Posts tagged Vegetables
Thursday, August 7, 2014

mario batali’s eggplant caponata + some news!

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Folks, I have much to tell you, and I had hoped that August would be off to a slow start, but I was wrong. It’s been pretty busy and a few things here and there needed to be done for one of the books, so that’s kept me occupied. We had family visiting over the weekend, and by far, my personal highlight was going through The Food of Spain with my two-year old niece who was riveted. She fell completely and unabashedly in love with Angelita Carcia de Paredes Barreda (an 84-year old Franciscan nun) on page 214 and for twenty minutes straight we played the game of “Where’s the old lady?” She was also really taken by the fried goat cheese, but then again, who wouldn’t be? Fried goat cheese is stuff of the gods, right?

I don’t know why, and there’s no segue or connection to my news or to eggplant caponata I wanted to tell you about, but I’ve been thinking – a lot – about a really good high school friend of mine. When I say really good, she might have been one of the biggest influences in my life. She was fiercely smart – smarter than anyone I’ve ever met – and well educated. She spoke, and picked up, languages with great ease: Russian, Arabic, Farsi. She taught herself ancient Greek; she was fluent in Latin. She introduced me to authors and food; music and theatre – and she had a razor sharp wit. I always, always, looked up to her. She pulled me through some hairy situations and it was wonderful and lovely to spend our post high-school and college years in New York. She took me to a hole in the wall restaurant that served outstanding pasta alla carbonara, she extolled the virtues of cacio e pepe; and I still fondly recall our incredible meals at the now-shuttered, excellent, Cookies and Couscous that served, well, you get the idea. She was incredibly hard to get to know, but through our many years of friendship, there were moments when she’d open up. She was like a sister to me.

And then one day she stopped answering her phone. And then the number became disconnected.

Continue reading mario batali’s eggplant caponata + some news!.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

pickled carrot sticks

pickled carrots sticks

Back in our old apartment, before the move, before the kitchen excavation, our fridge was always full to the gills, except most of if its contents were myriad jars of preserved and pickled things are various stages of fermentation. There was always two jars of kimchi (newly fermented and older), preserved lemons, garlic confit, sauerkraut, quick-pickled onions, a few jams, and jars of anchovies, capers, mustards and the like. When we moved, I had to use up as many of these jars as I possibly could, but inevitably, some of them were thrown out, much to my chagrin.

Then, for several months, while our kitchen was a construction site, it was pointless to have jars of any kind because we didn’t have a kitchen. If we had to make our coffee in the bathroom, there wasn’t much room for preserved goods. Besides, at the time, our refrigerator lived in the dining room.

Continue reading pickled carrot sticks.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

avocado toast and vegetable juice – using up produce before a trip

Breakfast. #nofilter

I wasn’t initially going to post this – after all, is avocado on toast or vegetable juice such novel ideas? But I started to think about how it’s probably not just me who is under the gun in trying to use all of the produce at home before going on a trip. Personally, I hate it when things go to waste, and inevitably, I do find an old bag of yellowing parsley in the back of the crisper. It happens to the best of us.

So what to do when you find yourself in a rather bountiful abundance of fruit and vegetables and only two days left to consume them? In my lack of proper planning, our crisper runneth over. Still. And we leave very early on Saturday morning. What to do?

Continue reading avocado toast and vegetable juice – using up produce before a trip.

Friday, October 12, 2012

sauerkraut

russian sauerkraut

I was all set to write about sauerkraut yesterday, but then something happened. We came home to find our cleaning lady asleep in our bed. And that proved to be a very distracting thing.

Given my ethnic roots, my relationship with cabbage is so strong, I should have been incredibly focused. After all, Russians and cabbage are linked at the hip. We stuff it, we saute it a number of ways, we make soup out it.

Our Brooklyn apartment is small, so when you walk through the door you are immediately standing in the open kitchen, which becomes our living room/home office. Without moving, you can also see into the bedroom where half of our bed peeks out.

When we came back home yesterday mid-afternoon, after working at a coffee shop since the early morning, as soon as we unlocked the door we felt immediately that something was amiss. Bags of garbage were strewn about the kitchen and the entryway, the vacuum was in the middle of the living room, the furniture was off kilter, and every single light in the apartment was on. And then we saw someone’s feet on our bed. It took us a few seconds to figure out that they looked like our cleaning lady’s feet and then we looked at each other and silently mouthed in unison, “Holy crap, our cleaning lady is IN OUR BED!!!”

Continue reading sauerkraut.

Friday, March 16, 2012

za’atar roasted cauliflower

za'atar roasted cauliflower

This is what happens when you get an edited manuscript, while working on another book and planning a wedding all the while your wrist is in a brace for five weeks. You fall behind on work because typing with one hand takes more time. Crazy concept, right?

Writing, in and of itself, is an amazing, thrilling, scary, exhilirating process. Just not with one hand. Typing with one hand is just frustrating. You think of something great to say while you’re finishing sentence, and by the time you get to the end of that sentence, you can’t remember what you were thinking of. It’s a lot of spurts and stops, like going somewhere in a taxi in New York; suddenly the cabbie slams on the breaks and you’re hurled towards the windshield. And before you’ve had time to collect your breath (and your poor discombobulated internal organs), the cabbie is hits the gas pedal and you’re thrown in the way back. Writing with one hand is a bit like that – spastic and not particularly efficient.

Continue reading za’atar roasted cauliflower.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

carciofi alla romana

carciofi alla romana

Who was the first brave soul to tackle an artichoke? I ponder this every time nowadays, when I find myself trimming, pulling, and scraping the prickly vegetable. And while I might never find out the daring gourmand who is responsible for this bounty, I am certainly grateful – artichokes are delicious and are totally worth the trouble they give.

I’m a fairly new to making artichokes at home. Like many of you out there, I suspect, I’ve always been intimidated by them. I’d be at the grocery store, holding them in my hand, and then I’d place them back – they didn’t seem all that friendly and looked like a lot of work. Sometimes, when I wasn’t careful, I’d accidentally hook the tip of my finger on one of the sharp leaves. Once or twice, my fingers bled. How many vegetables can you say are actively out to get you? Artichokes were clearly sending a message – do not eat me.

Continue reading carciofi alla romana.