Don’t be swayed by the length of this rather unwieldy-sounding recipe’s name; the latter two ingredients, candied orange peels and fresh mint, are almost inessential to the sparkling culinary gemstone that is roasted beets and fresh orange slices. “Wow” hardly nips at the issue I’m talking about here. Okay, so it’s only food — two foods to be precise. But sometimes, all’s it takes, as they say, is two to tango.
I find it no coincidence that so many cultures like to tame eggplant by beating them to a pulp. My run-in with not-so-well-cooked eggplant earlier this summer has put me off the poisonous plants for a little while, but I’m not calling it quits just yet. Baba ghanoush, eggplant “caviar,” so to speak, has been enjoyed throughout Middle Eastern, North African and Eastern European cuisines for many centuries before peasant food became chic. They must know what they’re doing.
This side is: a) 100% vegetables b) 100% hearty c) oddly Christmasy-looking d) all of the above If you guessed “d,” then you hate these kinds of questions because you always know whoever’s posing it is trying to get you to say that. And I don’t blame you. But you’ve got to try these green beans to believe how true it is.
As you can see, I’m drinking to the end of summer. Stirred (not shaken) up as a last-minute idea for the Salsa Takedown at Mo Pitkins, this salsa is my sloppy toast to another warm season of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, many of which I feel much closer to in the wake of their departure for the fall.
Damn. I knew I should have bought more tomatoes from that roadside produce stand in upstate New York. Having good tomatoes these days is something akin to having a house in the Hamptons, or the hottest new technology from Apple. Newer and better species keep cropping up, the heirlooms perhaps being the Amagansett abodes or Macbook Pros of the pack, and rarely will you ever break their superior, hand-painted looking skins when no one else is looking. Or at least, … Read More
I made this dish twice to get it right. The first time, I was going for salsa. It had hot peppers in it, vinegar, oil and sea salt. The second incarnation was more of a fresh fruit salad. Both were mellow, juicy and crisp little concoctions, like a summer cocktail. When I finally decided on the right balance of flavors, I hit a wall on what to name it. Salsa, or salad? Then again, what is the difference — really … Read More
This is a leftover dish. It combines leftover ground pork (which I used to make some cilantro-spiked Vietnamese-style meatballs), fresh bread crumbs (aka: all those properly manicured tea sandwich crusts), spicy Thai chiles and fresh thyme (just had some sitting around). Those were some mean ‘balls. They’re neither Sicilian or Italian-American, nor Asian or Asian/Italian fusion — I don’t know what style they would be most influenced by, but “random leftover.”
Last week I reached for a jar on the back of the refrigerator door, knocked over the marinated artichoke hearts — the cap must have been lazily placed on top rather than screwed on — and spilled artichoke juice all over three shelves and the floor of the fridge. It didn’t smell half bad. Tonight, I intentionally did much the same to this simple spinach salad — that is, didn’t bother whisking up any dressing. Nada. It wasn’t half bad, … Read More
There is always a good way to use up leftover bread in Tuscany and that, of course, I applaud. Or should I say aspire to. I toast to that good food conscience. Whatever. The point is: panzanella. It sounds like the sweet baby girl name that you would never choose for fear she would take it as permission to wear skin-tight tube skirts and ride on the backs of motorcycles with guys named Marco whenever she’d tell you she was … Read More