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Fresh Fava Bean Pesto

When I saw the fresh fava beans at the market last night, I remembered two things: the delightful fava bean toasts from the restaurant Essex, and our giant pot of basil growing rampant under the watchful eyes of the chickens in our backyard. When I came to harvest the basil this afternoon, they seemed concerned. Continue Reading…

Fish / Seafood Meals

Ginger Lemongrass Salmon Burgers with Pineapple-Soy Glaze

This salmon burger marked my comeback from a week of recovery from jaw surgery. The Copper River salmon was a gift from my generous and thoughtful dad, the arugula was leftover from a weekend lunch that Julian put on for his incoming pediatric residents, the buns emerged from the freezer as if by magic, and my only job was to buy a fresh bell pepper and show up for a bit of cooking. Continue Reading…

Vegetarian Meals

Pan Con Tomate, or Spanish Tomato Bread

After strolling through the countryside in the summer heat, take a moment to sit outside of a quiet village bar and enjoy a bit of this magical Pan con Tomate, or Tomato Bread. If you don’t have any Spanish villages nearby, no te preocupes. All you need is a grill, a baguette, some fruity olive oil, a clove or two of raw garlic, and some juicy garden tomatoes.

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Drinks and Puddings

Strawberry and Rhubarb Tart

Our garden has the most prolific pair of rhubarb plants, and I’m doing my best to make the most of our abundant supply. There are countless lovely uses for the tart, astringent stalks of the plant (never eat the leaves – they are loaded with oxalic acid); the timeless strawberry rhubarb pie ranks high as a late Spring favorite.

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Vegetarian Meals

Breakfast Tacos with Scrambled Eggs and Cheese

I first tried breakfast tacos in Austin, Texas years ago. There they are a staple of food trucks and coffee shops, and for a few dollars you can get a pair of egg and cheese tacos to start your day. They are so simple: warm tortillas, scrambled eggs, some cheese if you like, and a bit of salsa or hot sauce. Sure, you can get fancy. What I love about these is that they are delicious in their basic form, but you can embellish them with any number of tasty add-ins (chorizo, beans, potatoes, avocado, roasted veg). Continue Reading…

Vegetarian Meals

Farro Bowl with Avocado, Kale, and Pickled Veg

This dish is based on one of my favorite lunches in the city, the Kale and Farro Bowl from Oddfellows Cafe on Capitol Hill in Seattle. In a large batch, it makes a hearty salad that can function as an entrée or a side. I like to prep and store the individual components so that when I need something portable and quick, I can throw it all into a jar or container and take it with me. The pickles, kale, and farro can be prepared and stored for up to a week (maybe a bit less for the kale). See tips for cooking farro here. Continue Reading…

Vegetarian Meals

Baked Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce

We are leaving for the weekend tomorrow, and I wanted to use up some of the accumulated odds and ends in the refrigerator. Every so often I find I have a tiny bit of bacon or ham, a few lumps of good cheese, or maybe a pickled pepper or two left over from pizza night. As long as I have some good tomato sauce on hand, I can throw it all into a skillet, crack a few eggs on top, and 15 minutes later our baked eggs are ready to eat. A side of thick-cut toast is never a bad idea.

Tonight’s baked eggs included shallots and sautéed kale, crushed tomatoes, pickled peppers, ricotta and mozzarella cheese. Jarred chilis or pickled peppers add a bit of heat and flavor that keeps the tomato sauce interesting. If you want to start with a bit of rendered bacon, you’ll get some smokey notes in there too. It’s important that the sauce in the skillet is hot when the eggs are added; otherwise you’ll have hard-cooked eggs and lukewarm sauce. Continue Reading…

Fish / Seafood Meals

Mexican Style Shrimp Cocktail

This is based on the Cocktel de Camarones from our favorite Mexican restaurant in Seattle, La Carta de Oaxaca. We always invite friends over to share, because it’s super easy to make in large batches, it lends itself well to chatting while drinking margaritas, and it’s absolutely delicious. If the ketchup and the clam juice give you pause, think about them as rock-solid supporting cast members. You don’t really notice their presence, but their absence makes a big difference. Continue Reading…