Category Archives: condiments

grilled shrimp with herbed pistachio sauce

Grilled Shrimp with Herbed Pistachio Sauce

july 2, 2020

grilled shrimp with herbed pistachio sauce

Ever skip a recipe with “grilled” in the title because you either don’t have a grill or don’t want to bother with grill setup? Me, too, except in this case my grill is currently snoozing and I’m too lazy to replace the tank. Cast iron grill pan to the rescue, and failing that, the oven broiler. Both of these are great substitutes for grilling. Smoky flavor will not be imparted but with items like shrimp which take minutes if not seconds to cook, that won’t matter. Continue reading

jar of vidalia onion chutney

Vidalia Onion Chutney

may 28, 2020

jar of vidalia onion chutney

Vidalia onions, those paper-skinned squatty sweet onions from Georgia, are back for a limited time. Eat them raw (they’re so mild  you won’t suffer from onion after effects) while you can. Use this easy chutney recipe for preserving their goodness for months to come. You’ll dream of late spring when you slather it atop your grilled burgers in summer, your roasted vegetables in fall and your bean soups in cold weather months.

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plated greek salad with orange

Greek Salad with Orange

february 20, 2020

plated greek salad with orange

 

Here is a confession of sorts, although I feel no guilt in admitting that I cannot wait until summer to enjoy the taste and texture of fresh tomatoes. They are enjoyed raw in salads and roasted with garlic and olive oil. Grape tomatoes, cocktail tomatoes, Campari tomatoes—whatever name they are given, they taste lovely to me.

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cheddar walnut spread

Cheddar Walnut Spread

december 5, 2019

cheddar walnut spread

One of the easiest appetizers to serve for impromptu gatherings, pre-dinner nibbles and large crowds is a good spread for crackers and crisp vegetables. This is why hummus is so very popular. If it’s not homemade, there will be various flavors to consider at your local market. This cheese and walnut spread is like hummus for those who don’t fancy hummus. The consistency is similar and the versatility is similar in that you can use this make-ahead spread with crispy things, schmear it on on sandwiches and wraps and use it to add creamy cheesiness to mashed potatoes and polenta. Continue reading

apple ginger cocktail

Apple Ginger Cocktail

november 6, 2019

apple ginger cocktail

When you live in a state that boasts of the world’s apple capital (Winchester, Virginia), you stock up on as many apples and apple products like fresh cider and apple butter as you can during the peak season. Hoping to craft a cocktail with apple essence, I roamed the aisles of the local liquor store and found not one, but several, brands of Virginia apple brandy. The friendly sales clerk schooled me in the difference between applejack (apple plus grain spirits with a lighter flavor profile) and apple brandy ( apple cider aged and possessing a rich depth). Woods Mill Distillery in Faber, Virginia, produces a fine smoky tasting apple brandy which was used for today’s autumn cocktail. Continue reading

feat oregano dressing with local produce

Feta Oregano Dressing

august 1, 2019

feat oregano dressing with local produce

When the heat index hit triple digits this summer, the idea of generating more heat in the house with actual cooking seemed foreign to me. All this lovely local produce needed to be enjoyed with a minimum of fuss and bother. Enter the chunky flavorful salad dressing with feta and herbs. Continue reading

Strawberry Vinaigrette with spring greens.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

may 22, 2019

Strawberry Vinaigrette with spring greens.

Homemade vinaigrette in your fridge will inspire you to eat more salad. That’s a fact and I am witness to this truth. There is a very good reason to save jars and that is to fill them with dressings and vinaigrettes you have made in your very own kitchen, with love and care and seasonal ingredients. Local spring carrots would make a fine carrot honey vinaigrette. Last spring it was Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette and today the focus is on local berries.

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asparagus salsa verde

Asparagus Salsa Verde

may 9, 2019

asparagus salsa verde

The less done to fresh asparagus, the better. Brief blanching, quick roasting or a few hops in the saute pan will do. If you’re lucky enough to score some tender, first-of-the-season asparagus, no cooking at all is just fine. Shaved in a salad or finely diced, as in this Asparagus Salsa Verde, asparagus has a pleasantly grassy flavor and gentle crunch that is unlike any other vegetable. It needs a bright wake up from citrus or acid to come to life. This salsa combines fresh asparagus with lime juice and green as far as the eye can see—except for a few bits of red onion for flavor and contrast. Continue reading

smoky tequila cider cocktail

Smoky Tequila Cider Cocktail

november 2, 2018

smoky tequila cider cocktail

 

A well-crafted cocktail (or mocktail) is a refreshing start to dinner. You can’t go wrong by following the seasons and employing ingredients that speak to whatever nature is serving up, so local apple cider is the star of this fall beverage.

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garlic roasted peppers

Garlic Roasted Peppers

october 18, 2018

garlic roasted peppers

I’m finally getting around to reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, in which food choice and overabundance are believed to have engendered paralysis in today’s kitchens. With so many options in our crowded market aisles, we sputter at decision time. What to have for dinner? We have good intentions. Colorful vegetables are purchased at grocery stores with the operative plan being to cook them up on the weekend and enjoy them all week. Excitement turns to dismay when we see these same vegetables staring at us reproachfully from the way back of the shelf four days later, unchopped and uncooked. We are time-challenged and over scheduled. Continue reading