Archive for September, 2009

easy does it

If there is a complicated way to do something and an easy way, I will inevitably choose the former.

But I was recently reminded of the beauty in keeping things simple. This time of year, the week between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, is a time of self-reflection — not a bad time to review this lesson that holds both in the kitchen and out.

Having only cooked for Rosh Hashana once before, I received a lot of help from my family in  preparing to share the 2 days of holidays with over a dozen guests: we divided and conquered. I planned the overambitious menus (only parts of which ever came to fruition). My parents brought a case of wine up from Maryland. My dad and sister did most of the food shopping. My mom helped with much of the food prep, acting as sous chef in my kitchen.

Even with all those helping hands, I was nonetheless overjoyed to discover a cake that nearly bakes itself.

Not Derby Pie touts the base recipe as “The Easiest Cake Ever” and Rivka pictured it with ripe, juicy pears. I planned to add in some apples to the pears in honor of Rosh Hashana and to make it reminiscent of a gâteau pomme poire that I have been trying to recreate since I did a high school student exchange in the Loire valley followed by the Vendée in the northwest of France. However, given that my sister did the grocery shopping and doesn’t like pears, I ended up with just an apple cake. Not that this is just any apple cake.

The high egg content causes the cake to rise up as the heavier fruit sinks slightly. A light sprinkling of raw demerara sugar creates a crackly crunchy crust that caramelizes slightly at the edges and where the fruit juices pool.

corner close-up

Easy Apple Cake

Adapted from Not Derby Pie’s “Easiest Cake Ever” which is recommended for ripe, juicy fruits such as pears, stone fruits, or berries. Given that I was using apples that were not particularly juicy, I decided to first saute them in some margarine and sugar, giving them a slight juicy caramelization as I would for a tarte tatin.

2018 update: TL;DR – YOU CAN’T MESS THIS UP!

1) Based on questions and comments, you can skip the step of sautéing apples and instead macerate just 3 very thinly sliced apples (16-20 slices per apple) for a half-hour in 1-2 T sugar and a splash of lemon juice to soften them – the apples will bake up just fine, but the top doesn’t look as nice. Better yet, just mix all the apples in with the batter and don’t bother to arrange any on the top. A non-baker friend wrote: “No precooking of the apples, only own olive oil, don’t even own a baking pan of the right size and it STILL came out great. Also already 1/2 gone gotta go make another one.”

2) In addition, I made it with Cup4Cup GF flour and it worked like a dream.

3) This cake freezes well. First wrap tightly in plastic, then in heavy duty aluminum foil. If you want to reheat – make sure to remove the plastic from underneath the foil. Yes, you could just wrap in foil, but it doesn’t stay as fresh.

4) Check out the comments on this recipe on Food52 for a lot of different variations 

Serves 8-10 and there will be no leftovers. This is probably great with ice cream, but this cake needs no accoutrement.

For apples:

4 apples – I used a variety (1 each of Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Crispin)

lemon juice to prevent apples from browning as you cut

2 T margarine (or butter if you are making dairy)

1-2 T sugar (or to taste)

For cake batter:

1 C flour

3/4 C sugar

2 eggs

1/2 C canola oil

1 t baking powder

1 t vanilla

2-3 T demerara sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan, springform or square pan. (If you want to plate this, use a springform; otherwise, just serve it out of the pan.)

Peel and core the apples, then cut into ~12 slices. Sprinkle with lemon juice (you don’t need much – maybe a tablespoon or so for 4 apples) while the others are being sliced to prevent browning.

Heat margarine in pan over low heat and add apples and 1-2 T white sugar. Stir for ~10-15 minutes until apples soften. Some of the liquid will soak into the apples, but if too much of it starts to evaporate, then turn the heat down.

sauteed apples

While the apples are on the stove top, mix together the remaining ingredients (except for the demerara sugar) — flour, sugar (the 3/4 C), eggs, oil, baking powder, and vanilla. No mixer is required – you can just mix everything by hand even though the batter is quite thick.

Add half the warm apples (juices and all) to the batter and mix. Then pour into the prepared pan and spread the batter evenly with a spatula. Arrange the remaining apple slices on the top of the batter as decoratively as possible (though even a mishmash will look nice).

artful (?) arranging

for the record – I only used tongs because we were having guests that I had never met … normally I’d just use my fingers!

Sprinkle the cake with demerara sugar if you’d like and bake for 1 hour.


Let cool before attempting to remove from the pan. It can be a bit difficult to plate due to the stickiness of the fruit (I did a bit of clever patching that you can see close-up below).

a crack in the armor

I was a bit overzealous in the number of apples that I asked my mom to peel, and we had so many left over that in 5 minutes flat, I whipped up a second batch of batter and made another cake.

second apple cake

*** 2018 updated photo: apples macerated in sugar and lemon, not sautéed***

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Oh la. C’est pas bon.

I was all excited to inaugurate my cocotte to make a brisket for my family this year for Rosh Hashana.

I should have known she would live up to her flirty-sounding name when my beautiful oval cadeau arrived in disguise …

faisant une blague a moi

faisant une blague à moi

… despite my expectations of a deep red ombre dress. But she came out of hiding as pretty and dainty as expected.

in her ombre dress

Et, elle est tellement française. Si française, in fact that it is stamped onto her little derrière.

tellement francaise

She and I held a little photo shoot, anticipating her culinary debut.

photo shoot

Alas, when it was showtime, my cocotte got performance anxiety.

Well, to tell the truth, my eyes were a bit too big. I bought 2 briskets totaling 10 pounds and a single brisket, when unfolded to its full size, barely fit in my lovely cocotte.

back to my huge turkey pan

While I share responsibility, I believe that my cocotte turned her nose up at the traditional brisket recipe in a coquettish manner. Perhaps she only likes les recettes françaises. She must be holding out for the kosher version of a boeuf bourguignon that I have been working on developing. Let’s just hope that she doesn’t snub one of Julia Child’s signature dish as well.

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bistro chocolate cake

Bistro Chocolate Cake

As a tried and true kosher carnivore (well, I guess, officially an omnivore), I am always seeking out good parve (non-dairy) desserts. I often substitute margarine for butter, soy milk for regular, but am always excited when I find desserts that are naturally parve, like those that use oil as their shortening As a fan of all things French and searching for a chocolate cake to make for the housewarming of my “sister mother” Judy, the self proclaimed cupcake queen and sweets fan, and her foodie but savory-only baker husband, Bruce,  I was thrilled to find this gateau au chocolat in my bistro cookbook.

Sharon O’Connor’s Bistro: Favorite Parisian Bistro Recipes, chooses a bistro in each arrondissement and shares some of the chef’s signature dishes. I made the cake because I loved the recipe. You might recall I have a little love affair with proper bistros. Proper bistros. And this delightful book chats a bit about each bistro and the environs in which it was raised in the “neighborhood walk” section preceding the recipes:

“The streets of Au Pied de Fouet’s seventh-arrondissement neighborhood are lined with foreign embassies and French ministries…. The Musée d’Orsay is a very pleasant fifteen-or twenty-minute walk from au Pied de Fouet. The art museum was originally a train station, built in the late 1800s to serve southwestern France. Orsay houses a major collection of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century art, including many famous Impressionist works. The museum which still retains the open, airy feel of the belle-epoque train stations, is extremely popular with Parisians, as well as art lovers from all over the world.”

My affinity for grandiose train stations probably started as early as my teens when I used to travel from DC to Philadelphia to visit my grandmother. I loved the large open-ness of 30th Street Station where Bubbie would always meet me by the statue on the East side of the station. Years later, I toured Western Europe with a Eurail pass and an over-stuffed backpack on wobbly wheels. In my entryway, I have a print of a photo on exhibit at the Musée d’Orsay, especially à propos at this train station-turned-museum.

L. Mercier - Accident gare de l'Ouest le 22 octobre 1895

Luckily this cake is fairly simple, and pardon the cliché, but no matter how many mistakes I made along the way, my gâteau was no train wreck. Yes, yes, groan all you want. That was really bad!

Bistro Chocolate Cake (Gâteau au Chocolat)

Adapted from Sharon O’Connor’s Bistro: Favorite Parisian Bistro Recipes. This is a pretty forgiving recipe (just my kind) for a nearly flour-less chocolate cake. 

The book says this serves 8, but I can’t believe 8 Frenchies would gobble this cake up It’s not overly sweet but is quite rich. I believe it serves closer to 10-12.

– 7 oz bittersweet chocolate (chopped) – I didn’t have bittersweet, so I used a mix of unsweetened and semisweet

– 6 eggs, separated

– 1/3 C sugar

– 1/3 C unbleached all-purpose flour

– 1 C ground blanched almonds

– 1/4 t salt

– 1/3 C vegetable oil

– 2 t baking powder

– 1 t baking soda

– 8 oz sweet chocolate, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 300˚F. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Prepare the chocolate. In a double boiler (I use a small metal bowl) over barely simmering water (making sure not to let the bottom of the bowl hit the water nor any steam escape or the chocolate will seize), melt the bittersweet chocolate; remove from heat and set aside, allowing to cool to room temperature (don’t put in fridge).

Beat the egg whites. Using an electric mixer, beat the 6 egg whites until stiff, glossy peaks form. I cheated a little bit and added a pinch of cream of tartar to aid in the process when my eggs weren’t beating so nicely. If you are dependent on your mixer for everything, carefully transfer the whites to another bowl so you can use your mixer again to cream the remaining ingredients.

Prepare the almonds. Since I didn’t have any almond meal or pre-ground almonds, I made my own. Place a little over a cup of blanched almond slices into a food processor (I used my mini one) and pulse until you form a fine powder. You will probably need to add some of the ½ C sugar to prevent the almonds from forming almond butter.

Mix everything else together. In a medium bowl, beat the remaining sugar and egg yolks together until thick and pale (by hand, or in your mixer…). Stir in the flour, ground almonds, salt, oil, baking powder, and baking soda, and beat until thoroughly blended. Pour in the warm melted chocolate and stir until mixed. Stir on one-fourth of the egg whites. Gently fold in the remaining whites until thoroughly blended.

Bake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes (I found 40 minutes to be perfect), or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

The original recipe calls for enrobing the cake in sweet chocolate. I thought this would be too rich. I served it plain and with a fruit salad, but I think it would be perfect with a dallop of spiked whipped cream (or some sort of whipped parve substitute).

Judy loved the cake so much that she took a quarter of the cake for herself and came to my apartment and made a copy of the recipe before I had a chance to post it.

The cakes freezes pretty nicely.

Half the cake, thawing

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Infused honey from Herb Lyceum

Rosh Hashana, falling around the beginning of the scholastic year, always feels more like the start of the year than the New Year according to the solar calendar. Like last year, I will be hosting my parents and sister as well as a bunch of other guests and will be cooking up a storm. As I prepare for the days of feasts, I’ve been collecting recipes and want to share my research, decision-making process, and menus. Please feel free to send me your favorite holiday recipes as well, either in the comments section or by emailing me directly.

By “holidays,” I am referring not just to Rosh Hashana, but Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. This year, RH and Sukkot fall on shabbat and Sunday so much of the food needs to be prepared in advance if you keep shabbat.

This Year’s Rosh Hashana Mealsthis is the one time of year that I make food that is more traditional. I will be dinner for 8 (basri, or meat), lunch for 8 (basri), dinner for 4 (chalavi, or dairy), and lunch for 4-8 (basri leftovers)

Included in all meals: the most beautiful challah in the world (challah à la danois, pic below, recipe is my bread machine challah, and braiding technique to come soon; I’ll make it into a ring for RH), apples and honey*, new fruit (kumquats? baby kiwis? star fruit?)

challah a la danois

Dinner 1 (for 8-9, basri)

– Soup – possibly Cauliflower Turmeric with Hazelnuts (parve) or Chicken Soup

C&Z's Soupe de Chou-Fleur, Curcuma, et Noisette - NOTE, mine is much yellower than Clotilde's

Tomato and Onion Braised Brisket – I made this last year and have had special requests for it from my family — they particularly like the crusty bits; this year I will be making it in my new cocotte

Moroccan-style Roasted Pomegranate Chicken – Another winner from last year and really easy, works for boneless-skinless chicken breast; Alternative chicken dish is Pomegranate Chicken Kebabs (pic and link to recipe below)– good on a grill or George Foreman and great served hot or room temperature

pomegranate chicken kabobs cooling, ready to pack up

– White Bean Salad or Black Bean and Corn Salad

– Quinoa Salad with lime cumin dressing or with sundried tomatoes and basil (pics and link to recipes below)

quinoa mango salad with lime cumin dressing

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

– Starch: Mashed Potatoes (my sisters favorite) OR Orzo or p’titim/Israeli CousCous with Garlic Scape Pesto (I froze much of my batch; pictured below on perciatelli)

scape pesto on perciatelli

– Large Salad (to be brought by our guests)

– Fruit Salad (to be brought by our guests)

– Apple Tarte Tatin or a Gateau Pomme-Poire – to use Not Derby Pie’s “The Easiest Cake Ever” recipe with apples and pears

Lunch 1 (for 6-8, basri)

– Leftover Soup

– Leftover Brisket and Chicken

– Smoked Fish – sable, tuna, salmon from Nantucket Wild

Nantucket's hot- and cold-smoked wild tuna

Haricots Verts aux Noisettes (pic and link to recipe below)


– Kibbutz Herb Salad: arugula, spinach, herbs – mint/cilantro/basil, tomatoes, toasted almonds (pic and link to recipe below)

kibbutz herb salad

– Bistro Chocolate Cake (recipe just posted)

Bistro Chocolate Cake

– Honey Madeleines (pic and link to recipe below)bowl of madeleines

Dinner 2 (for 4, chalavi)

– Cucumber Gazpacho (recipe sent to me by Chef Chris Parsons, from Catch Restaurant, and using the Oikos Greek yogurt that Stonyfield Farm sent me)

– Pea Shoots Salad – pea shoots, tomatoes, roasted corn-off-the-cob (pic and link to recipe below)

pea shoots, tomato, and corn off the cob

– Salmon – recipe TBD…suggestions anyone?

– Baked Brie – another repeat request from last year (pic and link to recipe below)

baked brie sans croute, missing a slice

– Lemon Mascarpone Tart (pic and link to recipe below)

slice from above

Lunch 2 (6-8, probably basri)

Whoo, I’m fresh out of ideas…last year I made deli wraps by the time we got to the 4th meal!

* Tapuchim U’dvash: Apples and Honey

It is traditional on Rosh Hashana to eat apples dipped in honey. Round apples (like round challahs) represent the world and cyclical nature of life. Honey is symbolic of a sweet new year. I found an article about different types of apples to help choose the best ones to eat and cook. My personal faves for eating are Fuji and Braeburn (and they are usually available and crispy year-round) and Crispins in the fall. For cakes/pies, I often use a mix of eating apples, more tart ones like Granny Smiths, and more soft ones like Golden Delicious for a variety of tastes and textures. I love buying apples at farmers markets when possible.

Before Rosh Hashana, I try to  buy a new jar or two of honey. This usually lasts me an entire year. Last year, I  bought Granja San Francisco Blossom Honey imported from Spain. This year, I bought some mint honey and some lemon verbena honey from the Herb Lyceum stand at the Copley Square Farmers Market (picture at top).

Yom Kippur Pre-Fast Menu – can’t deal with this yet and I’ll probably do something small, going to a friend’s for the Break-Fast

Sukkot Menus – can’t deal with this yet either

NOTE, the one meal I do love to make on Simchat Torah is late brunch post-hakafot. Sometimes I put my waffle iron on a timer. This year, I might make pancakes.


The Best of the Web (friends, Tweeps, Chefs, and Strangers): Feasting

– My friend Joel Haber (aka “Fun Joel” — seriously, Joel arrives and fun ensues ) wrote an article for the Jewish Journal (LA) with a bunch of internationally-inspired Rosh Hashana recipes. The article is entitled “Embodying Unity in Your Rosh Hashana Meal” and includes a recipe for sweet and savory Carrot Kugel that I just may try (coming from me, that’s saying a lot because kugel scares me!)

Rosh Hashana Top Ten from Janna Gur, author of The Book of New Israeli Food (and whom I met a few months ago): check out the Beetroot and Pomegranate salad (I learned how to make it the class I took from her so I can personally vouch for it), Spicy Moroccan-style Fish, and Apple and Calvados Cake (I’d probably leave off the walnuts).

– NY Times article by Joan Nathan: “Rosh Hashana, Circa 1919”, including a recipe for poppy seed cake (9/16/09)

– LA Times article: “Rosh Hashana, Tunisian Style” with recipes from Got Kosher? Provisions take out and caterer in the Pico-Robertson area of LA. I was excited to find this article and accompanying recipes, including one for artichoke hearts with harissa salad, provided by Alain Cohen because he is related to the owner of Les Ailes in Paris — one of my favorite kosher North African restaurants, butcher, bakery, and take-out counter located next door to Folies Bergère. No trip to Paris for me is complete without at least one visit to the 9e arrondisement to grab a sandwich or salads to keep me going for the day or provisions for an overnight train to Berlin!

11 Holiday Menus from Epicurious for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur – I’ve chosen my favorite menus (and excluded the ones that are not kosher)

– Rosh Hashana Menus: Israeli, Sephardic, “Elegant”, Hungarian (by Joan Nathan – Jewish Cooking in America), and Italian (by Joyce Goldstein – Cucina Ebraica)

– Yom Kippur Break-fast Menus: Traditional Buffet (bagels and fish), Another Buffet (including apple spice cake and quiche – with non-kosher options, but quiche got rave reviews)

The Best of the Web: Imbibing

Every year, various publications put out top lists of kosher wines for the holidays. Sometimes these come out before Passover when every seder participant is required to drink 4 glasses of wine. My personal preference runs to Bordeaux and Bordeaux-style reds (including some of the nice ones coming out of Israel), but my family likes lighter white wines, including the infamous Moscato, which we call Sprite. Among whites, I also like a spicy Alsacian or German Gewürztraminer (Abarbanel makes a great one).

Here are a few lists that I have found recently (I have tried to post ones with prices when possible).

Erika Strum’s Top 10 Kosher Wines – from March 2009, after attending the Kosher Wine and Food Expo and ranging in price from $15-$100; I attended this event in 2007 and first tried some of the wines that have become my faves and that Erika and I agree on. They include Domaine Du Castel Grand Vin 2005, Judean Hills (I actually prefer the Petit Castel and not because it’s less pricey but because it’s a bit of a softer Bordeax-style), Flor de Primavera Peraj Ha’abib, Capcanes 2005, Montsant Spain (I also like the Petita), and Hai, The Patriots 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Judean Hills, Israel (I recently bought this to try). As you can tell, I’m a red fan. Tasting notes and links are in Erika’s article.

– The Wine Spectator’s Kosher Wines for the High Holidays – referenced on HaKerem and including a few Gewürztraminer options in case I can’t find the Abarbanel one.

Epicurious Top 5 Kosher Wines (date unclear, but probably recent as I have had some of these wines recently): I can personally vouch for the Gonzalez Byass Tio Pepe Palomino Fino Sherry for drinking and cooking and the Goose Bay 2007 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (my friends and I used to order this all the time last year at Clubhouse Cafe). I am looking forward to trying the Flechas de Los Andes 2007 Gran Malbec (Argentina) and generally enjoy Segal’s Cabernets

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At the farmers market yesterday, I picked up some smoked fish – cold smoked and hot smoked wild tuna – from Nantucket Wild Gourmet. I had bought some of their sable and bluefish in the past at Copley and was excited to see them just a few blocks from my home (plus, their products are certified kosher – VHK – and hahal).

Nantucket's hot- and cold-smoked wild tuna

I dove right in to the hot-smoked chunk, cutting it up into slices to try …

hot-smoked tuna, sliced

… when my cat, Prescott Winslow III, hopped onto the counter to grab his own piece, gobbling it quickly on the floor and running to hide because he knew he had been very very naughty. I later found him sitting calmly on my bed as if he had done nothing wrong.


My tasting notes: the hot-smoked tuna is a bit dry and, as cliche as it sounds, looks and tastes like chicken. It would benefit from a little dressing (read on…), and the cold-smoked fishes (I’ve tried tuna and sable) retain more oil. PWIII’s tasting notes (based on his fierce meowing and tail wagging): “worth risking life and limb to jump on the counter for … definitely better than the tuna juice ima/maman (PWIII speaks Hebrew and French) sometimes gives me … infinitely better than my regular dry food.”

Salade Composée Niçoise-esque

Still reveling in yesterday’s local bounty, I made a salade composée inspired by a salade niçoise. Using 2 handfuls of pea shoots/tendrils to stand in for the haricots verts, 8-10 red and yellow cherry tomatoes quartered, 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped, and the hot-smoked wild tuna (2-3 oz), I placed all the ingredients as aftfuly as possible.


Lightly dress with a dijon vinaigrette (this makes double the amount necessary): shake in a jar 1.5 t moutard à l’ancienne (whole grain mustard – you can see the large mustard seeds), 1 T white wine vinegar, 2 T extra virgin olive oil, 2 pinches kosher salt, 1 pinch white pepper. Drizzle over the salad.



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getting fresh and staying local

pea shoots

Locavores scare me. So do über-environmentalists. Those people who are obsessed with getting all their food from local farmers, who eschew trucks that bring bottled water from natural sources (Fiji?), and pineapples grown in Costa Rica. Because, let’s face it, despite now living in crunchy crunchy Cantabrigia where people recycle like mad and have compost pails in their kitchens and backyards (I don’t), I like my meat and cheese from France, and regularly carry home or import food from around the world.

I first experienced really local food when my family would pick surplus berries and tomatoes at our friend’s farm in the boonies of Maryland. My mom always made tomato sauce to freeze for the rest of the year. In the summer, we used to stop at roadside stands for corn-on-the-cob.

When I moved to New York after college, I discovered the the Union Square Greenmarket a few blocks from my first “suit job.” I used to wander around during my lunch break, but rarely made a purchase. When I returned to New York after graduate school, I often bought apples the growing number of farm stands at the 76th and Columbus Sunday flea market. And when the weather was good, I used to buy most of my produce from the corner fruit and vegetable guys on the Upper West Side (save for trips to Fairway). This past week visiting NY was not much different as I found some not-so fancy, but all-the-same lovely berries and peaches for my morning breakfast while staying at my friend Meira’s (who was characteristically generous in offering her home while out of town).

fruit at Meira's

Despite my growing dependence on outdoor markets for some produce, I had forgotten that greens don’t always arrive triple-washed in a plastic bag.

And then I moved north. And Cantabrigia is rubbing off on me. If you’re been on this little food journey with me for a while, I’m sure you know that I joined a CSA. Weekly or bi-weekly, I receive vegetables and some fruit and herbs from a nearby farm. Over the past few weeks, I’ve figured out how to prepare chard and hakurei turnips, garlic scape pesto, and no-cook collards. And we can’t forget the kale that started it all.

This summer, as a true Cantabrigian, I’ve been dining on a fair amount of rabbit fare – fresh romaine, red and green leaf lettuce. I don’t bother to put away my large stainless bowl in which I dunk the greens in wash after wash of fresh cold water, gently agitating to remove any clinging grit and soil. I even bought a salad spinner (also stainless) to facilitate my new salad habit.

One of the first things I did upon returning from New York was to hit up my local farmers market and pick up some greens and fill up my stainless  bowl.

It feels good to be home.

Super fresh salad of pea shoots, tomatoes, and corn

farm-fresh ingredients

Inspired by what I found at my local farmers market and some of my sister’s favorite flavors (corn is her favorite salad add-in), this salad tastes incredibly fresh due to the pea shoots. I once had pea shoots in a restaurant and was excited when I saw them with one of the vendors in the market. Pea shoots are also sometimes called pea tendrils; there may be blossoms on the stems that are edible (and lovely). They taste like sugar snap peas in leaf form.The dressing for this salad, like most of my summer staples, is a simple splash of oil, a tiny bit of acid (lemon juice or white wine vinegar) and salt and pepper. Just enough to wet the ingredients without overpowering the natural flavors.

There are no measurements for this salad – it’s sort of come as you go. This is how much I make for a single serving.

Prepare the pea shoots: rinse in cold water and drain. They will last a loosely covered bowl in the fridge for 3-4 days (if you don’t eat them first). Grab 1-2 handfuls of pea shoots per person and tear into good-sized bowl. If you’d like, add a handful of farm-fresh greens, also rinsed, any dirt removed, and torn into the bowl.

Slice a handful of cherry tomatoes (5-8) in half and add to the shoots.

Grill or roast one ear of corn. Cut kernels off of cob into the bowl.

Add a splash of extra virgin olive oil (~1T), a squeeze of lemon or a few drops of white wine vinegar (1-2 t to taste), a pinch or two of kosher salt, and a few grinds of pepper.

Toss and savor the flavors of summer.

pea shoots, tomato, and corn off the cob

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city solitude

In the busiest of cities (at least of those in which I’ve lived), in my old old neighborhood west of Broadway, a mere dozen blocks from my first real apartment that I lived in that first post-baccalaureate year, I sought sun-filled solace.

white and pink

Eating out every day, not knowing when I would return home to my own kitchen.


A few hundred feet from the Hudson, I found respite and quiet on a patch of grass hidden behind a manicured wildflower garden protected by wire fence.

sun beam


Eating out every day, not knowing when I would return home to my own kitchen. A few hundred feet from the Hudson, I found respite and quiet in a patch of grass hidden behind

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