Summer Lovin’

Dinner: August 12, 2010

Last night saw the triumphant return of one of my favorite summer salads. We really are entering the very best time of the year for people who love to eat.


No-sweat Cooking, Day 14

Yellow Gazpacho

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. And to those of you who made your way over here via, welcome!

Gazpacho is a no-brainer when the mercury rises – it takes advantage of great summer produce, it’s light and refreshing, and it’s a cinch to prepare. I typically prepare a standard red gazpacho, but we loved Melissa Clark’s golden-hued version

golden girls

We’ve been getting these fabulous lemon cucumbers from City Farm at our local farmers’ market, so I figured I’d use them in place of a regular Kirby cuke to keep the sunny hues of the other vegetables. I did omit the diced kiwi (not a fave), dicing up some red tomato for garnish instead. I also added just a splash more Sherry vinegar and salt than the original recipe called for to suit my taste. I’d happily make this once a week as long as these great veggies are in season.

Get the recipe: Yellow Gazpacho

No-sweat Cooking, Day 9

Smoked Trout and Cucumber Salad

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. And to those of you who made your way over here via, welcome!

Mike and I are off to beautiful Newport, RI shortly to attend the Farm Fresh Rhode Island 2010 Local Food Fest, and while we’ve got a wonderful day of delicious local fare ahead of us, we didn’t want to head out without a little something in our stomachs. A light lunch was in order, and this refreshing Smoked Trout and Cucumber Salad fit the bill perfectly. Tinned fish like these Cole’s Applewood Smoked Trout filets are a pantry staple, and were a delicious addition to a salad of Arcadian Fields arugula, thin slices of City Farm lemon cucumbers, and Wishing Stone Farm English cucumbers, all dressed with a silky, tangy dressing of fresh lemon juice, chopped fresh dill, extra virgin olive oil, and Narragansett Creamery yogurt. I suspect this salad would make a terrific light dinner with some chopped hard-cooked egg, slivers of young red onion or shallot, and a hunk of crusty bread.

Get the recipe: Smoked Trout and Cucumber Salad

Something Fishy

little gems

The weather seems to finally have turned, and I’ve really been craving lighter, brighter flavors. It’s perfect timing, really, because the farmers’ markets around Boston are finally open for the season, which means that we can now shop at a farmers’ market in Providence or Boston nearly every day of the week. It’s really the beginning of the very best time of the year to cook and eat around these parts.

they look like they're marching

The warmer weather also means that I love to escape from my windowless office whenever possible and take a lunchtime stroll up the North End to visit my favorite fishmongers. Liz and Keri always have beautiful fresh seafood, and it’s always a treat to visit their adorable shop, chat with them, and know that I’m bringing home something delicious to cook up.

Dinner: June 9, 2010

For the second week running, one of those delicious offerings from the sea was soft shell crabs, in season right now, and particularly sweet and tasty. Last week I soaked some in buttermilk, dredged them in flour, and served the crispy little guys on a “broken” basil and lemon puree; this time around I went with a different take. They got a super light coating of seasoned Wondra flour, then a brief saute in a hot pan slicked with a little bit of grapeseed oil, then I served them up with a sprinkle of slivered almonds and a dipping sauce composed of tamari, mirin, rice wine vinegar, shaved green garlic, and a little toasted sesame oil.

cucumber salad

On the side, I served up a salad of cucumber ribbons dressed with a light rice wine vinaigrette, slivers of nori from She Sells Seaweed, and black sesame seeds, very much inspired by a dish we had at last years Farm Fresh RI Local Food Fest.

Dinner: June 10, 2010

Last night’s seafood preparation was even simpler. I had two gorgeous pieces of mahi mahi, which I salted, dried well, then seared in a bit of grapeseed oil until the skin was crackly-crisp. When I flipped the fish so the skin side was up, I added a nub of anchovy butter, which soaked into the flesh of the fish, infusing it with more rich flavor, and I served the seared filets on top of a basil and garlic scape citronette, with simply halved and salted tiny heirloom tomatoes from Kimball’s Fruit Farm scattered around. Quick, simple, delicious.