It’s grape season! Even though grapes are available year-round, fall is one of the only times I buy them. Domestic grapes are in season, which means they’re tasty and affordable. (Grapes are always on the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” list, so I only buy organic.)
This fall, I’ve noticed a lot of recipes with cooked grapes, which are delicious. I found a lovely-sounding panna cotta in MS Living, and this easy sausage and roasted grape main course from Bon Appetit. In my freekeh salad recipe, you roast the grapes pretty much like you’d roast any vegetable–tossed with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pop into the oven until they’re wrinkled, juicy, and a little bit golden.
As I mentioned, I was in Sicily on vacation for the better part of August. My husband’s parents live there, and have a great five-unit place right across from the beach on the Southeastern coast. We had our own little apartment with a full kitchen and a washing machine (unfortunately, dryers are rare!), so I was able to cook a lot, and made a lot of Sicilian dishes while I was there. My mother-in-law stocked our fridge before we arrived–so I had all the ingredients to make classic caponata. (This cracked me up, since many of the ingredients–like salted capers–would almost surely require a special trip to the market in the US, but here, they’re staples. That’s how you know you’re cooking the right things while abroad!) Continue reading
I love making salad dressing–whether vinaigrette or creamy, homemade always trumps bottled–always! I tried a great recipe from the August issue of Martha Stewart Living (the content doesn’t appear to be online yet, or I’d link to it–recipe is on page 64. Update: here it is!) It inspired me to try to make a dairy-free version, which I’m happy to report turned out great! Instead of using classic creamy-dressing components like mayonnaise, yogurt, sour cream, or cheese, I swapped in raw cashews and ripe avocado. Honestly, you’d never guess it’s vegan! Continue reading
It’s always good to have a few easy and delicious sides in your recipe arsenal! This one has become a favorite in my house. The title basically says it all: make some long-grain white rice (add a little salt to the water before cooking.) Once it’s ready, fluff with a fork, then stir in some butter, sliced green onions, and chopped pecans. Serve hot.
I’m posting this lovely spring salad not because it’s a delicious recipe (though it is perfectly yummy,) but because I made it after declaring that there was nothing in the fridge–Nothing but some wilting fennel and a carrot. After trimming and shredding them, I made a little vinaigrette with a spoonful of mustard, some vinegar, sugar, and olive oil. Tossed in some chives and mint (the only herbs that have come up yet in the garden) and some salt and pepper. Easy, delicious veggie side about a minute! It just goes to show that if you can get creative, you can almost always pull off something healthy and homemade.