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 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 could…Continue Reading

Sep 252018

Chickpeas with Egg, Grapes, and Tomatoes

Sometimes subtle flavors can be some of the best. You don’t need to drown something in sauce to make it taste good. That’s not to say there aren’t delicious sauces that you might want to put on everything. But there are times when you don’t want to put a bunch of effort into a dish, and that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor. This is one of those quick to throw together dishes which tastes delicious. I tend to keep cooked chickpeas and hard-boiled eggs available as much as possible because they are such easy additions to a salad…Continue Reading

Sep 042018

Turmeric Pickled Deviled Eggs

A few months ago I went to Blind Tiger in Oakland with a friend. One of the items we tried was a trio of pickled deviled eggs (beet ginger, turmeric garlic, black tea shoyu). We both really liked the beet ginger, and well, all of them, so I wanted to create something similar. The garlic was a little much with the turmeric to eat several of, but you can’t really go wrong with the combination of turmeric and ginger so I started from there. I ended up creating a giant platter of them for a party held recently, and they…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

Jun 292018

Flatbread – Cooked Three Ways

I like making flatbreads. I won’t pretend that my flatbreads are particularly amazing in flavor or true to a particular cuisine (even though I call them pita breads), but you can go from “I want some bread” to eating homemade bread in 2 ½ hours. Less proofing time than a standard loaf, no worry about crust consistency, and now cooling time after the bread comes out of the oven. Also, there are a bunch of different ways to cook flatbreads, so you don’t have to heat up the oven if it’s 90F. I do recognize to some the flaw in…Continue Reading

Jun 202018

Tangy Cabbage Salad

This is one of those recipes you are going to look at the directions for and say “Really, is that it?” to me. But sometimes you just need a quick salad that is good for multiple occasions and tastes good. Also, I had a lot of cabbage and needed to do something with it (suitable to way-to-hot weather). In fact, almost all the ingredients in this salad were grown within an hour of where I live. Not the raisins oddly enough. Bad me for not supporting local farms (in my defense there’s primarily wine grapes around where I live rather…Continue Reading

May 222018

Spring Potato Salad

I learned about the concept of panzanella salads from Smitten Kitchen a couple years ago, however I have never really eaten croutons. But I liked the concept of being able to adapt the dish to the season (since I do so much of that already). So I started making similar salads replacing potatoes or other starches for the croutons. It’s basically another way of doing seasonal pasta primaveras (once again, just switch the starch!) which I do all the time. During the portion of the year when the farm stands are inactive or don’t have much variety, I get a…Continue Reading

Apr 192018

Onion and Wine Jam

The second farm stand in the area has opened this week! And unlike my earlier prediction, snap peas actually came before asparagus this year. I always love snap peas from farm stands. These aren’t the anemic things from the grocery store that are just a vehicle to ferry dip to your mouth when they sit on vegetable platters, these are the full bodied perfection of snap peas. Sweet and filling, I almost always buy multiple bags at a time. They make great snacks to munch on while doing computer work. But the other available produce includes the requisite spring onions.…Continue Reading