Green-Garlic Farro Salad with Marinated Zucchini and Herbs

We’ve been traveling quite a bit, but whenever I’m in the kitchen lately, all I want is summer fruits and vegetables done simply. I grate tomatoes into pan-con-tomate pulp, add a glug of good olive oil, sherry vinegar and sea salt–it’s wonderful as it is, or spooned over grilled fish. I grill olive oil-ed asparagus and lemons together–and sauce the charred spears with the deep, grilled juice. Cut corn from the cob and fold it, raw, into every pasta/grain/salad that crosses your path.

There is certain summer produce that, once it comes into season, I cook and eat compulsively until it disappears from the market. Green garlic–the immature garlic bulb that isn’t yet papery on the outside–is one example. I use a mandolin to thinly slice the bulb whole, and then saute as I would with minced garlic cloves. Zucchini is another example. This year I’ve discovered the fresh joy of raw zucchini: marinate zucchini coins/ribbons/”spaghetti” with salt, lemon juice and good olive oil until the zucchini goes wilty and soft. That’s it.

In this salad, both treatments get elevated. I love grain-and-vegetable salads for summer: they’re happy in the fridge for many days, they serve a crowd and they’re great for picnics/cook-outs/travel.

green garlic Green-Garlic Farro Salad with Marinated Zucchini and Herbs

Green-Garlic Farro Salad with Marinated Zucchini and Herbs

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Wedding Bucatini with Peas, Spinach and Herb Ricotta + A Tieks Giveaway

I doubt this will surprise anyone, but–I cared a lot about the food we served at the wedding. I wanted our guests to enjoy a truly delicious meal–not an easy task when catering to 150 people at once! I also wanted to showcase the season, at the expense of established “wedding food” favorites.

For months, I worked back and forth with our caterer (Hi, Matt, Maureen and Christina!) until we settled on the menu you see below. All the work was more than worth it–I loved the final product. I’ll never forget it. I wish I could eat these dishes over and over again!

This post is my effort to recreate one of our wedding dishes at home. My version deviates from the original in style, but it brings the same flavors to the table. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

sugar snap pea fresh bucatiniTieks ballet flats

I’m also really pleased to talk about Tieks in this post, since I wear them nearly every day. They are crazy comfortable, fold up for purse-sized storage, and come in a bunch of colors and patterns. (I actually gifted Tieks to the bridesmaids at the wedding, and spent most of my night rocking these.) I concede they’re on the pricier side, but I’ve had my current pair going on two years–I still love them, and I think they’re totally worth the investment. And something else–the people who work at there are just the absolute kindest.

As a gift to you, I’d like to give away a $100 gift certificate to one lucky reader. To enter: 1) Follow Tieks on one of their social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter). 2) Leave a note in the comments–what is the best or worst food you’ve ever had at a wedding? The contest will close Sunday, June 21st at 11:59pm. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Wedding Bucatini with Peas, Spinach and Herb RicottaThe Roaming Kitchen wedding menu

The Roaming Kitchen wedding ravioloThe Roaming Kitchen wedding raviolo

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Trevisano and Blood Orange Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts, Pecorino, and Hot Honey + Ramp Fest Hudson

There’s an article on Food52 today about the poet Jacqueline Suskin‘s new book, Go Ahead & Like It. Its pages are a hodgepodge of images, lists, and sketches–a collection of ‘things Suskin likes,’ built over time.

The editors at Food52 took this premise to heart, and created their own lists.

It sounds simple, but each list was a pleasure–each author so specific and so particular. It’s spiritually satisfying: a reminder to meditate on the small, happy things that wing through our day to day lives. The payoff of such a daily practice is both literary and psychological.

I wrote my own list below.  It’s what floated to the surface on a Wednesday morning at the end of April, less than five weeks from my wedding, in my office in Hoboken.


– The words, “pamplemousse,” “murciélago,” and “soup”
– Haroun and the Sea of Stories         
– Meticulous trip-planning
– Going to the movies alone, preferably with a giant water bottle and a rice krispie treat
– Mechanical pencils
– Not wearing shoes or pants
– Bright lipstick
– Doughnuts from Doughnut Plant + pie from Four and Twenty Blackbirds
– My in-laws’ backyard in France
– Falling asleep mid-conversation
– Grilled pizza
– The poetry of Lynn Emanuel
– Arrested Development
– Listening to books on tape while cooking, cleaning, or packing


I’d love to read your lists as well. Please leave them in the comments!

Trevisano

For those living the the New York area, I’ll be in Hudson, NY this Saturday May 2nd from 12-4pm for the Fifth Annual Ramp Fest Hudson. 20 chefs (from Hudson + New York City) are set to participate, including plenty of my local favorites like The Crimson Sparrow, Ca’Mea, Swoon Kitchenbar, and Fish & Game.

It’ll be like eating at twenty awesome, ramp-focused restaurants in one day. Heaven.

The event will be held at the Basilica Hudson (handily located across the street from the Hudson Amtrak station. It’s a 2.5-ish hour drive from Brooklyn-Hudson, or a 2 hour train ride from Penn Station). A $30-ticket gives you access to a tasting portion of each dish, live music, and a (cash) bar.

On Saturday, I’ll pick a favorite ramp recipe, and post it on The Roaming Kitchen, so even those far away can participate!

(On a personal note: The Frenchman and I visit Hudson a few times a year, and we love it. The Frenchman even proposed in Hudson, in the middle of a snowstorm! While you’re there, here are some of our favorite places to visit: Grazin’ Diner (diner food, made with fantastic, grass-fed ingredients), window shopping the antique shops up and down Warren Street, Fish & Game (where the Frenchman and I dined post-proposal. It’s a special place.), Kinderhook Farm (a little to the north of Hudson, this is my favorite farm to visit/buy eggs and meat from), Olde Hudson (a specialty grocery store), LICK (for delicious ice cream), and The Spotty Dog (it’s a bookstore AND a bar!)

Trevisano and Blood Orange Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts, Pecorino, and Hot Honey

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Best Veggie Burger Ever, V2

I’m not sure whether this feeling is universal or not but, I’m finding twenty nine a very odd bird. It’s been a liminal time: I know what I want now (for the most part), but I haven’t yet figured out how to bring what I want for myself to fruition. It’s incredibly frustrating. Twenty nine is not not twenty four–I’m not trying to discover who I am. And it’s not thirty either, which in my mind is the mythical year when you are unequivocally not a child anymore.

Twenty nine has been planning a wedding, now only a few months away. From a distance, a wedding seems like a concrete action, an objective step forward. But in fact, being married isn’t a hurdle to conquer; instead, it’s a symbol (and symptom) of something much longer-brewing. In future, I don’t think we’ll think of the day after the big day as the start of our “real” relationship. Our relationship, the one that brings me comfort and joy and security every day, began six years ago. The slow work of those six years carried us here. One day isn’t a beginning or an end, but instead a (special, special) punctuation mark in the story of our life together.

But in my head, I’ve detached the symbol from the practice. I’ve spent so much time scheming and dreaming this huge party we’re throwing, this party I’m looking forward to so much. But even still, the event feels like an intangible monolith. My subconscious seems to agree, because I dream about it almost nightly now. These aren’t nightmares, but they are strange and highly vivid, so that when I wake up it takes me a full minute to realize the that dream does not reflect reality.

So many of the big questions have floated to the surface this year. Where will we live? The US and France are possibilities, but the nature of the Frenchman’s work opens up other domestic or international options, too. Will we continue to rent our narrow Brooklyn apartment, or should we buy? And if so, where? And when? If you’d asked me five years ago, I would have suggested starting a family at twenty nine. Now, that idea seems ludicrous and impossible. But if not now, then when?

Reading this over, I can see that I’m in need of an herbal tea, some yoga, and the cleansing purge of an Arrested Development marathon. I get that I’m more plan-obsessed than most balanced human beings. But even when I remind myself to forget the big things for a while, the fact is, they aren’t phantoms. The realities of twenty nine cannot be wished away, whether I like it or not. Whether I like it or not, I possess no crystal ball, and there is a limit to my agency.

Twenty nine is all the balls in the air. Twenty nine is waiting for them to fall down again, to see where they land.

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Roasty Cauliflower + Butternut Squash Tartine with Sultanas and Pepitas

One night last week, when the Frenchman was away on business, I dominated every single one of our wedding invitations. I stayed at the table late into the night, five hours in fact, watching Gilmore Girls for company. I painted the inside of each envelope with gold foil liners–Has anyone else done this? The liners should come with a “tedious work ahead!” label. My first five attempts were embarrassing, but I quickly worked out a system. And then came the actual invitation-stuffing. (The Frenchman and I designed our invites based on watercolors of our wedding flowers, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the towers of La Rochelle, from where the Frenchman hails.)

But now I’m frightening our doorman. You see, the only thing still standing in my way are the stamps, which are taking their sweet time arriving in the mail. Every time I go downstairs I bound toward the desk: “Do we have any packageeees?” Like a demented puppy. It isn’t dignified. Doesn’t he know that stamps are the only thing separating me from the oncoming rush of rsvps?! And eventual table seating charts? With post-its? (Actually, yes he does, since I bring it up regularly.)

If you think I sound a little left of center at the moment, you’re right. In my defense, I’m mostly planning the wedding myself. Also, to say I’m a list-obsessed micromanager is a bit of a gentle understatement. You should see the joint excel files the Frenchman and I have going! I try to show them to people–“Look! Look at our color-coded wedding excels!” And then the person has to say to me, “No, Cris, no. This isn’t a thing. I don’t want to see your excel files.” Can you believe that?!

We have twelve weeks to go. There are so many details, so many little tasks to be completed. But despite my basket case tendencies, the whole process has been really enjoyable. And it’s lovely working with the Frenchman in all sorts of creative ways.

I paused the wedding madness long enough to make these tartines for lunch. I thought they were delicious. I hope you will too.

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A Winter Salad of Fennel, Celery Root, Lemon, and Pecorino

I have never met a group more reliable to have a good meal with–and it should be said, a few drinks with–than poets…Poets tend to love the details, the process of food, the languid hours of a good meal–meaning not just the vittles but the talk, often loud, that accompanies it.

This may also be because the best poems, like the best meals, are made from scratch. Both rely on the seasons, but also human history; both also consist of tradition, on knowledge passed down either from books or from generation to generation, hand to mouth. In poetry, there are few shortcuts, but there are secrets. Food and poetry each insist that we put our own twists and ingredients in the mix: we make each dish, like a good poem, our own. With any luck, the result is both surprising and satisfying, exactly what we wanted, perhaps without even knowing it.

However, we know well the ways in which our society has abandoned good food, and too often poetry entirely–as if it grows without water and light, and that our neglect won’t reveal itself. “Can one be inspired by rows of prepared canned meals?” asked Alice B. Toklas, who knew her way around both poetry & a kitchen. “Never. One must get nearer to creation to be able to create, even in the kitchen.”

A Winter Salad of Fennel, Celery Root, Lemon, and Pecorino ingredients A Winter Salad of Fennel, Celery Root, Lemon, and Pecorino prep

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Whole Wheat-Kitchen Sink Tart

This is the longest absence, by a long shot, I’ve taken from this blog since its inception more than three years ago. It’s been a struggle, to put into words exactly why I needed a break. I still have no solid reason. Nothing happened. It was just a persistent feeling: the need to sit peacefully for a minute, to take time away from constant, frenetic connection.

It’s been a season of sea change. I am re-learning how to focus on what’s actually, concretely important, instead of attempting 100% all the time, running myself into the ground in the process. I’m rejiggering my expectations: drinking a cup of tea and staring out the window doesn’t have to be a lazy act; often it is restorative and necessary. I put so much pressure on myself, both in this space and in life, and it’s only served to make me bone tired. Constant activity, trying to please everyone—it’s simply not sustainable.

I’m working to figure out what I want. I’d like to come out the other side a more joyful person. Like anything worth doing, progress is slow, but for the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m no longer swimming under water.

I don’t have any Thanksgiving material this year (but oh boy, did I ever last year. Check it out here, here, and here), but here’s a small summary of things-that-make-me-happy lately:

The woman across the restaurant in the big hat, who smacks her lips unembarrassedly and pronounces her wine “delicious.” Serial. Sandy Kenyon’s movie minute. The apartment-filling smell of caramelized onions. Walking along the Manhattan bridge alone on a brisk November Sunday, listening to a book on tape. Sauce, copious sauce, in almost any variety. The port-in-a-storm quality of the international foods section in the otherwise hectic Bed, Bath, & Beyond on 6th avenue. The earth-sweet-pungent smell of Concord grapes at the market. Homemade hot chocolate. Sitting alone at the kitchen table, licking oozing goat cheese slowly off a dull knife. Pulling a slim volume of Mary Oliver poems off the shelf and carrying it to bed.

butter and flour whole wheat pie dough

mixed cherry tomatoes

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Arugula Pistou + Kinderhook Farm

I live in the city, a fact I’m acutely aware of from the moment I wake up (to the sonorous pounding of multiple high-rise constructions) to my subway hop home (look! a host of sparrows eating….an old piece of pizza?) There are many things I love about my neighborhood of Brooklyn (this, this, and this, to name a few), but the urban reality also means that whole months go by when I forget what silence sounds like. I forget that the sky is really a wild, open, spangled thing, and not always doled out in tetris patches.

This push and pull is noisiest in late summer, when the city’s muggy and farmers’ markets are ripe with peaches. I get restless. By August, weekends become little islands of opportunity. And so for two years now, we reserve the first weekend of August for Kinderhook Farm.

This year we traveled to Ghent, New York with friends, and the most stressful thing I did all weekend was lose a game of Scrabble. Otherwise, we made power-relaxation our raison d’être. I cooked quite a lot: spaghetti with melted tomatoes, corn, and mozzarella I hope to share with you here soon. Grilled pizzas and corn on the cob. Cheeseburgers made with ground beef sourced from the farm. And s’mores, the Frenchman’s first.

It was such a pleasure. Two days of concentrated time with friends is a gift. And nothing makes me happier, absolutely nothing, than cooking with and for those I love. It’s an easy, immediate joy.

I also love the place itself, for its restorative properties. I love how Kinderhook contrasts my everyday life, and the feel of the barn’s wooden planks against my feet, almost warm. I love the fire pit and the technicolor chickens pecking wherever they please. Keys are obsolete. We wander the pastures and lounge in hammocks pitched at the edge of the yard. We buy local beer by the growler. The only noises are nature-made: bleating sheep, violining crickets, the rustle of wind through leaves. If you’re a light sleeper, roosters announce the new day. It’s tonic for the spirit.

chicken at Kinderhook Farmflowers in the barn at Kinderhook Farmgrilled pizza

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