Spanish picnic, part 3: Zucchini cakes

August 16, 2013

Zucchini Cake

The final recipe from the Spanish picnic I enjoyed with friends a couple of weeks ago, the zucchini cake is a pretty versatile recipe that’s simultaneously at home for a chi-chi dinner party or low key enough for popping a couple in your mouth as you run out the door in the morning heading for work. It can be made in a pie plate or a muffin tin, and it makes great use of that proliferous summer vegetable, the zucchini.

For our picnic, I chose to make individual versions in a muffin tin, so I could only take with me what was needed for the day. These can be eaten warm, cold, or at room temperature, so it was a perfect food for a picnic. (more…)

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Sunday breakfasts: Poached eggs on a bed of spinach and tomatoes

April 3, 2011

Poached eggs on a bed of spinach and tomatoes

For years, I refused to eat eggs. I had eaten them as a kid and somewhere along the way, I decided I didn’t like them. Then came the college years, and one morning while peering into my fridge, looking for something to eat, I decided if I put enough cheese in a scrambled egg it might be edible. Surprise! It was!

So for a few more years, I only ate scrambled eggs, with a liberal amount of cheese. Then I branched out to scrambled egg with cheese and sausage, or basically an omelet. Then one day, sitting down to breakfast at Brennan’s, I decided, “What the hell! Let’s try an Eggs Benedict!”. A discovery was made. I don’t really like my eggs scrambled. I love runny egg yolk. Poached, over-easy, sunny-side-up, fried – eggs are friggin’ delicious this way. There’s really not much better than sliding your fork into the yolk area and watching it pour out everywhere.

Which leads me to this Sunday morning breakfast. Had I not had the epiphany while sitting at Brennan’s, sipping a Mr. Funk, I would have never tried this recipe. And I never would have discovered how perfect the combination of tomatoes, spinach, and egg yolk is. (more…)

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A bit o’ green for St. Patty’s

March 17, 2011

Asparagus Soup with Fried Egg

While it’s not traditional Irish fare, I’m so looking forward to asparagus to be back in season so I can create this super-simple, beautifully green soup, so it seemed apropos for this spring day. For this recipe you won’t need vegetable stock, nor will you need to do a lot of chopping. Simply boil the asparagus, onion, and garlic, puree, and top with fried egg, baguette, and a few garnishes of asparagus. Serve with J’s sparkling wine, and you’ve got a match made in heaven. Springy, green flavors all over your palate.

Drooling yet? Then I know you’ll want the recipe… (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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