Baingan-less Bharta (or One Pot South Asian Zucchini)

Baingan-less Bharta

I struggled to fit yet another arm load of zucchini and squash from my CSA weekly farm share into the vegetable drawer.  Something needed to be done about this and fast.  I knew that, before I could blink, Saturday’s CSA pickup would roll around again and I’d have no choice but to build a fort made of vegetables and fruit.  Continue reading

Virtuous Comfort Food: Soba Noodle Soup with Miso and Veggies

IngredientsThis endless and bone chilling winter is really getting old.  In times like these, comfort food is in order.  But the steaming pots of beef stew, pasta, bread and cheese haven’t tasted quite as good since my pants have been cutting off my circulation.  I’m certainly not looking to cut these essential food groups out, but sometimes I need another hot, comforting meal that makes me feel like, one day, I can wear shorts again.

I decided to make a hot, soba noodle soup.  It would have a flavorful but light broth and lots of veggies.  And, soba noodles are made from buckwheat which sounds awfully healthful to me.

Rags to Riches: Summer Squash Salad with Basil and Chilies

Summer Squash
I took a “brief” break there…

Much has happened since my last post.  Work has taken me to Asia multiple times (I’ll be sure to share my noodle soup recipe once the weather gets cold…but let’s not talk about the cold yet), the dog is properly house trained but has developed a fear of anything on wheels, and the cats have begrudgingly accepted this 4-legged intruder isn’t leaving any time soon.

Anyway, let’s talk about summer squash.  I know, it’s getting crazy.

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Kiwi Kwiki: Croque-Madame

In honor of Madame Julia Child’s 100th birthday, there was croque-madame.  I’ve made this archive Gourmet recipe many times – sometimes even using farmhouse cheddar – and it has never disappointed.  I don’t think it ever will.
There is something so satisfying about watching a cheesy béchamel bubble and brown under the broiler on a rainy night.  Topped with a slow cooked fried egg, it all comes together.  Depth from the browned Gruyere cheese, salt from the ham, bite from the Dijon mustard, crunch from the sourdough crust.  Serve with a crisp salad of arugula, frisée and paper thin red onion and you’re in business.
 
 Bon Appétit et Bon Anniversaire, Madame!

Cute to Cunning: Grilled Peach and Ricotta Salad with Arugula, Walnuts and Honey-Thyme Vinaigrette

My arms were full but they were so cute.  Perched on the edge of a table at the farmers market, you couldn’t walk passed without giving at least an endearing glance at the little cartons of donut peaches.  They would become dinner.

I love salads with oomph.  It’s hard to accomplish without bacon, but it’s possible if you have cheese and grill marks.  Both were at my fingertips.

I started with the cheese.  The thought of creating it yourself in your own kitchen is extremely exciting.  What’s fantastic about homemade ricotta, is that it’s delicious and incredibly simple to make.  I’m not joking.  I’d never tried it before because I hadn’t taken the 3 minutes to buy cheesecloth (the only specialty item required).  That’s actually the hardest step, buying the cheesecloth.  So, once that laborious process is over, you can get into comfy clothes, make ricotta and drizzle the leftover (nutritious) whey on your dog’s dinner.  (Yes whey.)

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Olympic Proportions: “Rata-two-ie” or Ratatouille Two Ways

It must have been the sound of women’s gymnastics in the background.  I wanted to make ratatouille, but didn’t want it in just one form.  I wanted two incarnations, two opposing flavor profiles.  A competition of nations.  So, I made rata-TWO-ie.

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