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Archive for the ‘Eating in season’ Category

EggplantTricolor1

Roasting eggplant seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper makes a tasty base for eggplant tricolor.

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Kale3I know what you are thinking: Stop with the kale recipes already! It’s no longer trendy! I can’t eat anymore! I’ll never like it! But the fact is, kale is going to keep growing from the ground and your local community supported agriculture share (CSA) is going to keep putting it in the bags it delivers to you, so keep calm and kale on.

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Pasta1

Fresh asparagus, peas, salty bacon, and pasta make this dish an easy weeknight meal. The highlights of lemon enhance the taste of springtime freshness.

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IMG_6769

Pumpkin cranberry scones with orange zest icing made with self-rising flour and pumpkin pie filling are easy to make and have all the right flavors of fall.

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tomatosoup

This creamy homemade tomato soup made with no dairy and just a few ingredients has a great “mouth feel.” You’ll never want to open another can of tomato soup again.

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Chocolatezucchini

For those of you fortunate to be near a farmers’ market, or even better with an overflowing garden of your own, use up the abundance of zucchini with this decadent chocolate zucchini cake.

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cukesalad1

For a refreshing summer salad, combine cucumber, avocado, and mint with a little olive oil and lime juice.

We’ve been holding our church services at Spontaneous Celebrations, a community center in Jamaica Plain. I was standing outside after the service in the bright sunshine with Rebecca and Jenny when I noticed there were huge bunches of mint growing between the sidewalk and the bottom of the stairs.

Mint can take over a garden like an invasive weed, so I had no qualms about helping myself to a bunch of mint. It’s wonderful to not only have a mint in a vase to perfume the air but also to keep it handy to chop into salads, or add to a glass of refreshing ice water or lemonade.

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ratatouille

With August’s arrival comes the abundance of fresh tomatoes. A slow-simmered dish like ratatouille is a delicious use of right-off-the-vine tomatoes and should be part of your summer’s repertoire.

Ratatouille, which comes from the French word “touiller,” meaning “to toss,” is literally a tossing in a pot of summer vegetables and simmering them in olive oil: tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, onion, and seasoned with fresh garlic, basil, and perhaps a bay leaf. There are many varieties of ratatouille. There is the Disney version, made popular by the Pixar film “Ratatouille”; Julia Child sautées the vegetables separately; Alice Waters creates a “basil bouquet” bound with kitchen twine to enhance the flavors of the vegetables as they cook.

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The best thing about spring is the arrival of fresh fruit. And while I enjoy a tomato-based salsa I find that fruit salsa is a little more versatile. Now that mangoes and strawberries are both in season, it’s the perfect time to combine them into a topping for chicken or serve them with tortilla chips at a backyard barbeque.

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Sometimes squash can be intimidating. They are weird looking, require a huge knife to hack them open, and then take hours in the oven to roast and soften. Spaghetti squash are the smoothest of the squash family. Their flesh, when cooked, breaks apart in strings not unlike angel hair pasta. But don’t be fooled. It is still a squash.

I just learned a great squash trick. You can soften a squash in 8 minutes in the microwave. Yes. Just halve it, scoop out the seeds, cover it in plastic wrap and nuke for 8 minutes. You’ll want to let it rest a bit so you don’t scald your fingers when you remove the plastic wrap.

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