Feb 222019

Romanesco and White Bean Pasta

Plated romanesco and white bean pasta

Delicately flavored romanesco mixed with white beans and green onions with just a hint of spice tops this pasta for a quick meal. Romanesco is one of those vegetables I really enjoy when it’s in season, since it is very hard to find out of season. Fortunately, the new CSA has been providing. I think I might be running out of innovative options for cooking with romanesco. Unlike cauliflower or broccoli, it has such a delicate flavor that I really don’t want to drown in sauce or over-cook. Also, it just looks pretty with that Fibonacci spiral – you’re eating…Continue Reading

Feb 122019

Cauliflower and Parsnip Soup

An earthy, wintery soup with cauliflower and parsnip that is rich and creamy, highlighting the subtle sweetness of parsnip as an under-appreciated vegetable. What would winter be without creamy vegetable soups? Especially when they don’t even include cream. Inspired by the ingredients I had in the fridge at the time, this parsnip and cauliflower is wonderfully warm when it gets so frosty out that the dog is refusing to go outside. Dyson really will do anything to avoid the outdoors when it is cold or rainy. We haven’t tried introducing him to snow yet, but that may have to be…Continue Reading

Jan 222019

Watermelon Radish and Pomelo Salad

Watermelon radish salad side view

Baby lettuces with colourful watermelon radishes and pomelo are dressed with a sweet maple balsamic vinaigrette and almonds for a light salad that works beautifully in winter to counter all those rich dishes that cold weather invites. I started getting a new CSA box recently which I have been quite pleased with. There have been some interesting finds that have shown up, like these small lettuce heads which came as part of the “stir fry mix”. They were just the sort of thing that would look amazing on a plate as part of simple salad. Within the same week we…Continue Reading

Dec 262018

A Radish Green Sauce for Fish

Often, I like to work with the pieces of produce and meat that don’t get much use. The tops of root vegetables, hock bones, and peels. Radish greens don’t get a lot of love, except as the occasional odd pesto variant. Here I used that same principle but made it a little saucier to complement the fish I was working with (it would also work very well on chicken).  I don’t cook or eat much fish. I didn’t use to like it at all, but I’ve since realized that is mostly because of how it was prepared/varieties that were very…Continue Reading

Nov 242018

Fall Kale Salad

Now that we are back to being between holidays (so everyone is not going crazy over turkey and sweet potato everything), it’s definitely time to enjoy some of the other flavors of fall. Kale is definitely one of those flavors. I know it was all the rage several years ago and has fallen somewhat out of favor (to be replaced by avocado for the moment), but I really like using it in salads. It gives the salad a much heartier flavor and meatier mouthfeel that makes you feel like you are eating more. It also balances very well with the…Continue Reading

Oct 132018

Caponata

When the garden started producing lots of eggplant, I started experimenting with caponata since I really like vegetable chutneys. But since it’s me, I failed to follow a recipe in any way. So this is a very non-traditional caponata that tastes excellent on crusty bread or pita. I did start with recipes from Smitten Kitchen and Bon Appetit, augmenting them for the flavors I like. I really liked Smitten Kitchen’s inclusion of pine nuts for some textural contrast, but I didn’t have celery or olives, so I included peppers for flavor and reduced the onion a bit. I also changed…Continue Reading

Oct 072018

Roasted Vegetables and Chickpeas with Pita

A couple of months ago, I gave you a multitude of ways to make pita/flatbread, but no serving ideas. So now I’m remedying that with some lightly roasted vegetables, seasoned with olive oil and paprika for a Mediterranean flair. I hate to use the terms easy or quick too frequently as others might associate dishes with a different difficult level than I do, but this is something that can be put together in under 30 minutes (assuming you already have the bread made or bought). When we ate this it was without any extras, but there are certainly things you…Continue Reading

Aug 252018

Sweet Corn and Tomato Gazpacho

This corn gazpacho is the soup entry I did for the Fairfield Tomato Festival cooking competition, and actually the recipe I was most please with. It may have only gotten second place in its category, but it is an amazing summer soup. For one thing: gazpacho = no cooking, which is great when there have been too many 90F + days. This was actually my first attempt at gazpacho. In true me fashion, I ended up trying multiple batches at once, both this and a cherry and tarragon version. I’ve had a cherry gazpacho before when I was working in…Continue Reading

Aug 212018

Tomato Coconut Chicken

Continuing on the trend of contest entries, I participated in the cooking competition hosted by Il Fiorello as part of this last weekend’s Fairfield Tomato Festival. Obviously, the parameters involved tomatoes. I did several entries as there were multiple categories and I wanted to push myself. For the soup I did a sweet corn and tomato gazpacho, as a salad I did a fried eggplant, tomato, and onion, and for the sauce category I did this tomato coconut chicken – which won the sauce category (even though I think it kind of stretches the definition of sauce). I will post…Continue Reading

Jul 182018

Zucchini and Steak Salad with Basil Dressing

And so we continue with the recipes from my excess of zucchini. Also considering the ridiculous temperatures in Northern California in the last few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of salads. This zucchini and steak salad is one of my successful attempts to balance my desire for cold refreshing salads with H’s current need for a lot of protein (he is currently training for an iron man). That has meant that a lot of our meals are light salads with lots of raw fruits and vegetables topped with meat of some kind. Not particularly ingenious, but it works. This…Continue Reading