I’ve developed an unfortunate habit. It’s quite embarrassing, really, but still I persist:
I want your bones. All of them. The bigger the better. I will probably ask for yours in public. Please don’t try to fight it.
Perhaps I should explain.
In the last few months, I’ve formed a tiny obsession with homemade stocks. The understanding that bones + water + vegetables + herbs + time = liquid splendor has been revelatory. I don’t fuss over details: I use the bones, herbs and vegetables I have on hand. This way, each batch is slightly different, but always wonderful. I freeze the results in ice cube trays, and use what I need for soups, pan sauces, risotto, rice. Good stock gives new life to vegetables, mashed potatoes and leftovers alike. Read more
After months and months of the same old, same old at the market—the same ruddy sweet potatoes, the same crinkled white onions—these days it’s flush with new gems all the time, and I am unapologetically thrilled about it. Last week I collected peach blossom branches (note: peach blossom branches do not fit into bicycle baskets; you will look clumsy all the way home), and this week I scooped up bundles of perfumed lilacs, to fill every available ledge of my apartment.
Broccolini arrived this week, which I plan to boil in salty water until it just yields, and then toss lovingly with olive oil and Pecorino. There are a multitude of baby lettuces to consider, not to mention the asparagus I will barely roast and toss with lemon juice or egg yolk. And what about radishes? They should be sliced thinly and strewn across buttery toast, sprinkled with sea salt…. It’s a good time to be a cook. Read more
Like everyone else, it seems, I am slightly obsessed with summer tomatoes. And while I sampled a fair few this summer, one variety emerged the clear winner. Sun Gold. Oh, Sun Gold. Even the name evokes summer. They are perfect for the season in every way—sweet, bite-sized and lustrously colored. They require no alterations, to be sure, but I found that pan roasting them with a little olive oil and maple syrup unveils a deeper flavor. It also creates a rich and honeyed tomato jus—fantastic on top of the carbonara sauce. I’m a fan of this carbonara recipe because while it satisfies a craving for creaminess, it is not overly heavy. The Molloni’s large spirals capably capture the sunny, runny sauce. (If you can’t find Molloni, I like orecchietti, too). Finally, peas and barely-warm ham impart added freshness. Read more
Apparently, French people think corn is for chickens. I, however, must disagree. I grew up between rural Massachusetts and New Jersey, where from early July to mid-September corn is sold at roadside farmer’s stands…. for human consumption. This recipe was my attempt to introduce a reluctant Frenchman to the joys of summer sweet corn, and also strives to showcase other summer produce. The pesto ties it all together, and fusilli is great for catching every last drop. Feel free to vary the amount of pesto and fresh herbs you use, depending on your taste. This dish works perfectly for a picnic or potluck, as it tastes delightful hot or cold. Read more