We live in blessed times. I mean, seasonally. It’s late-spring, and we have things popping out of plants that are incredible and edible (and not edible, but fragrantly incredible, like wild lilacs, too). I recently had the plum privilege of being a judge for a cookoff held by GrowNYC, where I got to observe the making of, taste the outcome of, and help decide the winner of two very excellent dishes prepared by local restaurant chefs. Held in partnership with … Read More
I was really thinking of bringing potato salad to a party this weekend. This would be a simple, easy-to-store solution for my day of having to schlep around Brooklyn before getting there. Potato salad is always a welcome crowd-pleaser at summer parties. But last Memorial Day, four people brought potato salads to a party. They were all delicious and quite different, but still, four people brought potato salad.
Green peas in June, shucked fresh from the pod, are such a rare and delicate treasure that I’m swayed to disbelieve they’re the same things I grew up pushing around on my plate. Whereas the latter version were frozen and already shelled, the presence of the pod makes the legume that much more three-dimensional and full of life to me — tedious as they may be to shell. The flavor of sweet, fresh peas is sublime, and they need little … Read More
I’ve heard there’s long waiting lists to become a member of many CSAs around the city. Park Slope’s is packed, Greenpoint-Williamsburg’s maxed out, and Crown Heights’s, new as of last year, filled up so early that another CSA sprouted up in South Crown Heights this year. So if you’re on one of those lists, here’s some good news. Many CSAs in New York City still need members this season, and I dare say, you need to get in on this … Read More
Okay, it’s not summer anymore, and Indian summer has not yet arrived. Instead, this is about the time of year people start taking flu shots, and sweaters and scarfs out from hibernation boxes and changing their sheets to flannel. I do all these things minus the flu shots. But I do have a good way to boost the immune — fresh veggies and bloody, bloody, antioxidant-rich beets. To keep that blood pumping.
Some of you guys are gonna say off the bat, I don’t like eggplant. And hey, that’s okay. They’re squishy, mushy, weird and hard to pinpoint the taste of. But I’ll bet if I gave you this soup and didn’t tell you what was in it (roasted eggplant), you’d slurp it to no satisfaction’s end. It’s smooth, creamy, cold and intensely flavorful. And sometimes, a little mystery only helps the effect.
Since so many of us have joined the frays of small farm supporting by becoming new members of CSAs, I’ve noticed a particular syndrome going around this summer. The symptoms? Staying in to eat lettuce heads that have piled up in the crisper over some weeks, extreme guilt about going out to eat when there’s tons of food at home; passing up plans to make the weekly pick-up day and time, or feeling the need to schedule vacations around your … Read More
Time to roll out the red cartons — strawberries are in season. And local strawberries, especially those from my CSA farm, are a real treat to start the summer off with. If it weren’t for these bursting-sweet nuggets of bright red, I’d never be able to make this shake half as good. No “five dollar shake” with milk and ice cream for me, please. This one’s just milk, fruit, basil and ice.
Imagine walking into the office of an industrial agriculture giant, the kind that produces 99% of the food we eat, and saying, “Hey, I’m really interested in learning more about agriculture. Could you tell me a few things about what you do?” Would someone jump up from behind the counter and say, “Sure, let me show you around. Let me take out valuable time from my day, put you on a haystack as we drive around the premises and I’ll … Read More
Not so long ago, I tended to associate Long Island with being stuck in squawking traffic on the LIE and guys in wifebeaters who wouldn’t think to eat an apple if the tree plopped one in his hand. True, the eastern trail of New York City never exactly conjured an agrarian idyll, replete with rustic farmstands and coastal pastures producing everything from grass-fed beef to tasty wines. But perhaps that’s just the Jersey in me speaking (ironic as it may … Read More