Spring forward! salad

March 7, 2014

Spring forward salad with blueberries, white peaches, and rabbit sausage

Cinnamon-dusted roasted blueberries. Slivers of ginger crisped by the oven. White peaches just slightly warmed. Sometimes the best recipes are born of the random ingredients one has in hand. My husband has a love of blueberries that always leads him to pick up a pint at the grocery store, but then they end up forgotten, stashed in the produce drawer. I’m not a fan of the remnant bud on them, so they’re the last thing I want to snack on, and thus, they stay in the drawer. Until this week, wanting something light, I decided to make a salad. I figured roasted grapes are good, so why not roasted blueberries? Where on earth I had the idea to dust them with cinnamon I’ll never know. But I’m happy it did. (more…)

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A Southern New Year’s Day: Must have collard greens

December 29, 2013

Collard Greens

Collard greens is one of those things that I kept trying to like, but for the life of me I couldn’t. It never made sense, because I like spinach, stir-fried mustard greens, kale… so why not collard greens? So when I recently made Hoppin’ John, which almost has to be accompanied by greens, I decided to give it another spin. If anything, my husband loves all kinds of greens, so he could eat them. Lucky for me, this time I hit upon a magical combination of ingredients that made me love these as much as all the other greens I’ve fell in love with over the years. I took the preparation approach of an Italian-stewed kale I love, mixed in my favorite dressing approach from spinach salads, and was careful not to overcook the greens so there was still a bit of bite to them. The result was nothing short of fantastic, and I foresee serving this dish a few more times this winter before collard greens disappear. (more…)

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Easy Apps: Figs with Whipped Goat Cheese and Bacon

September 13, 2012

Figs with Whipped Goat Cheese and Bacon

When fresh figs start appearing in the market, I get excited. There’s something about a fruit so fleeting that you can only get it a couple of times a year. When I made my locavore-inspired dinner a while back, the first figs had hit the market, and luckily Whole Foods wasn’t just carrying the black mission figs I’m not a fan of, but also the greenish-brown calmyrna figs that are my favorite, fresh or dried.

I had picked up a basket of these guys with no idea what I planned on doing with them. The next day, I decided on the summer vegetable gnocchi for dinner, so I began my fig brainstorming with an appetizer in mind. Wine-poached figs? No, that seemed more suitable for a dry fig. Balsamic-glazed figs? Now we’re talking! (more…)

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Strawberries with Zabaione

March 4, 2011

Strawberries with Zabaione

Between last week’s champagne bar and this week’s warm weather, I’m starting to develop a craving for strawberries. Last year I planted around 4 plants, which yielded my husband and I around 2 miniature strawberries every couple of weeks. While the sweet taste is worth it, I’m going to need a bit more than that to make one of my favorite desserts, Strawberries with Zabaione. This dessert isn’t too sweet, and the zabaione and balsamic complement the strawberries flavor without overwhelming it. It’s the perfect way to enjoy flavorful strawberries from the farmer’s market or your backyard when they start appearing. (more…)

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Lovely Lunches: Tuna Salad

March 1, 2011

Tuna Salad

A few years ago, I would have never guessed at my love for tinned tuna. It smelled to me like something a cat would eat. Then one day in Florence, my husband and I ducked into a little shop to grab a bite to eat. We speak no Italian, so I’m not quite sure what I thought the woman offered me, but I nodded. Tonno it was!

She warmed up my sandwich, and we were back out the door, eating as we walked toward the Duomo. “I’m not sure what this is, but it’s good!” A few more bites and I realized it was tuna, with a bit of tomato sauce, a hint of cheese, and some onion. It was like the Tonno Cippolle from La Pizzeria, only on a sandwich bun (and now one of my favorite pizzas). So that’s the story of how I came to love canned tuna, packed in olive oil.

The salad, however, is something I recently tried at Cafe Campbell, and I decided it would make a great lunch to take to work. Creamy cannellini beans mix with the tuna and onion and a sweet balsamic vinaigrette. Sweet, tangy, salty, delicious! (more…)

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