling — with style

They’re not cooking, they’re assembling — with style

You know the scene in “Toy Story” when Woody is oozing with bitterness over his growing insignificance and challenges Buzz Lightyear to prove that he’s not just a cheap plastic toy? “To infinity and beyond!” says Buzz, before (quite impressively) using the tools available to him — gravity and other toys around the room — to, for all intents and purposes, fly.

These recipes are like that. They’re not cooking, they’re assembling — with style. Some use store-bought goods that are already cooked; others use time and something acidic to do the “cooking” (a.k.a. curing). And a few, of course, rely on fresh produce that don’t require cooking in any form.

Does that make them less impressive? Not one bit.

Turkey Tonnato, above. Pick up some roasted turkey breast from the store; go for the stuff from the deli section, where they slice it fresh for you — not the kind that’s pre-sliced and packaged. Then, blend together a thick sauce of chickpeas, tuna and yogurt. A healthy dose of fresh herbs and capers add punch.

More filling mains: Scott Drewno’s Chicken Curry SaladA La Carte Chopped SaladSmoked Tofu Salad.



(Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post)

Tangy Tuna With Spicy SauceCanned tuna is topped with a pleasant mix of sweet chili sauce, lemon juice, oil and garlic, plus a slew of crunchy vegetables. Serve it over pita (you’ll warm it up in the microwave, which hardly counts as cooking) or wrap in large leaves of lettuce.

Other fishy ideas: Marinated Tuna With Mango, Apple and LimeSmoked Trout Salad With Beets and AlmondsOuzo and Lemon Cured Salmon.



(Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post)

Skinny Tomatoes. How do you make ripe tomatoes and avocado better? By adding something salty and crunchy — in this recipe, broken-up pretzel pieces do the trick.

More sides and snacks: Mushroom and Artichoke Hearts in a Cotija DressingDill and Mint Yogurt DipSpeedy Homemade Hummus.



(Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post)

José Andrés’s Gazpacho. The classic combo of tomatoes, green bell pepper and cucumber lends itself to much improvisation when it comes to garnishes. Follow the simple steps here.

See also: Pea, Ricotta and Mint GazpachoClassic GazpachoPineapple Gazpacho.



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)