hot august nights
This last month was very very hot, and I ate mostly soft foods.
Curried Carrot + Red Lentil Soup
One may think hot soup is an odd choice for August. One would be correct. Though I will say there's something about hot soup in hot weather that I actually kinda dig. Especially spicy hot soup. Which this particular soup was- like clear out your sinuses and make you beg for mercy hot. It had to be tempered with a dollop of greek yogurt, for sure. In all seriousness, I made this soup because I had a ton of CSA veg to use up, and my ongoing #dentalprobz made gnawing down my usual giant salad a non-starter. So, I turned to soup. In this case I used the spices from a favorite Anupy Singla recipe to turn a big ol' pile of carrots into this hot lil' number. In the future I would scale back the heat just a touch... but aside from that it was a big success! I may even post the recipe here sometime. Who knows.
Ok, when tomatoes are in season all I want to eat is a giant platter of them smothered in torn mozzarella and plenty of basil. So, that's basically what I did for the entire month of August. As a bonus, it's a nice soft salad that I could easily gum down even with limited use of my teeth! Woohoo! This particular pic was taken about ten minutes after I plopped down a big ol' platter of my signature caprese at a summer bbq. As you can see, it was immediately devoured.
PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES PEACHES
Green Beans! August brought me green beans in my CSA box! I love trying new preparations for veggies, and this month I got to try green beans a few new ways. This particular pan was full of Madhur Jaffrey's Dheli Style Green Beans with Ginger and Green Chilies, from her book Vegetarian India. Jaffrey is a legend. She brought India cooking to the western world with her first cookbook, An Invitation to Indian Cooking, written in the 70s! Although I looove Indian food and cookery, I've never really explored her work before this month. This dish was simple yet boldly flavored- everything I love in a vegetable dish! Can't wait to cook more of her delicious, authentic food.
August brought hatch chilies back into our lives! Every year when I see these bad boys pop up at the store I load up on them, roast them off (usually under the broiler), and freeze them for use all year long. This year hatch season was even more exciting because my kitchen now has a gas stove! Though I've lived in my cottage about a year now, this was the first time I got to rev up the burners and roast my hatch loot right over the open flame. Soooo much better than the broiler (tho a broiler works in a pinch!) plus it filled my tiny home with the most intoxicating roast chili aroma! Mmmmmmmmmm summer.
More Green Beans!
Green Beans + Marble Potatoes with Candied Garlic. Another fabulous green bean recipe, this time from Virginia Willis and her delightfully titled cookbook Lighten Up Y'all. I've been wanting to dig into this book for a while now, and had already book-marked this page. Let's be hoest, anything with the words "candy" and "garlic" is definitely going to grab my attention! Ok ok, also "potato." I am mostly Russian/German, after all. This recipe did not dissapoint, and I would definitely make it again. Heck, as I write this I'm kinda thinking about just making a big pot of that candied garlic and putting it on everything I eat! Yumm.
This month a terrible earthquake rocked Italy. One of the towns hit the hardest was Amatrice, the village where the dish Amatriciana originated. The village was completely destroyed, just days before what would have been their 50th annual food festival (or 'sagra' in Italian). As a response, and to support the relief effort, food people everywhere began making the village's signature dish, Amatriciana, and posting pictures online with the hashtags #virtualsagra and #unamatricianaperamatrice (among others). My best friend's boyfriend's aunt, Judy Witts Francini, is a chef living in Italy- I found out about the virtual sagra on her instagram feed (@divinacocina). She also has a thoughtful post about the event, as well as a recipe for amatriciana, on her blog. Check it out! Plus, Amatriciana is insanely deliecious and you should definitely make it.
This recap wouldn't be complete without a shout-out to Oxbow Farm CSA! I'm still loving their weekly boxes of veggies (plus fruit!) and am already sad thinking about the season ending. There's still time to get on board before that happens! Go check them out! You will be SO happy, I swear. Srsly.
Winter is coming. (Ned Stark voice)
Still, these apples and pears sure are beautiful.
Well, that's it for August! Check back soon for more recipes and ramblings!