A little smoked salmon goes a long way. Especially if the salmon is high quality in-house smoked salmon from your local fishmonger, like the burnished slabs found at Tuckahoe Seafood here in Richmond. In this Smoked Salmon Apple Salad the rich smoke taste is offset by the crisp of Virginia apple, earthy baby arugula and a sweet-tart lemon maple mustard vinaigrette. Continue reading →
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.
The morning air is cool, the light fades earlier in the evening and my favorite roadside stand is packed with crisp Asian pears and apples. I am ready to say goodbye to tomato and cucumber salads until next summer and more than ready to embrace the complexity of fall flavors and textures. Continue reading →
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 →
When in the thick of summer, take advantage of local summer produce, and generate as little heat as possible. That’s a good couple of loose rules to follow when you want something bright, crunchy and easy for serving at home or taking to a dinner gathering. Continue reading →
Weekends are for big, hearty breakfasts. That’s the mantra at my house, whether it’s early or late (brunch) or a breakfast for dinner. There is extra time to gather colorful, seasonal ingredients and there is time to make something out of the ordinary. The local farmer’s markets have offered spectacular strawberries and tender asparagus from Agriberry Farms, crisp greens (these are from Schuyler Greens and purchased at Little House Green Grocery), fat radishes from Lakeside’s Tiny Acre and pastured eggs. Continue reading →
A visit to my local roadside stand tells me the seasons are beginning to change. Sure, there are still tomatoes and cucumbers and squash, but now we see the first autumn apples and crisp Asian pears. Soon there will be fragrant apple cider and pumpkins of every color and stripe. I love combining local produce to bridge the seasons, as with this spring’s Asparagus and Shiitake Stir Fry, marrying the tender spears of spring asparagus with the last of winter’s butternut squash. Continue reading →
When it gets so hot outdoors I wilt from the humidity, I turn to cool things. Not cool as in trendy, but delicious things to enjoy which don’t involve cooking. Some days the very thought of standing at a hot grill turns me to melting mush. It helps that I have a bounty of beautiful Thai basil growing in pots on the deck, and that the anise-like flavor is most appreciated when enjoyed in the uncooked state. And that watermelon radishes are always available in warm weather months! The baby melons adorning store shelves and roadside stands have been calling me to craft tart and sweet salads with thin slices of their summer goodness. Continue reading →
Sweet Vidalia onions are back in season and I’m putting them to good use. Know how they say you can eat them raw? Ever tried that? Me neither, but their mild flavor allows them to take up residence in salads, salsas and sandwiches without imparting a strong oniony aftertaste. You have nothing to fear from this seasonal salad dressing in the way of offending others!
Rotisserie chickens are everywhere. Everyone sells them : grocers, big box stores, specialty carryout restaurants and food trucks. You buy one, eat half for dinner, then wonder what to do with the rest. The options are many, from simmering the remainder for soup or making a mayonnaise-based chicken salad, to simply slicing off pieces for your lunchtime sandwiches. Roasted chickens are the ultimate convenience food for time-strapped people who love the taste without the fuss and mess. But on occasion I have looked at the ingredient list of some of these chickens, and there are words that sound suspiciously like a science experiment and there are also fake flavoring agents masquerading as “natural flavor” enhancers which certainly don’t do us any favors. Continue reading →