Sausage with Apples and Garbanzos

sausage with apples and garbanzos header

I am swimming in apples.

I just can’t get ahead of them. The whole kerfuffle started when a friend went apple picking and brought me home a massive bag. Since then, my CSA has provided a steady supply, and well. My recipe-brain has been stretched this fall, trying to think of more and more creative uses for all my apples.

Most often, I eat them simply: to lend a sweet snap to a ham sandwich. Or alone, with cheese and charcuterie (goat cheese and triple-crème are special favorites). They are nice with soups, as the weather turns, like tomato, carrot, or squash.

You can bake them in a crisp until the apple melts into itself, stirred together with nutmeg and golden sugar. Or bake them as they are until caramelized, with butter and apple cider. Top with ice cream or Greek yogurt. Read more »

The Best Veggie Burger Ever

veggie burger final header


Yes, yes, the title of this post is bound to invite raised eyebrows. Could this really be the best veggie burger, of all time, ever? Well, I can tell you this with full confidence: this here veggie burger is the best I’ve tasted by some margin.

Because here is the thing–given the choice between a beef or lamb hamburger and a vegetable facsimile, I would never normally choose the later. Ever.

It’s not that I have something against vegetables. In fact, I quite like vegetables, in their natural state, or coaxed with a bit of heat, olive oil and sea salt. But veggie burgers are not vegetables. Veggie burgers have always seemed to me a strange and unhappy amalgamation of rabbit food mash, a strict and humorless attempt to appease those who forgo meat. Read more »

Summer Tartines

summer tarine header

If I am truthful, dear readers, this week’s post has been causing me some disquiet. (As far as food blogs are allowed to cause disquiet.)

It’s the beginning of August. Summer squash, tomatoes, corn, blueberries, and peaches are all abundant. I know this, because I have been buying and eating them in abundance.

Mostly, I prepare them in the simplest manner possible. Chopped tomatoes and corn make an excellent salad, flecked with red onion, garlic and jalapeño slivers, zipped with a touch of olive oil and red wine vinegar. Peaches need only to be sliced, added to a bowl of blueberries, and topped with maple syrup-laced yogurt. I like to add crushed Marcona almonds for crunch. Any kind of summer squash can be simmered with tomatoes, garlic, onion and eggplant to make a ratatouille that you’ll happily re-heat all week. Toss in some thyme, basil, or a bay leaf, if you happen to have them. Read more »

Lamb Meatballs with Fava Hummus

A few weeks ago, the Frenchman and I went out to dinner with a friend who was in town for a visit. Despite an après-dark temperature of 100°, we decided to sit outside. Apparently we like to be uncomfortably hot. We split a selection of small plates, and ran through more than one carafe of chilled red wine.

This friend (let’s call him Monsieur Macaroon, as he’s quite skilled at making them, and I’m still holding out hope he’ll teach me his methods) told a story about a recent, unpleasant trip to the French embassy. While MM does not have a classically French name, he does hold a French passport and birth certificate. As a result of his ‘foreign-sounding’ name though, the person behind the desk demanded further, written evidence of his Frenchness, before they would proceed with his paperwork. Read more »

“Doggy Bag” Chicken Soup

If you ask the Frenchman, he’ll tell you I only ever order one dish when we go out to dinner: chicken. This isn’t true of course, but I will admit that chicken is my backup dish, my reliable mainstay amongst the flotsam and jetsam of an uninspiring menu. (It doesn’t hurt that chicken dishes typically arrive with some kind of saucy vegetable and potato arrangement, but that is neither here nor there.)

Last week we had friends visiting from France, and so I used the opportunity to knock a restaurant or two off my Must Try list. (It’s a long list, alas.) One evening, we dined in a restaurant where every hostess was certainly a model. I’d read an article about the owner; he raised chickens (well, not he, but people he employed) on a devastatingly bucolic farm somewhere upstate in order to supply the restaurant with high-quality poultry. This kind of information is like catnip to me; of course, I had to try it. Read more »

Research Chili

The fact of the matter is, I have never made chili before. Not really. I didn’t grow up in a “comfort food” household, and I do not spend my days herding cattle. I have no hockey team to feed. And since you can’t exactly whip up a single portion of chili, it never occurred to me to throw together a pot full. (A silly notion, considering how beautifully chili freezes.)

As a result of my chili ignorance, I was only vaguely aware of the rules surrounding the dish—beans vs. no beans, what cut of meat to use, what variety of chili pepper….and so on. I arrived at this recipe the same way any self-respecting nerd would have: I read everything I could get my hands on. Read more »

Black Bean, Avocado and Pineapple Salsa

What is one to do when a fragrant pineapple and a tender avocado present themselves? Salsa seemed like a good option to me. I am a fan of this recipe for various reasons—first, I think it tastes pretty great. It is also breezy to pull together, helpful in the summer when there are far more pleasant occupations than loitering in a hot kitchen. It is also full of protein, fiber and antioxidants. So far, I have served it with halibut, swordfish and tuna, but I suspect chicken and pork would also marry happily. It tastes better after the ingredients have spent some time together, so feel free to bring it along to a BBQ, a picnic or camping. Read more »