The summer tomatoes are in – the small, intensely flavored dry-farmed ones, heirlooms of all sizes, colors and stripes and the tiny little cherry tomatoes— all soooo delicious! It’s hard to beat a combination of really ripe tomatoes, fresh, soft mozzarella, lots of basil and maybe a bed of crispy Romaine or tender butter lettuces to soak up the juices. Simple and delicious.
I think you’ll agree that pancakes are a tempting comfort food that we’d secretly love to have almost daily but don’t because we usually eat them smothered in butter and syrup or jam whether they’re thin like crepes or thick and hardy.
Adapted from a Recipe by Sara Moulton
Like other sweet veggies, corn and vanilla are a great match. You don’t need much, but the amount you add is the special ingredient that makes either fresh or frozen corn come alive. The pureed corn takes the place of cream and keeps the flavor bright and fresh.
As fresh asparagus and English peas are only available for a month or so, if you enjoy them, eat them as often as possible. Here’s one delicious way to do just that. Feel free, however, to substitute fava beans, baby artichokes or any other favorite early vegetables to this fresh pasta dish. Peas are frozen as soon as they’re harvested and hold their flavor well so don’t worry if you can’t find fresh ones. Finally, baby arugula isn’t bitter like its more mature counterparts, but if you can’t find it or don’t like it, substitute baby spinach leaves or a different vegetable.
The skin of rutabagas is thick and tough, so use a sharp, strong chef’s knife to remove it entirely and cut the rutabaga. Maple syrup caramelizes quickly so keep a close eye on the vegetables during the last part of the roasting.
At the risk of being stoned to death for blasphemy, I admit that I have never liked bread stuffing! From the time I was very young, I always helped my mother tear the pieces of stale bread into a big bowl (without the crusts, of course) and mix the bread, onions, celery and herbs as she blended in the butter. I wasn’t crazy about the sage, but mostly I didn’t like the mushy texture or how it made me feel after eating it. In fact, I’ve been allergic to wheat my entire life though we didn’t know this when I was a child.
Adapted from Dorothy McNett’s Recipe Book at www.dorothymcnett.com. This is the traditional Iranian method of cooking long grain rice. There are a number of ways that the rice is made but it’s famous for tahdig, a crunchy layer of rice that forms on the bottom of the pan, that is then broken and scattered through the top layer of the dish before serving.
This is really good! Although it isn’t sweet, except for the dates, it’s like a savory dessert. That said, it goes very well with meats, poultry, fish or vegetarian entrees and is especially nice with Southeast Asian and Pacific Islands foods. Kids who aren’t put off by dates would really enjoy it. You could substitute raisins if you prefer.
Refreshing and cool served with as a side to spicy entrees, or sweet and juicy on their own, you’ll love the juxtaposition of sweet and spicy of these delicious spiced oranges.
This a perfect holiday side dish, and also just a nice nurturing warm dish when you’re craving cozy comfort food. Not only will it cheer your taste-buds, but it will fill your kitchen with the wonderful smells of fall.
While this is exceptional made with fresh corn, good-quality frozen corn is very, very good as well.
Potatoes! One of the best comfort foods, especially when it’s cold, at the end of a day outside, or just about anytime, for that matter. What’s not to like about something you can bake, boil, fry, stuff, make into a salad, use it as a gravy boat, and dress it up for the holidays?
The South Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu produce vanilla along with many other products. Their major harvest festival is in January, a time when people traditionally worshipped the gods of weather, most significantly, the sun. Pongal means “overflow” in Tamil, celebrating abundance. May your January – and your harvest if you are farmers – be abundant!
Nasi goreng is the national dish of Indonesia, a country comprised of over 17,000 islands (6000 are inhabited), and where rice is a cultural celebration as much as a staple. This dish varies, depending upon the chef, and may contain many different ingredients, based on what’s in the pantry. The truly authentic dish should include shallots, chiles, kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), and a fried egg for each diner.