Every month I have the privilege of getting together with a small group of women under the pretense of discussing a book. While we always devote at least a minute or two to the book, we spend most of our time catching up on each other’s lives over dinner.
This past Sunday was no exception. We laughed a lot, commiserated some, and ate a memorable meal together. My friend who was hosting this month has serious food-style. She’s got a knack for making approachable, soul-warming food and then giving it a bit of a twist. She makes it looks effortless, yet I always push back my chair from her table feeling inspired.
Posted in Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Tagged bell pepper, Cranberries, Edamame, farro, Food, kale, Orange Vinaigrette, Pepitas, Recipe, salad
I’ve had serious recipe block recently. Everything is so gosh-darn perfect at the farmer’s market that it needs no help. Take corn. It only needs to be roasted and then rubbed with a little butter and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Tomatoes don’t even need vinegar. Simply splash thick slices with a little olive oil and some sliced basil and you have a delicious side. I don’t even want to talk about the peaches which I’ve bought every week this summer with the goal of making peach pie, but instead have eaten fresh as anything else would be gilding the lily.
Perhaps all this perfection was what made me scoop up a couple of green tomatoes yesterday. Tangy and firm to the touch, those unripe tomatoes were something that required my attention; something that for all their goodness could be improved upon.
Salad as a main course is a tricky thing. The thought of it immediately conjures up visions of dressing-soaked lettuce, sad chicken, and limp toppings. Slapped together haphazardly with little love, it’s never my first choice when eating out.
At home, it’s a different thing altogether. A little care and good ingredients can make a side dish that steals the show or a main course that satiates even the hungriest diners. This recipe for salade niçoise makes one of those salads.
Refreshing, parsley-loaded tabbouleh reminds me of Christmas in Tallahassee, Florida. Confused? Strange as it may seem except for just a few Christmases when I couldn’t make it home, I’ve celebrated the holiday with pita, hummus, and tabbouleh for as long as I can remember.
How did this Southern girl end up celebrating Christmas with the dishes of the Middle East? When my parents first moved to Tallahassee in the early 80s, they didn’t know anyone. My brother and I were quite young at the time and when Christmas rolled around the thought of traveling was a little too much to bear so they decided to celebrate at home. Three other families were in the same predicament and a Christmas day tradition was born.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged bulgur wheat, Christmas, christmas potluck, Food, Herbs, Iraq, parsley, Recipe, salad, tabbouleh, Vegetarian
Tis the season for outdoor entertaining and with it that dreaded request to “please bring a side dish.” Maybe it’s just me, but I find being a guest in the winter is far easier than being a guest in the summer. In the winter, a bouquet of flowers or a bottle of wine, makes any host happy. In the summer, when I’d rather be reading a book in the hammock, it seems that hosts have the same idea and consequently, ask guests to get a little more involved.
I share this observation not to get myself scratched off from every guest list this summer (although after reading my first paragraph, I’m starting to get a little nervous), but instead to advise you to start thinking about a recipe or two that will be your go-to side dish over the next couple of months.