Tomato Salad with Tuna Tapenade

Tomato Salad with Tuna Tapenade-8639

I had to bite my tongue while Jody prepared this week’s Tomato Salad with Tuna Tapenade.  The photographer in me was dying to speak up: Don’t you want to sneak a little preserved lemon into that?  Some extra visual pop?   Truth be told, my wife has always been a member of the “flavor first ” camp, with visual appeal a distant second.  And we use preserved lemons in everything, so this week we’re giving tomatoes a turn, and tapenade.  Is anything more summery than the crazy quilt of tomatoes just ripening in New England, along with an herby tapenade, basil and olive oil?  If you’ve never sat down at a table with tapenade because you’re afraid it might once have dated an anchovy, then fear not.  As Jody explains in her notes, this tuna tapenade’s for you.

Roxanne’s Balsamic Chicken with Olives

Roxanne's Chicken-2789

Ah, children.  If you append the name of one child to a dish, the other will someday ask, “Why didn’t you ever name anything after me?”  Our son Oliver’s mastery of Oliver’s Chicken Stew made him a culinary hero to his impoverished roommates.  Our daughter turned 18 this week – sob - and reminded us that she needed a dish that she could take with her to college, something within her skill set that might make her a culinary goddess to her future roommates, something with her name on it.  Ergo Roxanne’s Balsamic Chicken with Olives.

Something Wicked This Way Comes – Fried Stuffed Olives

Fried Olives-1

 

Two kinds of cooks entertain at home: those who want guests in their kitchen, and those who don’t.  Fried Stuffed Olives are definitely for the former.  Filled with pork, salami, mortadella and cheese, these little bits of indulgence are best while still warm.  Out of the pan and into the mouth, with only a minute or two in between.  That means people nearby, glass of wine in hand, paper towel at the ready.  Cook, drain, eat.  Fun all round.

Lamb Stew with Chickpeas, Preserved Lemon and Saffron

Pressure Cooker Lamb Stew with Chickpeas, Preservred Lemon and Saffron-1

What would winter be without snow?  (The Bahamas, that’s what.)  Winter with snow is what made Currier and Ives famous, what gives New Englanders character, and what causes some people to regard year-round Maine residents as a bit dotty.  I, for one, was happy to see the snow a couple of weeks ago.  I want at least one weekend when walking down the sidewalk in front of my house resembles McMurdo Station, when everyone exercises the exquisite protocols that dictate who first steps aside, and who passes.  This week’s recipe is what all of us hope to find when we come inside from shoveling,  a dish that fills the air with aromas as good as a back rub,  Lamb Stew with Chick Peas, Preserved Lemon and Saffron.

Torchio Pasta with Squash Blossoms

Oh, the birds and the bees, you gotta love ‘em, especially if you enjoy eating things like this week’s dish, Torchio Pasta with Squash Blossoms.  After Jody’s rant last week about the tyranny of seasonality, we’re presenting another dish that is, well, seasonal.  But move fast, the season for squash blossoms is here and gone in the blink of an eye and you’ll have to wait another year for the opportunity to enjoy their delicate flavor fried, stuffed or, as we do here, expressed in a light pasta sauce.

Garlic Love – Skordalia with Parsley Salad

  In my personal desert island larder (you know, What would you take if you had to choose only a dozen or so dishes or ingredients  on a desert island for the rest of your life?) Skordalia with Parsley Salad would surely rate shelf space.*  And not because it includes potatoes.  But because it includes …

No Flat Tires – Steel-Cut Oats with Eggs, Preserved Lemon and Olives

When Jody and I signed up for the cycling fund-raiser the PanMass Challenge last year we stepped up our game when it came to exercise. Speaking exclusively for my Falstaffian self, I thought it might not be a bad idea to drop a few pounds ahead of the actual 200-mile 2-day ride. That’s how we ended up making dishes like Steel-Cut Oats with Eggs, Preserved Lemon and Olives.

But it was a journey to get there.