Summer’s Simple Pleasures

July 18, 2011

Caprese salad

It’s that time of year again! When tomatoes start ripening, and the basil grows big and bushy. Of course, I’ve killed my basil and I only have one ripe San Marzano thus far, but that isn’t holding me back. My CSA was full of Roma tomatoes and basil this week, and what better to make than the classic combo — tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella — a Caprese salad.

During summer I eat these every chance I get. Breakfast, snack, lunch, appetizer, between two slices of bread if I need more sustenance. While you could simply throw the three ingredients together and it would taste wonderful, there are a couple of additions that I like to add to take this over the top. Want to know what they are? (more…)

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Cooking with the CSA

June 15, 2011

Grilled Chicken with Mustard and Fava Bean Puree

While my garden is starting to produce the first harvestable crops, my CSA has been dumping the veggies of late winter/early spring on me for a while now, and I had more than a few items piling up in my fridge. So I decided to try a recipe from my CSA’s blog and use up the fava beans that had been sitting in my fridge for more than a week. It was a “sauce” that could be tossed with pasta or served with meats. While this would probably be out of this world with lamb, I happened to have chicken breasts on hand, and that turned out to be pretty out of this world too. I decided to add a little flavor to the chicken as well, giving it a hint of mustard and garlic before hitting the grill. (more…)

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Braised Kale with Polenta

June 5, 2011

Braised Kale with Polenta

My first crop of kale finally came in (from the Red Russian plant) and while I had anticipated making something summery, like the Kale and Ricotta Salata Salad, it’s been so cool and rainy here that I decided to instead do a favorite that I never got around to this past winter (has winter really passed given that it’s been 60 and rainy?). I stumbled upon this recipe for Braised Lacitano Kale with Tomato and Anchovy Soffritto in the A16 cookbook, and it was the first way I ever made kale. I fell in love and didn’t branch out trying other recipes for quite a while.

This is the perfect meal for a chilly night. It feels somewhat healthy, but it’s hearty at the same time and will be sure to fill you up. (more…)

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See How My Garden Grows: Spring 2011 Edition

May 16, 2011

Strawberries

Instead of writing about something I’ve made, I thought I’d give you a preview of what I will be (hopefully!!) writing about this summer when the bounty of the fruits and veggies I’ve planted come in.

Last year, I planted a large pot with four wild strawberry plants, and Raju and I looked forward to the strawberries ripening one or two at a time. These guys taste so much better than the supermarket variety, so this year I planted 5 planters of strawberries. So maybe we can look forward to 5 strawberries at a time, or dare to dream, 10! (more…)

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First recipe with my home-grown brussels sprouts!

January 18, 2011

Mother-In-Law's Tongue with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

This weekend, after 10 months of growing, I finally harvested my brussels sprouts, one of the first vegetables I planted in my garden. We yielded a little over 4 pounds, so it was time for me to find some new, delicious recipes to try out.

A while back I remembered seeing a pasta with brussels sprouts, and since I just picked up a box of Mother-In-Law’s Tongue at World Market (beautiful, striped pasta – like a candy cane, only better!), I thought this might be the perfect recipe to search out.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find the pasta I was thinking of, with shaved brussels sprouts, but admittedly, I didn’t try too hard because I stumbled upon this recipe at Martha Stewart for a pasta with bacon and brussels sprouts – one of my favorite pairings! (more…)

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