avocado tonnato


I made something delicious yesterday, and I wanted to share it with you.

I call it avocado tonnato – a simple dish of avocado wedges napped with a creamy tonnato sauce, its richness punctuated with briny capers, the freshness of celery leaves, and the brightness of lime juice and zest. It’s as tasty as it is easy – just the thing for a simple summer (no cook!) meal. You can find my recipe over at food52.

No-Sweat Cooking, Day 3

Dinner: July 27, 2010

31 dishes, 31 days – I’m cooking my way through Melissa Clark‘s “No-Sweat Cooking” from the August issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray

I’ve long been intrigued by the classic Italian dish Vitello Tonnato, but I had yet to try it or anything similar until last night, when I put together Melissa Clark’s Rotisserie Chicken Tonnato with Tomato Salad for our no-sweat dinner. The combination of roast chicken with a creamy tuna and anchovy sauce might sound odd, but the sauce is a classic for a reason – it’s simply delicious. It’s also dead easy – just combine the ingredients in the food processor, give them a whirl, and voila.

from the garden

The tomato salad was a delightful foil for the chicken, the acidity of the tomatoes and the fresh bite of the herbs cutting through the rich sauce. I had ferried home a mixed pint of tiny tomatoes from Kimball’s Fruit Farm at the Boston Public Market for the salad, but I was tickled to add the first of our home-grown gems to the mix.

tomato salad

Full disclosure: I didn’t use a rotisserie chicken for this, instead opting for a Pat’s Pastured bird roasted at home – not exactly no-sweat, but Mike took care of the roasting in the afternoon, the crispy chicken skin his reward. We both agreed the finished dish was worth the extra step.

Chicken Tonnato with Tomato Salad

Get the recipe: Rotisserie Chicken Tonnato with Tomato Salad

A little lighter

Meyer lemon

I’m nearing the end of what has been a very long week, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’m tired, and I am so looking forward to a 3-day weekend to relax, connect with family and friends, and process all that has happened this week at home and elsewhere.

One reason for my lethargy is that as we’ve tightened or belts even more at home, I’ve had to change my commute. I still leave home at the same time each morning, but I’ve been lucky to get home before 7:30, and as you may have noticed, I haven’t had much to say here (which sucks, especially in light of the sweet shout-out I got this week from the ladies at food52. To those of you who found your way here via their introduction, welcome).

Yunan Palace Bamboo rice

I’ve been a bit off my game in the kitchen as a result, but last night’s dinner showed signs that I might just be getting my groove back. It wasn’t exactly as I had envisioned (and in fact, this dish was originally planned for Wednesday night, but was rescheduled due to a few major oversights and errors on my part), but it was really satisfying, and it’s a preparation I’ll definitely play more with.


One of the things I picked up on my last visit to Mercato del Mare was a gorgeous slab of line-caught tuna, which I portioned out and froze as soon as I got home that day. I thawed the tuna and had intended to crust the portions in some nori from She Sells Seaweed at our farmers’ market, but the nori didn’t grind as finely as I had hoped when I put it in the food processor (too fresh and pliant, I presume).

Dinner:  January 14, 2010

I ended up saving the shards of nori to sprinkle on top of the finished dish: a bowl of fragrant green rice, the tuna seared and sliced and arranged on top, with steamed spinach and gingery pickled radishes. I made a quick little dressing with Meyer lemon and toasted sesame oil to drizzle over the fish, and while the acid in the dressing dulled the color of the sliced tuna, the flavor was a really nice addition to the meal overall.

Paired Up

Femme Fatale

I got an offer I just couldn’t refuse last week, and of course it comes on the heels of me being all righteous about how I rarely accept free stuff for the blog. But it’s no secret that we’ve long been fans of Oriel wines, and they’ve been difficult to find since we moved here, so when the fine folks at Oriel asked if I’d like to receive some of the 2006 vintage of their Femme Fatale Rosé, I had to take them up on it.

Femmes Fatales

I was surprised and delighted when I arrived home on Wednesday to not one but two bottles, and as I hoped it would, the first bottle paired beautifully with the eggplant dish I’m testing to submit to a food52 contest.

Dinner:  September 3, 2009

I had a lot of fun planning a meal to pair with the second bottle for Thursday night, and ended up going with the sort of simple, unfussy fare that makes for a perfect patio dinner this time of year – a salad of fresh sweet corn from Confreda Farm, tossed with chopped tomatoes, slivers of fresh hot green chiles and a sassy lime dressing, all crowned with slices of seared fresh tuna. Mike and I both loved how the wine played with the sweet corn and the spicy chiles, and it was a perfect match for the rich, silky tuna.

Big, Bright and Beautiful

Dinner:  July 14, 2009

Some nights there’s nothing better than a big platter of Nicoise-style salad, served family style. Last night’s version featured my marinated grilled red peppers and pickled red onions in addition to the standard lineup of ingredients; my writeup of a previous version is here.

my plate

Summer suppers don’t get much easier, or prettier, than this.

A hill of beans


I’m wading back in here, slowly, still trying to get my groove back as far as posting goes. I’ll be honest, the last couple of weeks have been difficult, made worse by the issue of a content thief who has yet to respond to me, and at times I seriously thought of just giving this blog up entirely. My extended weekend did me a world of good (who knew hanging out with cows could be such fun), and after a few highly successful meals at home (at least one of which is getting a do-over and its own post soon), I’m feeling a bit better about it all.

lemon, arugula, bronze fennel

What I cobbled together last night was just the sort of thing I love eating this time of year, a big salad with lots of varying colors and textures, and it gave me the chance to test out the 90-minute no-soak bean cooking method so many people are talking about.

tuna + lemon vinaigrette

While my beans cooked I whisked up a lemon vinaigrette with lots of chopped shallot, opened up a can of our favorite American Tuna and broke the fish up into the dressing, and got the remaining salad ingredients prepped: young arugula from Arcadian Fields, a few mixed radishes that had been lingering in the crisper, and beautiful bronze fennel from City Farm.

Dinner: June 17, 2009

After 90 minutes, the beans were as tender and creamy as promised, and after letting them cool just briefly, I tossed them into the salad. This may not have been the prettiest plate in town, but the combination of flavors and textures was exactly what I had hoped for.

Playing catch up

Well, my first week at my new gig is behind me. It was a good one, though exhausting, and I am woefully behind on the internets. I have, unfortunately, had NO time to blog, but here’s a quick recap of what we ate this week:

Dinner:  May 19, 2008

Monday’s dinner was a light and simple combination of nutty purple jasmine rice, some Rancho Gordo flageolet beans which I had pre-soaked the night before, some frozen peas and favas, asparagus, thinly sliced tiny green onions, dill and a good crumbling of Narragansett Salty Sea, a delicious feta-style cheese.

I dressed it all in a lemon vinaigrette, and while I would have preferred to have fresh peas and favas, it was a really satisfying combination of flavors and textures.

Dinner:  May 20, 2008

Mike was responsible for Tuesday’s meal, a version of Suzanne Goin’s wild salmon salad with roasted beets, potato and egg using arctic char in place of the salmon. This was a colorful, beautiful dish, and I always love tucking into a big salad filled with lots of tasty things.

Dinner:  May 21, 2008

Wednesday’s dinner was a team effort, with Mike putting together Mario Batali’s tuna and ricotta polpette (from Molto Italiano) during the day, which I breaded and fried when I got home. I also whipped up a batch of basic tomato sauce to serve with them. These little fritters were fantastic – light, creamy in the center and crisp and golden outside. It was hard to stop eating them!

We dined out on Thursday, at a little place called Oak, and to round out the week we did something that still feels a little strange:

Dinner:  May 23, 2008

We ordered a pizza. Not as good as homemade, but sometimes it’s nice to let someone else do the cooking.

I stopped off at Eno and brought home a really nice wine to go with the pizza, as well as this lovely bottle of Champagne – a great way to ring in the long weekend.

We’re off on food safari soon, and hope to bring home lots of goodies for the days ahead. Hope you’ve got some delicious things planned!