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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Summery Red Basil

Isn't she a beauty? I picked up this bunch of red basil at our neighborhood farmer’s market over the weekend and after one deep inhalation I was reminded of a bunch of other things, too—the house in Riverhead, Long Island, perched on a cliff with a breathtaking view of the Sound...the house full of hungry guests one summer, where I first fed my desire to cook. Fresh basil served us for a season of fresh tomato sauces, gazpacho and ribbons of the stuff on cornmeal-dusted, crusty pizzas, all full of the vibrant flavor and aroma released from the leaves.

Why not simply chiffonade a bunch of basil to boost any summer salad as well? Pluck the basil leaves from the stems and then roll a few of them up tightly like a cigar. Slice thinly on the bias for a familiar taste and yet a surprising, enhancing flavor when added to your greens!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Stars & Stripes Pasta

At first, it wasn't so much of a celebration as it was a whim surrounding what we already had in the house--including a visiting bunch of our neighbor's feisty children--that brought our bowtie pasta, spaghetti, a jar of Prego sauce (click here for homemade suggestions) and ground beef to the table. We were a little on the early side for Fourth of July, but the little ones lit up like firecrackers at the display of our dish just the same!

I always maintain that a little ingenuity is a vital ingredient in the kitchen and so, a simple dish of spaghetti acted as patriotic stripes of pasta and the bowties served as our stars. Our handsome ground beef came courtesy of Butcher Box (a sort of 'Meat-of-the-Month' Club) and naturally we wrapped it all up in a vibrant red sauce!

Happy Fourth of July, everybody!