Posts tagged condiments
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

tomato jam

tomato jam

Depending on who you talk to, tomatoes are either gone already, will be gone tomorrow, next week, or by the end of September. That gives me little comfort. For one, if you love tomatoes as much as I do, you’re paralyzed with fear every time you go to the farmers’ market. Will some tomatoes remain, or will they be gone for good? It’s unfair that for a crop this glorious, this celebrated, we’re given but a few weeks’ time to truly make good use of it.

So far, I’ve been in luck. Ripe Romas, tiny grape and cherry tomatoes, heirlooms of all shapes and sizes have greeted me at farm stands. I know I’m on borrowed time, so each market trip, I lug home as many tomatoes as I can – our entire dining room table is covered with them. You might wonder where we eat dinner – well, so do we. And sadly, ripe market tomatoes have a limited shelf life – heavy, with delicate skin, some crack or bruise while en route home.

Continue reading tomato jam.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

roasted salsa

roasted salsa

Come tomorrow, I suspect many of you will be firing up your grills and having a celebratory cookout. I have one thing to say to all of you planning on doing this – I am extremely jealous. We, urban dwellers, try as we might to boast that city living is the way to go, are actually quite jealous of all the backyard fun everyone else is having. Which is probably why New Yorkers love to invite themselves over to summer houses, suburban havens, and anyone in the tri-state area lucky enough to own a grill (there are some lucky balcony owners out there).

This Fourth of July, Andrew, Russell, and I will be grill-less, but that won’t stop us from celebrating in as much style as we possibly can, with fried chicken, corn on the cob, and blueberry cobbler. Really, we’re just trying to make our friends with grills jealous (far fetched as that may be). When life does not give us grill, we deep-fry instead.

Continue reading roasted salsa.

Friday, February 18, 2011

pesto

manually chopping

Pesto and I had a bit of a rough start. I first tried it on a pizza and I didn’t like it. We were sitting in a North End pizzeria in Boston, on a middle-school trip, and a girl I thought was amazingly cool and knew all things worth knowing, ordered a pizza with pesto. I had no idea what it was, and was too shy to ask, not wanting to seem even less cool than I already was.

A few minutes later it arrived, golden and bubbling, studded with green, oily blobs of pesto. It was potent and garlicky-smelling, but it wasn’t calling out to me. My suspicions proved right – aside from not looking good, it also wasn’t very good. It tasted stale, rancid, and too oily. Looking back, I realize it wasn’t very good pesto, but back then I just thought pesto wasn’t for me. I didn’t know the difference between good and bad.

Continue reading pesto.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

spring garlic and dill pesto

dill pesto

There comes a time, in every pantry’s life, when you have to manage your resources. It’s almost shameful to be a cook and let your food spoil. KS, at heart, is a functional, practical, resource-allocating cook. I, on the other hand, have my head in the clouds, dreaming of dinners in the afternoon and compiling a mental check list of food stuffs to pick up en route home. It mostly works out well, as we balance each other out, me with my flights of fancy, and him with a practical approach to our crisper. The Swiss chard, among other vegetables thanks him for it.

But sometimes, I too exhibit practical, creative thoughts when it comes to resource management with our perishables. I look at our ingredients in need of attention et voilà, a dish is born. This time, I think I did quite well – not to pat myself on the back!

little bowties

From my farmers market trip on Saturday, our fridge still held among other things, half a bunch of dill, some green onions and the spring garlic that I simply cannot get enough of. The spring garlic came with long, exotic looking greens that looked beautiful enough to use as flowers in a large vase, if only I didn’t have plans for them of the kitchen variety. I stared at these ingredients long enough to realize I had half a cup of pine nuts sitting around. And suddenly it all came together – a dill pesto with green onions and spring garlic greens!

verdant

Growing up, I used to joke that if my mother could make cupcakes out of dill, she would. Of course, that which we mock when we’re young comes to afflict us when we grow up. Surely enough, I am as much of a dill fanatic, if not more so, than my mother, and I bet she’s having the last laugh now. The pesto, a summery twist on a classic, came out beautifully, with a delicate summer flavor and a pungent garlic bite that gave the perfect dressing for our bow-tie pasta, which, I am ashamed to admit; we bought, and did not make. And I am certain that as I ate my bow-ties by the spoonfuls, I heard the pasta machine whimper in the pantry.

Continue reading spring garlic and dill pesto.