Posts tagged ‘basil’

October 4, 2011

Roasted Tomato Pasta with Chickpeas, Garlic and Basil

Tomatoes.

A gorgeous rainbow of baby heirloom tomatoes.

We over at the Urban Farm are rolling in them. Drowning in them, just about. No, really. I don’t think you fully understand me. I am telling you we are dealing with an onslaught, a true onslaught of tiny tomatoes, marching so steadily and relentlessly towards ripeness that it is difficult to keep pace with them. It is a problem.

It is, in fact, my very favorite problem of the month.

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June 15, 2011

Early Summer, Ripe for Change (and Zucchini)

You know what’s pretty great? This pasta.

early summer pasta carbonara

It’s nutritious, delicious, and mostly meat-free. And it’s got zucchini (!), which is always a fun word to say. Perhaps most importantly, it is excellent for aiding in the recovery of sleepless whirlwind weekends and providing the necessary sustenance to enable one to gracefully roll with the punches…. Both of which I have had some firsthand experience with in the last few days.

First, something pretty great happened this weekend. And then yesterday something not-so-great happened. I am still reeling from both, feeling alternately aflutter and adrift.

Ever the optimist, I am hopeful that these not-so-great things will turn out to be great things in disguise; doors closed that lead to doors opened and all that. But sometimes, despite all your positive thinking, you can’t help wondering: How do I decide what the best course of action is? What if I’m wrong? What do I do if this ends up being a big mistake? And why does it seem like there are far more ways to screw something up than there are to get it right?

Yesterday, grappling with these questions was turning out to be a losing battle. I was starting to feel overwhelmed, and so out of sorts that my faith in myself was shaken. When that happens, I find the best thing to do is immerse yourself in something familiar and comfortable: Get your hands busy doing something you know how to do; something that will make you feel capable and grounded and help you get your Little Engine That Could-feeling back.

Also, it is worth mentioning that dealing with life-changes on an empty stomach is rarely a good idea.

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September 13, 2010

A Parting Gift

Dear Summer,

You have been so sweet. Let me sit back and take a moment to remember you — the salt-crusted skin and the smell of brine; the sound of cicadas and crashing waves; the intense sweetness of a plum after an accidental mouthful of seawater; the feel of falling asleep tucked into a hammock, impossibly both grounded and weightless, floating; the stretch of long days, melting hot and sticky-sweet, and the cool relief of evening — before I say goodbye….

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August 2, 2010

Cucumber and White Bean Salads

This weekend I spent another lovely afternoon in New Haven, with my brother, not eating eggs.

a lovely summer table of meatless (and sadly egg-less) proteins

If you’re wondering why I announced what we were not eating (ie, eggs) instead of what we did (those nifty cucumber and white bean salads up there), it’s because we were supposed to be having eggs: backyard-fresh, straight-from-the-hen eggs. Because my brother has been chickensitting for his neighbors, and was sure he would have accumulated such a massive collection of eggs that last week he commissioned me to start thinking about new and interesting ways to use them all.

Truth be told, the real reason I went to New Haven was not to visit my brother, but to visit the chickens.

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July 7, 2010

Cool as a Cucumber

It’s the middle of summer — the days are hot and humid and stretch on for hours, seemingly endless, until finally they melt into those high summer apricot and lavender skies — and I can’t get enough of it.

I love the feel of the sun, the smell of the air and the water; the coconutty smell of sunscreen. I love ducking into the air-conditioned bus to escape the muggy, oppressive heat of Manhattan and heading home for weekends of beaches and hammocks and local wine. But perhaps more than anything, I cherish this season that brings wave after wave of lush new produce. Each week, it seems, a new crop sweeps into the farmer’s markets; a new jewel-toned addition to the summer palette of bright yellows and reds, deep purples and creamy greens.

chilled cucumber soup 1

Now I don’t like to play favorites with my vegetables, but there is something magical about the arrival of sweet corn, those perfect little rows of velvety pearls that turn buttercup yellow with a little heat and pop in sweet little bursts between your teeth…. Um, wow.

So when last week I received a report from my darling mother that the corn was in early this year — that it was already flooding farmstands by the bushelfull, well in time for Fourth of July festivities — I was thrilled. And I wasn’t the only one. I could tell from the tone in which my mother gave this report that she was pleased as punch with herself for being the bearer of such wonderful news.

In the days leading up to the holiday weekend, visions of sweet corn chowder danced through my head, distracting me from paying attention to things like my job, conversations, crosswalk signs…. I simply could not WAIT to get home and into a big kitchen with a huge armload of corn and some fresh milk.

There was, however, just one problem: it was really, really hot last weekend. Really hot. Like, record-breaking, haven’t-seen-temperatures-like-these-since-nineteen-ninety-nine hot. And despite the fact that my parents are far less stingy with the air conditioning than I am, the thought of simmering a chowder on the stovetop for a few hours sounded like the very last thing I wanted to be doing.

Have I ever told you that I am a firm believer that when life hands you lemons, you should make lemonade? Or lemon bars (and share them with me)? Or that when one door closes, another one opens? Because I am a firm believer in both of those things.

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