The brown paper bags full of petite, deep red Juliet tomatoes sat on my kitchen counter for a few days before I got around to cooking them. I was feeling too lazy to slice them in half for oven roasting, so I decided to make a fresh sauce on the stove top. The result was magnificent – rich, tomatoey, and slightly sweet, with a velvety consistency perfect for coating pasta.
Thanks to Food & Wine magazine, I learned about a delicious tomato pesto made with perfectly ripe, farm fresh cherry tomatoes and almonds. Their recipe for Pesto Trapense (from Trapani, Sicily) calls for cooking the tomatoes, but I prefer Lidia Bastianich’s raw version where only the almonds are toasted.
Do raw radishes turn you off? Their bite can be off putting, especially to children who haven’t yet developed a taste for spicy foods. What to do with those radishes in your CSA box then? Butter is the secret ingredient for taming radishes with heat, and the alchemy of cooking transforms their feistiness into pale pink lusciousness in just a few minutes.
Every once in a while I encounter a cookbook that’s worth sharing with sophisticated green eaters, and The Clean Plates Cookbook is one of them. (We shared their sustainable restaurant app earlier this month.) The first 8 chapters are packed with practical guidance on clean eating that begins with making plants the foundation of one’s diet rather than the typical American slab of meat.
Broccoli is in season so it’s a great time to consider eating the stems too. Freshly harvested broccoli doesn’t suffer from the cracks and dryness which plague grocery store broccoli, making it easy to enjoy more of it. Admittedly, stems are nothing to get excited about visually. In fact, they pale in comparison to broccoli’s showy, emerald-green florets just begging to be lopped off and lightly steamed for a quick side dish.
It was the leftover roast chicken that decided the fate of the Brussels Sprouts leaves. After hearing whining and complaining from my two children about having leftover chicken for dinner (horrors!), I knew I had to downplay the chicken and make something else the focus. A favorite curried chicken salad recipe sprang to mind and the ripened mango on the kitchen counter sealed the deal. Then I remembered the Brussels Sprouts leaves…
Since I couldn’t find any good ribs in Fairfield, I decided to make my own. I started researching rib recipes, especially Texas Beef Ribs, which I remember as being outstanding at a company event held last year at Blue Smoke, Danny Meyer’s barbeque place on 27th street in NYC. I found a NYT article about the restaurant with a Salt-and-Pepper Beef Ribs recipe adapted from Kenny Callaghan of Blue Smoke and decided to go with it.