French (or garden) sorrel is a super hardy perennial potherb with a bright pleasant tartness. It grows in my unheated hoop house even in the harshest winters providing refreshingly tart leaves for our winter salads. It is one of the first vegetables I harvest outside: […]
This recipe was originally published in the Seasonal Table Column that I write for Flavor Magazine (Oct-Nov 2011 issue). As the weather cools off, spinach is happily growing for us again, a versatile green delicious raw or cooked. I love the earthy combination of […]
What is it about a snowy day that makes me reach for comfort food? It’s rather funny actually. We’ve had horrendous days this winter, cold and blustery, wind blowing at 50 miles an hour in 20 degree weather and no snow cover – terribly hard on animals and plants, and humans too. And no special yearning for comfort food. And then comes the much awaited much hoped for snow, finally. Finally, since the previous snow storms went either North, South or West of us, leaving us desperately parched, and feeling cursed. All in all, it was not that much, maybe 5 or 6 inches of wet snow. But I am grateful. And let’s face it: I like snow in winter.
And so maybe it’s a little celebration of sorts this need for comfort food? A sign that, after all, things are OK; (more…)
Hot. Muggy. Summer in Virginia. Finally. Sigh…
I can’t really complain, July having been relatively cool, but now it’s hot. It’s time for cold lemonade, lots of ice teas, dishes that do not heat up the kitchen (it’s being heated enough with canning)… like cold soups. You know, either the ones to which you never have to apply heat (think Gazpacho) or the ones that you can throw together from precooked ingredients, especially from left over, and a few garden fresh things – like my Sorrel Vichyssoise.
Many people are not familiar with sorrel in the United States. A shame really, because it is one of the few perennial vegetables for temperate climates, very easy to grow, and pretty much care free. Yes, it can look a little raggedy in the summer, but it’ll perk up in the fall providing nice tender leaves for salads again. In summer, the leaves get a little tougher faster than in cool weather, but are still eminently usable, especially when pureed for sauces or soup. I often use it in my cooking workshops, introducing a new taste to students, and every body opens big eyes at the taste, loving it. (more…)
There are indubitable signs of springs out there (besides the 2 minutes of additional daily daytime we are getting now). For once, the snowdrops are nodding their tiny white bells in the still blustery gusts of wind and then, then!, yellow IS swelling the buds […]
The lettuce beds are looking lush and fluff – if you lift the agricultural fabric swaddled over them, that is – providing huge bowls of greens, but, with the temperature regularly dropping below freezing (at night only for now, thankfully), I am hungering for soup.
(Alas, since no picture of tonight’s soup was taken, you must look at pictures of the winterized kitchen garden beds, and the still lovely lettuce – of which I am quite proud.)
A quick walk through the garden yielded enough to make a nutritious hearty soup, what I call my garden soup. What goes into the pot depends on what I have – the secret being to use a super rich broth*. Today’s picking was symptomatic on a late fall day – quasi-winter really. (more…)
Gala, Crispin (or Mutsu), Fuji, Honeycrisp, Rhode Island Greening, York, McIntosh, Jonathan & Jonagold, Stayman Winesap, even Golden Delicious (one of MY favorites), Red Delicious & Granny Smith: those are just a few of the cultivars of apples available for pick up at our local […]