How To Eat Your Vegetables

Untitled

Since I read Tamar Adler‘s book a month or so back (yes, I’m late to the party as usual), Sundays will find me, at a minimum, roasting a couple of big platters of vegetables to tuck away for the week ahead.

weekly ritual

This sort of cooking ahead is more important than ever now that Julian’s diet has shifted mostly to solids, and we want to provide him with an abundance of tasty, seasonal vegetables in a format that’s easy for him to eat – and that’s easy for both his work-at-home Daddy and office-working Mommy to prepare and eat as well.

It’s also nice to have something easy to throw together for dinner after, say, a long weekend away, when you return home to a near-empty fridge and the thought of another meal out makes you want to stab yourself with a fork.

marinated roast vegetables

Enter our trusty jar of slow-roasted vegetables, a mix of yellow and green zucchini, young eggplant, and candy-sweet golden tomatoes, caramelized and bathed in a soft marinade of cider and champagne vinegars and plenty of fruity olive oil. I’ve tossed these with pasta, layered them in a warmed pita with our favorite local hummus, served them on a bed of wheatberries, or with salty French feta alongside, and on this night, I scattered them over a base of prepared whole wheat dough spread with creme fraiche and dotted with soft goat cheese – a rustic tart, of sorts.

Dinner: August 27, 2012

Julian ate his straight, once it had cooled enough to touch, and devoured room-temperature leftovers the next day, eating crust and cheese first, then gathering up any vegetables that had dropped off and popping them into his mouth one by one. I topped the grown-ups’ portions with big handfuls of raw arugula, a drizzle of red wine vinegar, and lots of cracked black pepper.

the grown-ups' part

A meal that took a minimum of time and effort to put together, packed with vegetables and loaded with flavor, that all three of us loved? You can’t get much better than that.

Garbage Soup

Dinner: February 26, 2010

The doldrums drag on. Work has been busy, the weather in New England has been damp and grey, and I’ve been struggling with a nasty bug that kept me home and in bed on Thursday under a pile of blankets and slumbering kitties. I made it to work on Friday, hacking and coughing through the day, and when I came home all I could think about was soup. Small problem: we were fresh out of stock, and I absolutely didn’t have it in me to make more. I could have made that old standby Potage Parmentier, but we were also out of potatoes, so I took a page from my dear Grandma’s playbook and made a version of a little thing we like to call “Garbage Soup.” It’s a clean-out-the-fridge-freezer-and-cupboards kind of soup, endlessly adaptable, and better than it has any right to be.

This batch was built on the last three links of Hill Farm sweet Italian sausage I had in the fridge, crumbled and cooked until deeply browned, then lots of onion, carrot, celery, garlic, a can of San Marzanos with their juice, a parmesan rind, and plenty of thyme and parsley. I added some cooked red beans to the mix, as well as corn, peas, and green beans from the freezer, and several big handfuls of torn kale. With a hunk of bread from Olga’s and some sea salted butter, this soup made for a humble but totally satisfying meal.

Full Disclosure, Part 1

centerpiece

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. Work has been extremely busy, my days are long, and I just haven’t had it in me to keep up here. If you’re really curious, you can see what we ate for dinner Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on Flickr. We went out to dinner on Friday, a well-deserved and much needed night out at Chez Pascal, which did not disappoint.

But that’s not what I want to talk about today.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this site, what it started out as and what it has become, and the fact that, much to my surprise, traffic keeps going up and up and up. I’ve developed a wonderful readership, have gotten so many comments and emails that I can barely keep up, and it’s incredibly flattering. But there have been criticisms, too, more now than ever, and I do take that to heart.

spice drawer

I try very hard to cook and eat mindfully, to be aware of how the choices I make at the market and in the kitchen have an impact on not just our household and health, but the world around us. My choices may be different than yours, but that’s okay – I feel very comfortable with the way we eat, and as I’ve said many times, I am grateful that Mike and I are in a position to live and eat the way we do. I have never taken it for granted.

fridge, 10.18.08

I’ve discussed our views on eating meat before, and though that post was written when we still lived in New York and had easier access to a wider variety of sustainably-raised meats, it still holds true. It is harder now for us to find certain things, but we take full advantage of what we can find.

pantry, full view

But I don’t want to cover old ground here. What I do want is to try to put the meals you see here into context. This is “Last Night’s Dinner,” after all, and what you see here is mainly our dinners, but if that’s all you see then it would appear that we eat, as one commenter recently wrote, “a lot of meat and fat.” But dinner is just one meal out of our day. It’s not the whole picture.

Inventory

With this post and another to come, I hope to give you a bit more insight into our kitchen and our diet. Take a look around not just our fridge and freezer, but our pantry as well – it’s all out here for your perusal. Click the photos for annotated versions; the full photoset is here.

…and we’re off

holiday fridge

The shelves of our fridge and bar cabinet are positively groaning under the weight of all of the goodies we have to eat and drink over the next two days (if you click on the photo you can see the annotated version in my Flickr stream). Work is already underway on tonight’s meal, and I’ll try to post periodic updates as we go along.

To those of you who celebrate, have a safe and happy Christmas.

A Peek Inside

Fridge, May 13, 2007

A few months ago, my friend Michele started a pool on Flickr for photos of what people have in their fridge. It seemed like a fun idea, and of course I joined up. After all, if I’m going to share what I’m cooking with the whole Internet, it’s only fair to let you all peek under the hood from time to time, right? (If you click on the photos here, you can get to them on Flickr and see my notes about the contents.)

overstuffed

shit in my fridge door, 1/10/07

Anyway, it seems that posting photos of the inside of your fridge is all the rage now. Pretty cool.