Friday, June 27, 2008

Rustic Pleasures

Finally made it to Cafe Rustica for the first time last night- Andy Howell is doing some simple yet lovely dishes. Started with a grilled radichhio wrapped in prosciutto and drizzled with a sweet balsamic dressing- a nice combination of texture and flavors. Susannah & I split a few mains- a Scampi Pasta dish that was spiked with lots of fresh garlic and a cheesy cream sauce- a perfect swimming pool for moist and tender shrimp. Half a chicken with roasted potatoes and green beans arrived on a skillet- perfectly cooked chicken- comfort food indeed.

Topped off the evening with a perfectly creamy and bittersweet chocolate mousse.

A place to graze

Just wanted to shout out kudos to the team at The Black Sheep, in Carver at 901 W Marshall Street- they are doing some really creative food in a funky atmosphere. Make sure you visit before the masses see the light.

A full review will be running in Style Weekly in a few weeks.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Garden Groweth

It's early June and the garden is in full tilt- greens are aplenty- arugala, buttercrunch lettuce, mizzuna, and sorrel. Tomatoes and tomatatillos are flowering as are the cucumbers. The okra, peppers and eggplant look healthy, and the corn grows a foot every week. Melons are not far behind. Unfortunately, the weeds love this weather too. I am trying to combat them with a newspaper and mulch combo and it seems to be working. Pictures to follow.

It seems I am not alone this year in increasing the scope of my garden plot. The New York Times reports today in an interesting article how home gardening is reaching heights not seen in 20 years.

"George C. Ball Jr., owner of the W. Atlee Burpee Company, said sales of vegetable and herb seeds and plants are up by 40 percent over last year, double the annual growth for the last five years. “You don’t see this kind of thing but once in a career,” he said. Mr. Ball offers half a dozen reasons for the phenomenon, some of which have been building for the last few years, like taste, health and food safety, plus concern, especially among young people, about global warming."

Let your garden grow

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Scape Pesto

Last week, after displaying my scapes ( God  I love that word) like flowers in a vase, I finally tried to make some pesto- i used the basic formula for pesto ( trading out the basil in traditional Pesto Genovese for the scapes) with a few changes. For one,  no garlic needed- the scapes have that covered.  I used olive oil, pine nuts, parmagiano reggiano, salt & pepper, and a dash of lemon juice to cut the intensity of the scapes.

Delicious- i liked it better than my traditional pesto.