Steamed Mussels with Fresh Corn, Tomatoes & Herbs

I really like mussels, clams, and shellfish of all kinds. You kind of have to, if you’re going to dig into a whole bowl of steamed mussels, served with bread to sop up its broth, or French fries in the classic “moules frites” tradition. But if you’re a little shy of encountering mussels in such quantity, then try perching a few kernels of sweet corn, soaked in a fresh tomato-based broth with garlic and freshly chopped herbs in the bowl … Read More

Spring Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a soothing meal to enjoy on warm nights or as a light lunch (or brunch, topped with a poached egg). To me, it simply spells summer; common ingredients are zucchini and summer squashes, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. To many, it epitomizes simply country fare from France, or brings to mind a children’s film of the same name. Since it’s a flexible dish of peasant origin, you can improvise with the ingredients used, and add any favorites of your … Read More

Smoked Paprika Freekeh Salad with Kale, Tomatoes & Garlic Scapes

Crunchy, crispy, sweet, tangy and earthy; I’m never bored eating a grain-based salad. Especially when the other components outnumber the grains, as in this colorful, kale and tomato-enhanced version with garlic scapes and freekeh.

Heirloom Beans with Roasted Eggplant, Tomato & Zucchini

I had guests over for dinner last weekend and came up with a five-person entree on the fly. I’d zoomed through the Greenmarket, picking up a pint of multi-colored cherry tomatoes, a firm eggplant, and a couple small, pattypan squashes. These all went into a pasta with a hearty portion of Italian sausage from Flying Pigs Farm for the meat-eaters in the crowd. We all loved it. Loved how the dish was colorfully studded with well-sized chunks ‘o stuff. Loved … Read More

Shakshouka, On A Boat

They say shakshouka, a common Israeli breakfast dish, is difficult or taxing to make, or that canned tomatoes are the best option to create a thick and savory sauce. But it was the first thing I could think of to whip up when I could find little else but ripe tomatoes and fresh eggs in the icebox one morning last week. I don’t mean that in a nostalgic way, using the word, “icebox” — for the past couple weeks, I’ve … Read More

Tomato & Artichoke Panzanella (San Francisco Chronicles Part 1)

We’re not in Kansas anymore… if you can equate that with “home” in any case. Driving up and down the steep, scary hills of San Francisco in a borrowed car, I’ve actually passed a road called Kansas St. but none named after New York. It’s good to get away. I’ve taken off for the West Coast, leaving my apartment to a friend and the garden in good hands, to sink into a different vibe. This is my first report from … Read More

Black Beans with Summer Vegetable Sauté

Who needs rice with black beans when there’s sweet corn, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, Swiss chard, and if not peppers just yet, then new, sweet-tasting potatoes, in season now? That’s my summertime take on the Latin American classic, with the black beans on the bottom this time.

Warm Potato Salad with Tomatoes, Olives & Garlic Scapes

I’ve been hearing the term “warm salad” being tossed around a lot lately, and feel it might be a new menu buzzword. Perhaps it inspires curiosity, still carries an unlikeliness that hasn’t been as indoctrinated into our culture as, say, “chilled soup.” Sometimes it makes perfect sense (roasted beets, dressed in a light vinaigrette), other times, seems more of a stretch (sorry, sauteed vegetables are just that). I’ve used the term for this dish because of its middle-road temperature. The … Read More

A Very Manhattan New England Clam Chowder

If you had to name two things that go brilliantly when thrown together in a pot, especially when you’re at the shore in the last throes of summer, you might not immediately pick clam and tomatoes. Lobster and corn might come to mind, with potatoes a tagalong or alternate. But it’s the first combo that I’d go with from now on. It was the basis of the best soup I’ve had in a while, just in time for chillier nights.

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