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Showing posts from April, 2012

Baba Ghanouj

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People generally are not fence sitters when it comes to eggplant, which is a good thing.  I like a group that isn't shy about its opinions, so it seems only fitting that eggplant be served at book club, where opinions run rampant.

Some people do not like eggplant because it is bitter or because its texture is (some say) slimy or mushy or because it has a tendency to take on the flavors of the ingredients around it rather than stand bold on its own.  I am not those people.  I have always liked eggplant.  I like its hint of bitterness, its silken texture, and its willingness to sit back and not always be the star.  Fry it, bake it, grill it, lather it in olive oil or tomato sauce or just plain serve it with salt, I say, bring on the eggplant.  But this recipe for baba ghanoush (or how Claudia Roden spells it--baba ghanouj--but don't worry there are as many ways to spell it as there are to make it) is, let's face it, a gateway recipe for those of you who are not fans.


So las…

Papparadelle and Spring Vegetable Ragout

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Spring!  Spring!  The farmers markets are slow to bring out the bounty but it's true--spring is trying it's hardest to be here.  Dull roots are stirring.  Lilacs are breeding.  How I love April, if only because I get to read Eliot:


April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, coveringEarth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

Oh, I love the opening stanza to th…

Seared Lamb in Swarthy Pasilla-Honey Sauce

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I used to not be a fan of lamb.  In fact, if this blog has taught me anything, it is that many of the foods I used to not be a fan of require a cheering section.  That cheering section is now me.  Lamb, asparagus, liver, kale.  I was blinded by youth and the limited palate of a child raised by a single mother.  Although, admittedly kohlrabi and turnips remain vegetabilis non grata around here.

We are on spring break around here, which means lots of yoga and running and lounging.  There will be lots of grading, but I seem to be putting that off.  In the mean time, the husband and I are rewatching The Wire (we're in the fifth and final season, and I am reminded that while it is a somewhat ridiculous season with a horrible subplot, everything but that subplot is captivating).  I am also reading Love in the Time of Cholera, a book that I am reserving judgment on for now.  I suspect it would have been a plot I found more captivating had I read it as a teen but now in my dotage, I see t…

Family Feast April 2012

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We decided that every fourth month, we are going to venture out to try a new restaurant as Family Dinner.  Our first choice---


April 07, 2012 Haven Oakland