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.
Tangy Tuna With Spicy Sauce. Canned 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.
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 Dressing; Dill and Mint Yogurt Dip; Speedy Homemade Hummus.