This week of English peas worked out just great. We used the last of our stash today in our luncheon salads, along with: meaty nuggets of ham pulled from simmered smoked ham hocks, lots of chopped chives and parsley, tender leaf lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, and a few sage blossoms. The vinaigrette—with Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, crushed pepperoncini, and a “buttery” extra-virgin olive oil—held all the flavors together. It’s a glorious time of the year now that our farm markets and gardens are full on. Cook something delicious for yourselves this holiday weekend, dear friends.

 

 

One of our favorite salads is Cooked & Raw. The illustrious food guru, Colman Andrews, came up with this beauty. You can mix and match seasonal ingredients, just add some raw and some cooked, grated cheese (today it’s pecorino), and always add a little chopped-up cooked pork—prosciutto, pancetta, or good old bacon. Today the salad’s star is blanched peas, supported by yellow and green beans. We whisked up a classic vinaigrette, then tossed everything together. What a combo, so satisfyingly delicious. We wished we had made more. A version of this salad is in Canal House Cooking Volume N° 3, Winter & Spring, page 32. But write to us if you want the recipe and we’ll be happy to share, mail@thecanalhouse.com.

 

Hoorah, peas are in! We found them this weekend at Trauger’s Farm. This week started with an easy lunch—rice & peas and fried chicken thighs (with extra- crispy fried chix cracklings)—that hit the spot. It will be a week of peas for us. We’d love to hear what your favorite ways to cook and eat these, the sweetest of “seeds”, so send us a note at mail@thecanalhouse.com.

 

Friday lunch—roasted beets, onion, and zucchini; a spoonful of lentil salad; and a big smear of hummus (best recipe ever from Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking). Who needs meat? Cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.

 

On a beautiful summer day like today—with 15 hours of daylight, the first string beans ready to pick, and hens laying hard-boiled eggs—it seemed a lentil salad with currants, celery, and chives (to accompany the aforementioned beans and eggs) would make a nice lunch. Cook something delicious for yourselves, dear friends.

 

Hit our local farm stand early this morning—it’s still slim pickings. But they had young garlic, beets with nice green tops, and a handful of asparagus. We challenged ourselves to use the whole darn beet.So we roasted the beet root, sautéed the stems with young garlic and added them to a rice salad, and crisped the leaves in the oven. We are polishing up our vegetable moves.

 

Over the rainy weekend one of us braised pork spareribs in rich chicken broth, removed the bones, chopped the meat, and mixed it together (along with all its juices) with a mushroom and spring onion duxelles. Today we cooked wide ribbons of fresh pasta and dressed them in butter, cream, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, then spooned on the “meat-sauce”. What a way to start the week. Keep cooking, dear friends.

 

On our way to the studio this morning, we stopped to see what was “in” at Manoff Farm Gardens in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Their fields and orchards were green and lush. Inside the market it was all berries: raspberries, blueberries, and the last of their sweet little strawberries. We bought boxes of all three for the weekend, but couldn’t resist diving into the raspberries for lunch. Raspberries for lunch? Why not—with a delicate zabaglione fortified with vin santo—it was just the right way to end the week. Cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.

 

 

This morning we made a rich stock from the carcass of Monday’s roast chicken. Then we made preserved lemon risotto for lunch today. Couldn’t have been simpler, or more delicious.

 

 

This is a real refrigerator lunch. Lucky us to find such treasures awaiting us “on ice”. A head of escarole, a juicy lemon & a preserved lemon, celery, cold poached chicken thighs, and best of all, two ripe avocados. We just chopped, sliced, mixed and everything knew just what to do—kismet.

 

Hoping to beat the heat, we got started cooking early this morning. We oven-roasted a big, olive oil and pepperoncini-rubbed bird, then set it aside on the counter to cool to room temperature. We added an escarole salad dressed with an anchovy-parmigiano vinaigrette. The blinds are down, the fans are whirling—sure feels like summer.

 

This morning we made an anchovy, garlic, and parsley paste to season a leg of lamb we are cooking tomorrow for some out-of-town guests. It got us craving our favorite little preserved fish fillets. So for lunch, we made a garlic-anchovy vinaigrette made even more robust with crushed red pepper flakes, then spooned it over string beans, ventreche tuna, hard-boiled eggs, sliced plum tomatoes, and some lucques olives. We don’t think we’ll ever tire of the deep, salty flavor that anchovies add to our cooking. Make something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.

 

 

It’s a Canal House blue-plate special for lunch today: cold poached asparagus and egg salad served with thimbles of rosé. Oh, and in honor of National Olive Day, we garnished our plates with one of our favorite varieties—meaty, mild (sweet), buttery tasting castelvetrano olives. Maybe we’ll have to have ice-cold martinis with extra olives after work today.