This pasta is ideal for a potluck or picnic. It will feed a large group and can sit out a bit at the buffet table. But that’s not the only reason to make this Greek orzo salad. It is easy to make and packs well for light, yet filling work day lunches. It also makes a wonderful summer evening supper to be enjoyed outdoors, perhaps, with some crusty bread and a glass of wine. Like many pasta salads, this one tastes better the next day, when all of the flavors have had a change to meld. Continue reading →
Gazpacho is a cold soup from Andalucía, in southern Spain. Many food historians believe that it is derived from a Roman dish made with bread and water flavored with olive oil and salt. The name gazpacho may come from the Latin word, caspa, meaning “fragments” or “little pieces”, which refers to the bread crumbs, an essential ingredient in the Andalusian version. The bread not only thickens the soup, but also makes it more filling. Tomatoes, considered today as classic ingredient in gazpacho, was not added to the soup until the discovery of the New World.
Thanks to the abundant sunshine, fertile soil, and cool coastal breezes, farmers up and down the state of California are able to grow a huge variety of crops, many of which are shipped all over the country. We are fortunate to live here in Southern California, where we have access to many of these locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Many of them, such as those featured in today’s recipe, are at their peak of flavor during the late spring to early summer.
As a regular reader, you’ve probably noticed that I am particularly fond of sugar and butter, which, unfortunately, is not good for me nor my waistline. That’s why I am excited to find recipes as healthy and tasty as this pasta salad. With luscious mangoes, creamy avocados, sweet tomatoes and bell peppers, I’ve found a great way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my diet.
I was first introduced to today’s raw fish dish, poisson cru, or e’ia ota, many years ago, on a trip to Moorea, one of the islands in French Polynesia, more commonly known as Tahiti. Poisson cru, Tahiti’s national dish, literally means “raw fish” in French. It consists of fresh fish, usually tuna or mahi mahi, and vegetables marinated in lime juice and coconut milk. It is found just about anywhere in Tahiti – from roadside stands to fine restaurants.
This is one of my favorite things to eat when I get a craving for bacon. I was introduced to this breakfast sandwich a few years ago at Square One Dining in Hollywood, and I’ve been making it at home ever since. This sandwich is delicious in its simplicity, thereby letting each element shine. The key is to use good-quality ingredients. I start out with thick slices of brioche bread, with the ends cut off. Then, just as they do at Square One, I also like to use the applewood-smoked, thick-cut variety from Nueske’s, an online purveyor of smoked meats from Wisconsin. Then, I generously spread the garlicky aioli, which is the secret ingredient to this terrific sandwich.
I’ve always been curious about spaghetti squash and until this past weekend, I had never cooked with it. A variety of winter squash, it is oblong-shaped with a hard, pale yellow rind and stringy, orange-colored flesh that resembles translucent strands of pasta when cooked. Its texture is slightly crunchy, somewhat akin to al dente pasta. Its season starts in early fall and goes throughout winter. Spaghetti squash is low in calories and is a good source of fiber as well as nutrients like beta carotene, folic acid, Vitamin A, and potassium. It makes a low carb and tasty alternative to pasta or potatoes. Continue reading →
Fish sauce, a staple ingredient in many Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia, is made from fermented fish and sea salt. While it may not sound or smell appetizing, fish sauce adds a complex flavor to food. It is added to dishes during the cooking process or used straight or as a base for dipping sauce. Continue reading →
Take advantage of the season’s best produce and prepare a simple, one-dish meal on a hot day – perhaps without even turning on the stove. There really aren’t any rules — just toss your favorite fruits or vegetables in the salad dressing of your choice and you’re done!
This salad is full of summer’s best produce – fresh corn, tomatoes, avocado, and string beans. To read the rest of the article and get the recipe, click the link to follow me over to A Lucky Life blog.
Tomato, basil, and mozzarella is a classic combination that’s perfect for summer, when tomatoes and basil are at their peak. This quick and easy appetizer is extra special when you use fresh burrata*, a fresh Italian cheese made by stuffing mozzarella with a mixture of more mozzarella and cream. On the outside, the burrata looks like mozzarella, but on the inside it is oozing with soft creamy goodness. It has a clean, milky taste that goes well with sweet roasted vine-ripened tomatoes and the slight saltiness of the basil pesto. Continue reading →
We suffer from bland, watery, and mushy tomatoes most of the year, but each summer, we get a reprieve when these deeply-colored, and tasty fruits make their appearance at farmers market and grocery stores. There are so many varieties, ranging in size, color, and shape. Depending on the type, tomatoes vary in taste, from highly acidic to very sweet. Continue reading →
I love lazy mornings like the one I had this morning, with no alarm clocks and no long commutes. I didn’t have to fuss with my hair, and stayed in my pajamas a little longer. I slept in, groggily waking up just in time for Chris to hand me my morning latté and to kiss him goodbye, as he scurried off to work. I spent the early morning wandering about my garden, lamenting my tardiness in planting the zucchini, carrots, and peas, which I promised myself I would do tomorrow. I halfheartedly leafed through a couple of cookbooks, while watching The Today Show, looking for inspiration for what to make for lunch. I finally got dressed and headed out the door to run some errands. Once I arrived at Whole Foods, I took my time wandering around the pristine aisles, where the produce guy caught me doing a happy dance after spotting some fresh rhubarb, hidden behind some carrots and turnips. Continue reading →
There are many variations of this wonderfully filling and comforting dish. In its simplest form, eggs are poached in a flavorful tomato sauce. In Southern Italy, it is called Uova al Purgatorio, or Eggs in Purgatory (due to the appearance of the eggs cooking in a hot, bubbling sauce resembling flames in hell purgatory), and it is often made with parmesan cheese and basil served over bread, pasta, or polenta. In the Middle East, it is known as Shakshuka, and it is made with a spicier tomato sauce, crumbled feta cheese, peppers, and cumin and served with warm pita bread. The Turkish dish, Menemen, is similar, as the eggs are cooked with tomatoes, onions, and peppers in a single pan, but the eggs are almost always scrambled, instead of poached.
I got this recipe from my mother-in-law, Lucia, who is the consummate hostess. She has an incredible knack for making everyone feel at home. Her house in Palm Springs, complete with basketball court and swimming pool, is the perfect hangout for family and friends. While we all know it’s hard work, she somehow makes entertaining seem effortless. She disappears into the kitchen for a moment only to reappear with a casual, yet very tasty poolside spread that has something for everyone. Continue reading →