The season is winding down for my little community garden plot, yet it still continues to surprise me. I still get a nice handful of tomatoes every week and the basil, giant and bushy all summer, is still showing a little life. The massive kale, surprisingly productive peppers and chilies and other hearty herbs will go strong for a few more weeks at least. To my delight, the beans I quickly planted in late August are doing quite well with a few nice bunches of green, yellow and purple beans just in time for the close of the garden. Typical. Over the weekend I looked at the bowl of tomatoes I’ve been collecting, bright orange cherries and slightly larger golf ball size red ones, and thought pasta. I probably let them sit a little too long so this had to happen fast. It was time for an end of the season sauce.
Archive for the ‘seasonal’ Category
Posted in main courses, seasonal, tagged handmade dumplings, handmade pasta, italian dumplings, ricotta dumplings, ricotta gnudi with cherry tomato pesto sauce, sautéed cherry tomato sauce on October 25, 2016 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in appetizers/first courses, salads/dressings, seasonal, side dishes, vegetables, tagged fresh asparagus, italian style asparagus salad, raw salad, shaved asparagus, shaved asparagus salad on May 17, 2016 | Leave a Comment »
The outdoor farmer’s market season started here two weeks ago. This is a big deal for some of us. We Chicagoans view the start of the outdoor market season as a beacon of hope that better, warmer, sunnier weather is coming. Though this past winter wasn’t too bad, we cling desperately to every little sign possible. It’s been a tough start; the first week was chilly and I was caught in a deluge, arriving at my car soaking wet. The second week was downright cold and I received several warnings not to plant the basil plants I had just purchased until it inched up over 55°F. Oh I know, I replied, I’ve been bitten in the ass by that before. We laughed knowingly as only those who have had to yank out frostbitten tender seedlings can. Looking around, I saw the usual suspects of a new market season: asparagus and rhubarb. Harbingers of spring and predictable or not, into my bag they went.
Posted in seasonal, side dishes, vegetables, tagged brunch dishes, brunch vegetable dishes, Easter side dishes, great side dishes for Easter, potato goat cheese strudel, potato puff pastry strudel, puff pastry potato gratin, spring brunch side dishes on March 25, 2016 | Leave a Comment »
Throwing springtime dinner parties, such as Easter dinner and sunny Sunday brunches, perplex me the most. The main dishes are typically set – Easter ham or Polish sausage for example, but filling out the side dishes always give me a pause for thought. Green, spring-y vegetables are a given, such as sugar snap peas and asparagus. Easy. A bright, vinegary cucumber salad is always welcome as is a fruit salad of some sort. But what else?
Posted in holidays, seasonal, side dishes, vegetables, tagged maple glazed squash, maple mustard glazed delicata brussels shallots, roasted squash brussels sprouts, Thanksgiving side dishes, thanksgiving vegetable side dishes on November 17, 2015 | Leave a Comment »
Driving to a friends Wisconsin home a few weeks ago, we passed several farms on our way off the highway, many with big pumpkin displays covering the front lawns. Never one to pass something interesting, I stopped. Coming and going, I stopped. The first time, I bought a giant white pumpkin for 2 bucks and a half dozen delicata squash for 25 cents a piece. Score! On the way home a few days later, I stopped again and picked up a few additional squashes – red kuri, a fat pie pumpkin and some strange blue-grey variety who’s name I’ve long forgotten. I spent a total of $6 on both trips, happily stuffing my dollar bills in the honor box while the farm dogs sniffed my muddy boots. Of course I stopped twice, once in the rain. Wouldn’t you?
Posted in seasonal, tagged Focaccia, Melon jam, minestrone, oatmeal jam bars, Peach frozen yogurt, Pesto, Plum torte, recipes for summer produce, Roasted tomatoes, summer tomato sauce, tomato confit, Tomato peach chutney, tomato tart on September 9, 2015 | 1 Comment »
We’ve rounded the corner on summer when everything hits at once – the last holiday of the season, first days of school, work schedules pick up, garden produce is almost too much to handle and unfortunately, fall is in the air. I’ve been cooking quite a lot these last few weeks, making old favorites a few times over and searching recipes to deal with an overachieving garden. Nearly everything I’ve made has been from a published recipe, executed as written, and they’ve been good. Really good. Good enough that you might want to make some of these things too. So let’s chat.
“Street Food” has been a big, hot food trend for the last few years with everyone and their brother doing some sort of riff. In the right circumstances, it can be a wondrous thing. On a late night in Bangkok, I had the best fried chicken of my life made in a wok perched on the back of a bicycle. The scenery was gorgeous, the cooking set-up was unbelievable and stunningly resourceful and the chicken is something I still dream about. If it hadn’t been 3am when I got back to my hotel, I would have gone back for more. I’ve eaten freshly fried samosas wrapped in newspaper from an Indian doorway, bite size water buffalo dumplings from a giant steamer set up in a Nepalese courtyard and countless tacos from beach peddlers. They were all spectacular. My best travel memories often involve food.