A quick lunch of tuna, hard-boiled egg with a dab of mayonnaise, and avocado with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon to dress it up. Then we are off to weed our garden plots before the rain comes tomorrow. We are already dreaming of sliced fat beefsteak tomatoes and fried zucchini blossoms, but there is a world to do before we tie the napkins around our necks. Don’t quite know why but it brings to mind a verse of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s beautiful poem, Portrait by a Neighbor

She digs in her garden

With a shovel and a spoon,

She weeds her lazy lettuce

By the light of the moon.

 

 

 

 

 

We’re still eating the fat, creamy Ayocote Blanco beans left over from Easter Sunday. Today we served them with spicy Italian sausage and onions stewed in olive oil along with some chopped fresh mint (to catch the spring vibe). Hopefully we’ll take a walk on this pretty day. We took two plots in the Frenchtown Community Garden so we have been dreaming and planning what we’ll plant and how we’ll plant it—tomato trellises, bamboo bean teepees, melon mounds, rows and rows, and on and on. Much better than decorating a house! Sneak outside yourselves, dear friends, and breathe a little fresh air. The work will still be there when you get back.

 

One of our favorite springtime meals is scrambled eggs and poached local asparagus bathed in melted butter. We had a carton of eggs and a couple of bunches of asparagus leftover from Easter. The eggs are local, the asparagus are not (they flew in from California). What the heck? It’s officially spring so that’s what we’re having for lunch today.

 

Yesterday, prompted by Easter, we welcomed in spring and rebirth with a big gathering of friends around an outdoor feast. Spit-roasted whole lambs, little artichokes braised in olive oil and mint, tender white beans, asparagus vinaigrette,  cases of rosé, and Easter desserts. So today was the finest leftover lunch imaginable, we ate the whole meal all over again (sans the rosé).

 

 

Oh yeah, we forgot to mention yesterday that when we were at Altomante’s Italian market, we also picked up a package of their frozen fresh gnocchi, some string beans, and thinly sliced boneless chicken breasts. We thought we’d sautée the cutlets in butter, and toss the cooked beans and gnocchi with pesto. The aforementioned pesto has been stashed in our freezer since we made it last fall, just waiting for such a moment. So for lunch today, we did just what we thunk we’d do—and it was a very good (delicious) idea.

 

Altomonte’s, our local Italian market, recently moved and expanded. Lucky for us. Now they have room for more of everything we love. When we stopped in this morning, the butcher, an old acquaintance, introduced us to a new type of steak they are carrying—Certified Piedmontese beef, from an Italian breed of cattle raised in the USA. We bought a cowboy ribeye steak (a ribeye on the bone) and pan-seared it for a late lunch today.
True enough, the meat was lean and tender with great flavor. What’s a good Italian steak without some sautéed broccoli rabe? No dinner for us tonight.
 

Our local market sells boneless turkey breast roasts—the two halves of the breast tied together into a neat package. We love these sorts of roasts. But instead of roasting it, we keep the turkey moist by braising it with sliced onions, grated plum tomatoes, olive oil, and salt and pepper. It makes such a flavorful sauce. Good enough to eat with a spoon, but better yet, we cooked some orecchiette and added it to the pot just before serving.

 

 

We shared a lunch of crispy Vietnamese spring rolls showered with cilantro and mint leaves with nuoc cham—lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and chilies (it pretty much covers all the flavor bases!). Good way to start the week.

 

We look forward to this treat every March 18th—corned beef hash topped with a poached egg. We thought yesterday’s boiled corned beef dinner for St. Paddy’s day would leave us with enough leftovers to make today’s lunch, but we ran short (we each had the boiled dinner again for dinner!). CH stopped at the market early this morning and picked up another corned beef. By the time MH got to the studio, the meat was slowly simmering away on the stove, the distinctively delicious aroma filling the studio. This year, we gilded the lily adding a  spoonful of our luxurious lemon-butter sauce to the egg topped hash. We think even St. Patrick would approve.

 

We’ve been away from the studio, out in the big wide world, so we’ve been eating lunch elsewhere. But happily we are back in our snug studio. Chive and garlic shoots are up in our gardens and Saint Patricks Day lore says it’s time to plant our potatoes. Oh yes, Erin go bragh—Ireland forever! In today’s honor lunch is a boiled dinner of corned beef and cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. Even though there is nothing green on the plate, it tastes like spring to us. Van Morrison is crooning through the speakers and we are both wearing green.