This is like a next-level fruit & cheese platter for a light, elegant end to your meal. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of black plums, especially with a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of flaky sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a few fresh thyme leaves. Once you pull these little guys out of the oven, crumble some gorgonzola on top (or goat cheese if you’re not into the blue stuff), let it melt a bit, and drizzle with honey. Voilá!
Poke (pronounced POH-kay) tuna is tuna sashimi marinated in a flavorful blend of sesame oil, ginger, garlic, lime, and soy sauce, topped with scallions, sesame seeds and nuts. I believe kukui nuts or macadamia nuts are the classic nuts to use, but you can substitute peanuts if you haven’t got any of those lying around. Although it seems exotic, this dish is actually very easy. Perhaps this is obvious, but there is no heat involved, so it’s fabulous for summer. It is usually accompanied by seaweed salad, either mixed in with the tuna or on the side.
Good summertime corn is a wonderful thing. Growing up in Illinois, “sweet corn” was everywhere, and the taste and scrunchy crunch of corn on the cob held with buttery fingers brings me right back there in my memories. Tastes like summer! All that wonderful Midwestern corn kind of spoiled me, though, and now that I live in the Northeast, good quality fresh corn is a little harder to come by since it doesn’t travel well. The natural sugar in the corn degrades once it is detached from the stalk, and even more so under refrigeration. However, I was fortunate to receive a few ears in my farm share (CSA) box last week — grown in Pennsylvania, just next door. Continue reading
For your summer enjoyment: Chilled, crisp-tender green beans and carrots lightly splashed with a simple tart and sweet dressing, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. What do I mean by crisp-tender? When you blanch veggies by briefly cooking them in boiling water, then plunging them into cold water to stop the cooking, they stay brightly colored and become tender while still remaining crisp like a fresh veggie. You can make this simple preparation with all beans or all carrots if you like. Red bell pepper would also be a great addition. This makes a fabulous accompaniment to Asian food or a refreshing mayo-free side dish for your next barbecue.
Tart and refreshing, with a hearty crunch from the toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), this salad is about as healthy as a salad can be. The goat cheese is optional, to make it vegan-friendly as well. You see, I received a giant bunch of curly kale in my CSA (community-supported agriculture) box and needed to find something to do with it using supplies already at hand. Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food came to my rescue, sparking this idea. I wandered a bit from the original recipe – for example, it calls for poppy seeds but I substituted pepitas because, well, that’s what I had, plus poppy seeds always get stuck in one’s teeth, don’t they. Humph. Continue reading
My office recently moved to from midtown to downtown Manhattan, and I’ve been having a lot of fun exploring the neighborhood. One day my foodie friend and I were wandering around TriBeCa looking for a place to have lunch. We passed by a spot called Tiny’s, located in a 3-story pink townhouse built in 1810 – and she said “Hey! I hear their kale salad is famous.” Sold! We happily ordered it, while enjoying Tiny’s decor, which includes exposed brick walls, original tin-tile ceilings and a Masonic-themed copper-and-marble bar. The salad was crunchy, delicious, and refreshing on a super-hot day, with slightly mustardy, slightly gingery dressing, and an umami accent from the aged gouda grated over the top. Since we both love to cook, we kept puzzling over what might be in the dressing and whether there was a way to recreate the goodness at home. Luckily, she found a take on it by The Bari Studio (they must be as obsessed with this salad as we are!), so I used their recipe as my starting point. But don’t worry, Tiny’s, we’ll definitely be back for your original version! Continue reading