summer loving

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Oh, you know me, Miss Always Needing the Next New Thing, Miss No, I Don’t Want To Make That Flawless Recipe That We Loved Again, I’ve Already Made It. But this Sunday, the Union Square Greenmarket got the better of me, and I dug into the recipe archive and admitted that there were three recipes that if not made again, it would be a crying shame. And there will be no crying in the Smitten Kitchen, okay? (Not when there is enough shame about what ever happened to those leftover brownie bits from Friday, ahem, at least.)

Because the tomatoes are in season, and if you’ve never taken a thick slice of an knobby and goofy-colored heirloom tomato and laid it on a piece of whole wheat sourdough miche and topped it with a few drops of fruity olive oil and some flakes of sea salt and sunk into a chair on your first bite, overwhelmed by the revelation of it, I want you to close your browser window, shut off your computer, and go out right now and do it. Or at least sometime very soon. You are owed this, I promise. I want you to have it.

Eggplant is also in season, as are zucchini, carrots, radishes, peaches and other stone fruit and berries and onions of every variety, and although we were just going to walk through Union Square and see what struck us, I should know after all these years of knowing me that this would be a mess. I am incapable of leaving a farmers’ market with anything less than way too much stuff to carry home.

Sunday night, we revisited the Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad, and my god, if possible, it was even more incredible with farm-fresh vegetables.

For dessert, as promised, I went back to the sauced berries from the Summer Berry Pudding that had left me swooning, skipped the soggy bread and poured the goodness over an angel food cake slice from Whole Foods, which until I get my own tube pan, is a fantastic substitution for homemade. I’m always impressed with how moist they get it. This might be my new, preferred, not-too-bad-for-you summer dessert.

And last night, oh baby, last night I roasted as many baby roma tomatoes I could find with small basket of red cippoline onions with olive oil and sea salt and cracked pepper until they were blistered and wilted and scraped this whole mess with every last iota of juices over a few cups of white beans with a chiffonade of basil on top and then I fainted with joy, only coming back to for long enough to run a heel of ciabatta loaf through what was left at the bottom of the bowl. Roasted Tomatoes and Cippoline Onions Over White Beans isn’t my favorite summer dinner in the whole entire world for nothing.


And also: Thank you so much to all of you who have emailed and commented with suggestions for what we should do in Napa. I have written down every single one, with a little tally for how many times they’ve been voted for! Our plans are starting to come together, but what we could still use–if you don’t mind me leaning on your some more–is some suggestions for off-the-beaten-track, smaller wineries, which seem more our speed. As a repayment, I will drink a glass in every one of your honors. Okay, fine, that would be deadly. But I am thinking of bringing the laptop and uploading pictures throughout the weekend of the trip that you sent us on. Hooray!

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