Cumin-scented carrots with kale and peas

I’m a sucker for vegetables in their nonstandard colors. A couple weeks’ back I bought a purple cauliflower because I thought it was pretty and it went with my sweater. Then I picked up these beautiful carrots:

And used them to make this:

I’ve had vegetable side dishes on the brain since I’ve been planning Thanksgiving dinner with my mom. I came up with this combination of carrots, peas, and kale and tweaked the dressing from a recipe in Mediterranean Fresh by Joyce Goldstein to top the vegetables. Continue reading

Rosemary, garlic, and cannellini bean spread

rosemary, garlic, and cannellini bean dipWe like spontaneous and last-minute neighbor drop-ins and have been encouraging our friends to come by even when we don’t have longstanding plans. For these occasions, I’m assembling a collection of quick and simple appetizer recipes that can be made with what I generally have on hand.

This rosemary, garlic, and bean spread has lots going for it: It comes together in less than 10 minutes, has bold flavors, and works for all food constituencies (vegans, picky eaters, and those with food allergies). I serve the spread with crackers, grainy bread, chunks of fresh fennel, or celery sticks. You can do some substitutions—chickpeas, black beans, or other white beans will work well, and chopped shallot can stand in for the garlic. Continue reading

Corn soup with oregano pesto burrata crostini and a scallop salad

Lots of excitement yesterday, starting with the local yarn crawl. The goal of such an event is to visit as many local yarns stores as possible, admire new yarns, make aspirational yarn purchases, and hang out with other yarnhoarders likeminded people. But we had a very specific recycled cashmere mission and headed straight to the Woolpack to see Ellie’s new yarns. She unravels worn cashmere sweaters, gently washes the yarn, and spins it into luxurious color combinations. We also wanted to show her the socks we made with her yarn (one of us went on a knitting spree into the wee hours the night before):

OK, I know you came here for the food. Dinner brought some good friends from Newburyport. We had bonded with these folks over burrata earlier this summer, so I decided to indulge us and made the burrata and oregano pesto crostini pictured above. It’s simple. Just make a batch of this pesto, toast some bread, and top it with burrata and a drizzle of the oregano pesto.

I’m feeling the corn countdown. It’s still at the Boston farmer’s market, but some of the local  farms are done for the season. It’s finding its way into salads and is the star in this simple corn soup. To give the presentation a bit more zing, I topped the soup with some of this paprika and herb oil.

The crostini and soup can be filling, so the entrée was on the lighter side: a mixed lettuce salad with seared scallops, roasted beets, lentils, cherry tomatoes, and roasted delicata squash, inspired by this salad from last fall and this one, which helped me get over my anxiety for cooking scallops.

Dinner was followed by this luxurious chocolate pumpkin spice cake brought by our friends, and a round of joke telling. What could be better?

Eggplant, lentils, and corn with charmoula sauce

eggplant, lentils, and corn with charmoulaEggplant was not my friend until I learned how good it can be when it’s fresh or if you’ve salted it to remove any bitterness. Eggplant is plentiful at the farmstands and farmer’s markets right now, and lends itself to so many dishes, including a rolatini with goat cheese and pesto. eggplants at farm

For tonight’s dinner, I started with this lovely eggplant smothered in charmoula marinade recipe and altered it to omit frying the eggplant and to make it into a heartier main dish with a bed of lentils. Continue reading

Kale quinoa Cobb salad recipe

Here’s my new favorite salad. The story of how it came to be is also the answer to the question, “what have you been up to this summer?”

I had been wondering about the Boston University Gastronomy program and decided to dip my toe in the pool and signed up for a summer class, “Nutrition and Diet: Why What You Eat Matters.” For the past six weeks, most of my conscious nonworking life involved studying, cramming my brain with how our digestive system works, where our food comes from, what nutrients and how much of them we need, what foods have these nutrients, what sustainability means, what causes obesity, and what research has found about various diets. Yep, all in six weeks. The weekly seven hours of class time was riveting, taught by a nutrition and obesity researcher epidemiologist rockstar whose sheer energy, knowledge, and output (on her blog alone!) is an inspiration. And I was joined in class by other foodies including this blogger. Continue reading