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On this overcast fall day, our lunch is bowls of buttery cauliflower, chickpeas, soft onions, and parsley, with the warm flavors of fresh ginger, crushed cumin, coriander, and chili flakes.

We spent the first part of the week making caldron after caldron of ragù alla Bolognese (good ol’ Bolognese sauce here in America), the main course of a dinner for one hundred guests at a bloggers’ seminar hosted by The Big Potluck. We saved a little for our lunch today and served it over tagliatelle. MH licked her plate—the very highest Canal House compliment! Looking forward to teaching a little, learning a lot, and more of this delizioso pasta!

The seminar is full, but to read about it—

Here we are on this first day of autumn with the best of summer’s tomatoes—deep-red throughout and sweet and juicy. But our tastes have changed, just as the season has. Instead of our summer regime of sliced, peeled tomatoes, we opted to roast them with a spatchcocked chicken in a very hot oven until their skins blistered and they gave up their meaty juices to make a rich sauce. Then we threw in a handful of little zucchini to roast in the pan with the bird. We set up our little folding table and ate lunch sitting by the open doors overlooking the canal—it felt like we were on a house boat. Happy Fall, dear friends.

Day two of hummus for lunch. Today we smeared a circle of hummus on a big white dinner plate. We added spoonfuls of ripe tomato concasse with garlic, slices of avocado, minced chives, a drizzle of good olive oil, then seasoned everything with salt and Aleppo pepper. Make something delicious for yourself this weekend, dear friends.

Wishing we were closer to Michael Solomonov’s Dizengoff, a new Isreali hummusiya in the City of Brotherly Love. Nothing to do but make our own simple hummus with olive oil and Aleppo chile pepper. But we are saving up for bus fare and heading down there as soon as our piggy bank is full—l’chaim!

Harrissa mussels on little toasts—a late lunch or nibble with a glass of rosé? You decide. Now cook something delicious for yourself tonight.

Well, today’s lunch is The Canal House version of the Diet Plate Special: hamburger steak with sliced tomatoes. But the meat is coarsely ground chuck steak and brisket and the tomatoes are all-dressed-up-for-summer with mayonnaise, fresh herbs, and a few drops of olive oil—so delicious and the old jeans feel looser already.

It’s tomato-time around these parts and we are savoring the glut. Today’s lunch—one huge, very ripe fruit stewed with a little (a lot of) olive oil until it collapsed on itself; then we strained it, and poached a duck egg in the rich red sauce.

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