September, 2006 Archive

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

giardiniera

giardiniera 1

I got a real hoot (yup, said it) out of Molly’s entry a few weeks ago as her significant other and mine are clearly plucked from similar brine, that is, packed with a penchance for the pickled. (I’ll be here all week.)

One of the first big family events Alex took me to shortly after we began dating was a 55th birthday party for his father, no small affair, at a Russian restaurant. Course after course, platters arrived with pickled celery, lettuce and – I kid you not – watermelon to accompany the smoked fish, dumplings, caviar and all sorts of gamey meats. Do I need to mention the vodka? No, didn’t think so.

Continued after the jump »

Monday, September 11, 2006

summer squash soup

summer-squash soup with parsley mint pistou

I find it funny now — what with my obvious fascination with stirring up soups aplenty — that a couple years ago I didn’t care for them at all. Everything about the taste of vegetables boiled in flavored water until their structures compromised made my stomach turn and to this day, even the liveliest minestrone invokes a bad memory of flavor-sapped herbs and formless noodles. Even those that came close to passing muster were so laden with salt, I’d find myself aching for a glass of water after a bowl of something that was supposed to be soothing.

Continued after the jump »

Saturday, September 9, 2006

romaine pesto and egg-stuffed tomatoes

romaine pesto and egg-stuffed tomatoes

“Romaine? Like the lettuce?”
“Like the lettuce. And parsley, you make it into a pesto.”
“But not with basil?”
“No. And then you scoop out a tomato and you put it in the bottom and bake an egg in it.”
“I don’t know, Deb, it sounds kind of weird.”
“It does, right? I mean, pureed lettuce? Blech.”
“So why make it?”
“It’s calling to me.”

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

key lime tart

ina garten's key lime tart(lets)

From the self-indicting delight of tiny infant fists gripping grownup forefingers to the calculated pinhole photography that lines my cubicle, I’m one of those girls, it seems, that can’t get enough of diminutive proportions. This absorption extends to the culinary world; from miniature artichokes and petite eggplants to pearl onions and microscopic zucchini, I find Lilliputian produce irresistible, and am incapable of not bringing them home by the bagful and readying them for their close-ups.

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Sunday, September 3, 2006

silky cauliflower soup

silky cauliflower soup

Look, I’m not going to call Friday night’s dinner a disaster. For one, my husband would jump its undeserving defense and hey, nobody went to bed hungry, did they? But, I hated it. It was a tremendous amount of labor for a just shy of average outcome, none of the dishes lived up to my taste bud’s anticipation of them and even looking at the photos as well as the ample leftovers the next morning, ugh, I just wanted it all to go away. We can’t be great cooks every night, can we? I suppose some disappointing baigan bharta, oily cauliflower with onions and tomatoes and lackluster naan are small prices to pay for lucking out round one with garlic soups and sable cookies.

Continued after the jump »