a small celebration

tomato harvest

We had a little impromptu celebration the other night, in honor of my first published piece of food writing. Nothing fancy, just some rotini pasta tossed with garlic scape pesto from the freezer and some hot Italian sausages, a salad with balsamic vinaigrette, a bottle of Bonny Doon Dolcetto, and a bowl of all the ripe tomatoes left on the vine. Easy to throw together, and fun to eat while curled up on the couch watching a very stupid movie. Sometimes you don’t want to have to try too hard.

pasta

real grilled cheese

eating outside

We were able to have dinner outside again last weekend, only by dint of rubbing ourselves with mosquito repellent wipes and setting citronella candles all around the perimeter of the patio. Even so, I got three bites on my feet and one on my hand. Blech.

grilling halloumi

Still, it was nice to sit out in the yard and drink splendid rosé and eat halloumi, hot off the grill. If that’s not what summer’s all about, then I don’t know what is. Continue reading

roasted balsamic tomatoes

salmon and roasted tomato

I haven’t been feeling a lot of inspiration this week, so I’ve been depending on stopping by the co-op after work each day and seeing what catches my eye first. One night it resulted in a very nice pork tenderloin , with a pilaf of wild rice, mushrooms, shallot, spinach and roasted sweet potatoes, so that worked out all right.

For the next night I had an idea that I would get some fish, probably salmon. No idea what I wanted for a side dish, so I grabbed a cookbook that I hadn’t yet done a thing with, Jamie’s Kitchen by Jamie Oliver. After a quick flip through I was struck by a lovely photo of a panful of roasted tomatoes stuffed with bay leaves (I guess I am all about the pretty pictures), and decided that if I could find the ingredients I would do it. Of course tomatoes are SO not in season right now, but the co-op had some decent hothouse romas, and I had basil in the fridge and my own garlic and bay leaves from the garden. Jamie calls for baby leeks, but that just wasn’t going to happen.

tomatoes ready to roast Continue reading

Meatballs with arrabbiata sauce

chopping garlic
One of our tried-and-true, easy to make, yummy weeknight dinners. Both the meatballs and the sauce are inspired by recipes out of Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, and are basically just vehicles for garlic. And an excuse to drink red wine.

J almost always makes the meatballs in this house – here’s how he did these. He started with two pounds of ground beef, almost the last of our local half-a-cow that we bought last year. The beef was mixed with 1/2 cup each of bread crumbs and milk, two eggs, salt and pepper, and a head (yes, a head!) of chopped garlic. The original Bittman recipe called for onion, but the first time J made it we were out. He substituted garlic (which we grow ourselves), and we liked it so much it stuck. The meatballs get baked for about 20 minutes in a 375° oven. We generally use parchment paper, it helps tremendously for cleanup. Continue reading