Just as we began to feel a bit peckish, Mrs. Wheelbarrow (aka famed cookbook author Cathy Barrow) rolled in with her entourage—Morty, Louie, and Mr. W. They are all the loveliest of gentlemen. So we threw together a Salade Niçoise and poured thimblefuls of cold rosé then all sat down to a most convivial lunch. A wonderful way to start the week.
It’s been rain, rain, and more rain; so our summer grilling has been curtailed. Between the downpours we slipped out and grilled/smoked some spareribs rubbed with cinnamon, pimentón, caraway and fennel seeds, and salt and pepper. While they cooked, we boiled some eggs, made a bowlful of old-fashioned potato salad, and cracked open a jar of cold dill pickles. If this is Friday’s lunch, imagine the possibilities for the weekend (speaking of which, the predictions are for sunny skies). Cook something delicious for yourselves, dear friends.
We bought a big green cabbage to make coleslaw for an outdoor gathering last weekend. The menu changed at the last minute, so the cabbage has been rolling around in our fridge all week long. We’ve lost our taste for coleslaw for the moment, and instead are craving something with a deeper flavor, something to go with the tender cannellini we cooked earlier today. So we quartered the cabbage, put it in a deep Le Creuset pot, added a grated fresh tomato, olive oil, a branch of fresh sage, pepperoncini, salt, pepper, and a splash of the cannellini bean cooking liquid. We covered the pot and roasted the cabbage until it was tender and sweet, then served it with the cannellini, spooning the juices from the pot on top. Who knew cabbage and beans could taste so good?
The Delaware River valley is as lush as a tropical rain forest these days. Passing thunder showers and downpours have been soaking the landscape for the past week and it is forecast to continue for yet another week. Looking on the bright side, rain makes mushrooms. So we slipped into the woods early this morning, to one of our secret spots, and sure enough (though one can never be sure), we found enough golden chanterelles for today’s lunch. We sautéed them in butter and olive oil, seasoned them with chopped parsley, salt, and pepper, and served them alongside scrambled eggs. We love eggs showered with shaved truffles in the late fall and early winter, but this humble combination is one of our favorite summer treats.
All year long we wait for this season when the last of the spring vegetables give way to summer’s bounty: shucked English peas; baby white turnips (sweet as candy); small, firm yellow squash and zucchini (plus two pinky-size zucchini); spring onions; a not-quite-dead-ripe tomato (peeled of course); zucchini flowers; and a handful of foraged chanterelles. We let the vegetables sing their own song, doing nothing more than blanching or stewing them with fresh tarragon, bathing them in lots of salted butter, adding a splash of extra-virgin olive oil, and seasoning them with a crushed pepperoncini, salt, and pepper. Who needs meat, pasta, or anything else when the vegetables are as spectacular as this?
We are in our new studio, albeit with unpacked boxed marked with things like—“whisks and spatulas”, “wine glasses”, “favorite cookbooks”. We can’t wait to unpack, but before we tie on the aprons we have to pass our “official certifications” to start cooking! Well, we never! So right now we are keeping it simple—a green bean, zucchini & spring onion frittata with a salad of young leaves dressed with Canal House’s best vinaigrette. It’s beginning to taste like home!