napa cabbage

get your veggies. spring rolls

Anyone else tired of winter vegetables? I can’t look at another cauliflower and even my beloved brussels sprouts are getting the side eye. I miss my farmers’ foods. It must be March. Spring rolls to the rescue. Yesterday, late afternoon at my not-fancy neighborhood grocery store, everything looked limp. The chard was sad, the kale was picked over. Big bunched broccoli was piled high, as was its cousin cauliflower. Fresh but I see I am not alone in the over-cruciferication of my dinner table. Looking around, no one else had broccoli or cauliflower in their cart. I would have been happy with some bok choy but it was nowhere to be found. Of all the offerings, really, only the Napa cabbage looked appealing. Napa often […]

gloriousvegetablesofitaly

tomato soup weather

It’s been a long winter of soups. I don’t know about you, but I’m about at the end of my personal soup repertoire. When this last blast of polar vortex arrived, I needed help and I turned to Domenica Marchetti for her soup savvy. Domenica is the author of The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy, The Glorious Pastas of Italy and last year’s The Glorious Vegetables of Italy (all from Chronicle Books). Tomato soup conjurs up so many memories. For some, it’s the Campbell’s variety, sometimes made with milk.  We grow up and tomato soup gets a little more finesse.  Grilled cheese croutons on garlic laced satiny tomato broth.  Spirals of crema. Chiles as an undertone. Corn. Bacon. You recognize all those iterations, don’t you? […]

hazelnuts

brussels sprouts go nuts

Good heavens I love brussels sprouts. It always amazes me when someone says they don’t like them. Frank Bruni covers how our food tastes change in this smart piece from this week’s NYTimes Dining section and, naturally, sprouts make the list. But I don’t care what those naysayers say, I’m crazy about sprouts. I make this recipe all the time. And a stunning brussels sprout pie with feta and phyllo that’s perfect for vegetarians at Thanksgiving. Brussels are more than delicious. They are “powerhouses of nutrition” according to TreeHugger. Match them with hazelnuts. Add cheese. It’s a sprout party. Here’s how this recipe came to be. Last month I had a whirlwind, wonderful trip to New York. Of course, I had meetings at W. W. […]

marmaladeattempt

a mountain of meyer lemons. limoncello and crema di limoncello

I’ve been working through a glorious box of Meyer lemons from the Lemon Ladies. Every year, I treat myself to a box of lemons from California and their lemons are the most beautiful, floral, bright sunny yellow fruits I’ve ever seen. I made lemon possets, of course, because they’re just about the best dessert in the world. Serve with gingersnaps. I made lemon curd because it is a food of the gods. I’ve toyed with a dozen recipes for shelf stable lemon curd, but I just don’t feel good about putting dairy and eggs in a jar and canning it, even pressure canning, so I put lemon curd in the refrigerator, where it lasts about three months, or in the freezer, where it will keep […]

OpenBook

a cheese souffle for morty

A cheese soufflé is old school and oh so satisfying. I’m feeling the need for warm, comforting food with another winter storm zooming our way. I’m thinking we should start a movement to bring back the soufflé. I’ll bet you have most of the ingredients already in your house. Say yes to something cheesy and warm. Something simple to prepare that looks and tastes super fancy. I took out napkin rings and the good plates. Lit candles. After all, we have something to celebrate. Our family has expanded. Meet Morty. He’s a two year old miniature schnauzer, silver gray, 16 pounds of exuberance. Poor little guy was abandoned at a high-kill shelter a couple of weeks ago and ever since, he’s had a rough go. Shelter nights. […]

Pound Cake 1

homemade butter for perfect pound cake

When I received a gift of fresh (raw) cream last week, my first thought was pound cake. You see, I knew the cream would become butter. And then the butter would become cake. And when I returned from the market with some beautiful Arucana (blue) hen eggs, well, that was just the nudge I needed. I am a big fan of pound cake. I’ve made dozens of different recipes, but I’m here to tell you: Edna Lewis’ pound cake is perfection. And the beauty of the recipe is in the simplicity. Butter, eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla and a little lemon. I bet you have all of those ingredients in your house right now. I first encountered Miss Lewis’ pound cake in her terrific book, The Taste […]