I just love the farmers market during Summer.  This is not my fave season, although if you have friends with a beach house — as it turns out I do —  life is certainly greatly improved.  But, goodness, the market is lush with fruits and vegetables for the most healthful cooking.  And, living.

Of course, we are in the middle of peach season – yummy.  Eaten in the hand, or sliced into whole grain cereal and a dash of nutmeg, or macerated in cognac with a scrape of vanilla bean.  And, that’s if you aren’t going to cook cobblers, pies, crumbles.

Summer Wonders

Summer Wonders

This weekend, at the Union Square greenmarket in Manhattan, I happened upon the cutest little tomatoes.  Larger than cherries, smaller than standard.  With a deep orange/red color and topped with a dash of burgundy.  Wonderful.  I cut them up and added them to my sautéed fairytale eggplants, with some roast chicken.  And a crumble of James Brown blue cheese from the Cato Corner farm.

I would show you that dish, but gee, it seems to have disappeared.  But, here are some of my market goodies sitting on my NYC kitchen windowsill.

 

This is the time of the year when I cook up some of my grandmother’s garden vegetable dishes: with fresh green beans or zucchini. When I was growing up, you could not get me to eat them.  Now, they are not only redolent and evocative of my youth, they are simply delicious!

Grandma’s Green Beans

2 Tomatoes (Beefsteak are fine, no sense overpaying for heirlooms at this time of the year)

3 handfuls of Green beans (look for those flat Roma beans – but any type or color will work)

2 or 3 smallish Potatoes (I like the little Yukon Golds — starting to see the first picks of the season)

3-4 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cut up the tomatoes, put them in a saucepan first — they create most of the liquid you will need for this dish.  Cut up the potatoes into biggish chunks then toss in the green beans. I remove the ends – cook’s choice.  Drizzle on the olive oil, pour in (maybe) a couple of tablespoons of water, salt and pepper.  Put on the lid and cook at a low, slow simmer.  20-30 minutes or so.  This is no al dente affair.  More like a vegetable stew.  I let the potatoes determine the length of the cook.  If you pick a potato that can stand up to the cook, you should be fine.

Buon appetito!

 

 

Advertisements

I am a big fan of frittatas — whether whole egg, whole/egg white mix, or just egg whites — it is a great way to use some leftover vegetables – and, maybe, but not necessarily, just a little cheese as condiment.

So, I was surprised to learn a new addition to my usual frittata that I had never even considered: Greek Yogurt.  The UBIQUITOUS protein-rich greek yogurt.

It is from the New York Times fabulous health writer and recipe maven, Martha Rose Shulman. Her recipes always work, and she has this great technique of teasing out the flavors.  A recent recipe for a frittata with chard and green garlic – calls also for greek yogurt.

I made a successful batch this week.  Check it out!  And, tried it in another version of a frittata.  Everything Shulman devises works out well.

 

 

Keep Your Hands OFF My Corn

This will be a short post.  I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE RIP OFF OUTER HUSK OF CORN at the Farmers Market.  Of course, it is bad enough when they do it – but forgivable if they place it in their bag.  But then, what’s the point of that!?

What is simply not acceptable is ripping down the husk and putting the ear back on the pile.  Really!?!

So many reasons why that is wrong:

  • You don’t need to rip open an ear of corn to see if it is edible. Feel the damn thing and you can sense any rot. Otherwise, a couple of missing niblets is no big.
  • If you rip it open – even just to look at the top — and see some kernels missing – you may think that is bad.  When, in fact, it may indicate that some sort of beastie loved the corn because it was succulent.  Which can be perfect for you.
  • I am shopping.  I see a nice looking ear of corn. I look more closely and see that it is drying out because some fool ripped it open and tossed it back on the pile

See my point!!! Take a chance to spend 50¢ on something that just MAY be imperfect. You know: like life.

I have to say from the outset – I have always felt proud of the fact that I am so good with change. My work has changed. My life has changed. My body, my apartments, my friends. But, I find myself baffled about something: why am I so averse to FOOD changes?

This surprises me. I suppose I find some comfort in the knowledge that I can be shaken out of complacency on the “change” front. That’s what acceptance of change is all about — going with the flow, as they say.

I have this wonderful t-shirt I bought at Snoqualmie Falls, outside of Seattle. It says “Advice from a Waterfall” – which in itself is a lovely thought. We can imagine a tree — like those in the Wizard of Oz – with its arms and full head of leaves – knotholes for squirrels and for talking — anthropomorphic. But, waterfalls?

(more…)

My very sage friend, Amy, nudged me today to get back into writing my blog. We both agree that it just takes that first entry to get revved up again.

So, I make no promises that this will be coherent, but it will reflect my day and my thoughts nonetheless.

I went to the Greenmarket at Union Square in Manhattan on this beautiful, slightly overcast Spring day. It is a regular thing I do on Saturdays. I take my market bag — bought many years ago at a farmers market in Provence. It’s a lovely bag, sold by a French woman who had taken the classic market bag– and we’re talking hearty straw bag made in Morocco. With sturdy leather handles. And she handpainted it for sale at that market in Nyons.
(more…)

Enough with the wah-wah “I’m not in Kansas anymore” pity party about your Italian vacation and there being NOTHING TO EAT in America.  C’mon!!!

This is how to do it:  get off your vacation exhausted duff (okay, do some yoga first).  Let the airplane headache pass and move on.  Or, just plain move.  I walked to my Weight Watchers meeting and saw that, yes, Virginia, there ARE consequences to your cornetto eating – but basta!  Enough.  Move on.

NYC Italian Coffee Bar

I walked to my favorite coffee bar in NYC — Tarallucci & Vino — a completely Italian place, I presume owned by Italians, but if not – certainly the people who work there are speaking the mother tongue.  And, their customers are.  So, too, the bambini.  I ordered un espresso DOPPIO – figured that being in NYC – I couldn’t just order caffé like in Rome and expect to get espresso.  Squisito!

Greenmarket Goodies

A short stroll away: our version of the Campo dei Fiori – without the statue of the executed guy.  The Greenmarket at Union Square.  I filled my market bag to overflowing: beets with succulent greens still attached.  Radishes, broccoli, cauliflower.  I love fall greenmarkets with its squashes, pumpkins and potatoes.

There you have it.  Pure food: the American way.  Now, start cooking.