Articles tagged with: Laura Frankel
One of my favorite preparations of eggplant is Caponata. Caponata is a Sicilian dish similar to a chopped and cooked vegetable salad. Sicilian cuisine is complex and owes its use of many flavors and influences to its diverse history and demographics. Many Sicilian dishes have Jewish roots and come from Jews taken as slaves after Israel’s destruction thousands of years ago.
All summer I wait for the start of tomato season. Ripe, juicy and in-season tomatoes taste like sunshine and summer. They are fruity and incomparably rich and refreshing. Supermarket tomatoes have no flavor and are starchy. I do not ever use them in recipes and just wait it out until the real thing comes in season. If you have never tried an in-season, fresh off the vine tomato, I insist that you find a farm stand or farmer’s market and pick some up. When you purchase fresh tomatoes, do not put them in the refrigerator. All that wonderful sugar that is a natural part of the tomato will convert to starch in the refrigerator. That is why store bought tomatoes have a grainy texture and are flavorless. The usually travel great distances in refrigerator trucks and then are store in the stores coolers. YUCK! Purchase fresh, off the vine tomatoes as close to the date you need them to insure the best flavor.
Sorbets are one of my favorite treats. I make them all year round but especially in the summer. The farmers market offers inspiration for my flavors. Recently, the stalls were abundant with gorgeous tempting blackberries. Typically eaten out of hand, blackberries are fragrant and complex. Simple to make and a crowd pleaser, sorbets are perfect for summer or anytime.
I buy flats of the gorgeous fruit at my local farmer’s market, pit them with my handy dandy cherry pitter (easily found online and worth the small investment if you love cherries) and then bake them into delicious treats. I also freeze the cherries and can pull out the complexly flavored stash throughout the year and bring back a taste of summer into my baking and savory dishes.
Whole Roasted Chicken goes with everything. It is the Little Black Dress of the food world! Juicy, moist and with big flavor. It just doesn’t get any better than that. But, roasting a whole chicken in the summer is kind of a letdown for me. The oven heats up the house, the chicken is delicious but lacking in the summer je ne sais quois. The outdoors beckons in the summer. I want to be outside communing with my garden, my view of the sunset and a glass of wine with my grill.
Firm and fresh blossoms that are only slightly open are cooked to be eaten, with pistils removed from female flowers, and stamens removed from male flowers. The stem on the flowers can be retained as a way of giving the cook something to hold onto during cooking, rather than injuring the delicate petals, or they can be removed prior to cooking, or prior to serving. There are a variety of recipes in which the flowers may be deep fried as fritters or tempura (after dipping in a light tempura batter), stuffed, sautéed, baked, or used in soups.
Matcha or Japanese green tea is a fine ground, powdered, high quality green tea and not the same as tea powder or green tea powder. While matcha is expensive, the tea delivers not only a beautiful color, but also more antioxidants than blueberries, pomegranates and spinach.
Once you get the hang of homemade jams, you can riff on the basic recipe. Add some rhubarb for a tangy addition. Add peppercorns and hot peppers for a piquant version for savory items. Easy to do and nothing tastes better than homemade! I do not use pectin in this jam. The sugar will help thicken the jam as will cooking the moisture out of the berries.
My favorite spring dessert is simple and classic. I do not want any bells and whistles in my old fashioned shortcakes, just butter and juicy berries. This recipe is only really delicious with butter and real whipped cream. It is simply not the same with margarine and non-dairy whipped topping. The best berries deserve the best ingredients and this recipe delivers. Short on time? No problem. Make the shortcakes ahead of time and freeze them. Allow them to thaw at room temperature before serving.
Passover is over and I am craving pasta…and lots of it! This comforting dish is a snap to put together and most ingredients are a staple, which means that you probably already have them.