Having juicy, red tomatoes at the peak of summer ripeness is a question of integrity (yours, not theirs, which is pristine): Do we adulterate these fine specimen by adding other flavors and ingredients, which may make them seem less-than or tagalong, or do we seize upon the day to celebrate only the virtues of a very good thing while we still can? I wonder if people indicted in the #AshleyMadison hack are pondering their initial choices when they decided to vacation from their spouses for a gutsy adventure with … Read More
The first cream of X soup (or “bisque”) I ever fell in love with was cauliflower. My mom and I ordered it at a diner in New Jersey once when I was little; we ate the whole cup full and had to order another (should have gotten the bowl). That creamy, white velouté was something exotic to both of us, I think, but mild and unassuming at the same time. I found an appreciation for dairy, which my young palate had been … Read More
Breakfast salad. It’s not something you hear as often as breakfast sandwich, breakfast burrito, or maybe even breakfast lasagna. And no, it doesn’t have eggs to give it that smack of “breakfast” approval. I just had some beautiful peaches and nectarines, and leafy lettuce from my CSA, and I didn’t feel like eating them separately. Or having yogurt with those peaches and perhaps some granola. Then I realized that this crispy oat-flecked topping could be great on a salad instead … Read More
A brief history of non-risotto “risottos”: At one point, everyone was making risotto with barley instead of short-grain (commonly Arborio) rice. This was undermining the term orzotto, a similar Italian dish made with barley. Then we began to see “risotto” being made with all kinds of other “whole grains for health,” appreciating the nuances of nutty flavor and bite from the likes of spelt, oats, quinoa, wheatberries and more—and I was not one to miss out on the fun. So then it seemed absol-otto awesome … Read More
So after this year’s Fourth of July barbecue, where I consumed lettuce wraps packed with meat, a hot dog, a chicken burger, a kielbasa, and some wings, I decided to go easy on my lunches the following week. I propped my kitchen stool below the highest cupboards to look for some whole grains to make a refreshing salad with—maybe quinoa, maybe spelt, or some neat-o ancient grains would be found there, I thought. But I didn’t find those.
It’s true: Monkfish is one of the f’ugliest fish in the world. But you wouldn’t know it when it’s served to you. Or, when you buy some fresh fillets and pan-roast them just like any other fish, finishing them with a splash of white wine and butter mixed into the pan to drizzle on top. Yes, even when you’re actually cooking a raw thing to plated dish (in mere minutes no less), you can be spared the gruesome truth of its … Read More
Sometimes you just need that combination of cool refreshment and savory satisfaction. I think that’s when chicken salad comes in handy. It’s a casual summer treat, but it usually only comes about once you’ve had your fill of both types of extremes—too many cold, vegetable-based meals one day, and a whip-cracking, bulldozing heavy meal with meats or poultry another. I guess what I’m saying is that leftover, roasted chicken salad with crisp vegetables in a sandwich is that perfect yin-yang of summertime eating.