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Showing posts from September, 2014

Herb Cream Cheese and Cucumbers on Toast

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Oops.  That was a lot of garlic.

So, you see, the CSA box was full of cucumbers, so I wanted to make something simple, something Deborah-Madison inspired, and something tasty.  Enter the Greens cookbook once again.


This recipe is exactly what it says. Herbs.  Cream Cheese.  Cucumbers.  Toast.  It is nothing difficult, nothing splashy, but it certainly is tasty and makes a fine light side, appetizer, or if you do as I did, a light lunch.

But here's the rub:  I halved the recipe (given that lunch that day was just the husband and I) but I forgot to halve the garlic. As in, everything else was perfect, but that was a lot of garlic.


Thus, the husband and I had to eat defensively. Neither of us could eat less garlic than the other, or someone would pay.  You, however, will not need to worry--that is, if you follow the recipe (which I didn't).

Nonetheless, the spread was so good, the cucumbers were so light and tasty, and the bread (ah, Acme bread, how you delight) so toast…

Fettuccine with Roasted Eggplant, Peppers and Basil

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I am on a Deborah Madison kick. And for good reason. Next weekend, as part of the let's-make-my-birthday-last-a-full-month edict that I issued in the household, we're headed to Greens (the restaurant once under Madison's tutelage). 

I have loved this cookbook well and for quite some time (almost 17 years), but these days I don't seem to cook from it often enough (in fact, I have only posted recipes here and here). Certainly, I have turned to otherdelightful books by Madison, but it does feel nice to land back home here with one of my favorites.



Much has changed in these past two decades since I acquired this book (I am no longer a vegetarian, I am not afraid to cook a recipe with a long list of ingredients or steps (although this one has neither), I know what a garlic clove looks like), but coming back to this book, with its dog-eared pages and its curving and stained cover, is lovely on this first day of fall. 

So, here I am 40, turning the pages in a book that was…

Chunky Zucchini and Tomato Salad

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This summer seems to be one of abundance. These giant, globular tomatoes are almost overwhelming our CSA box (grapes, eggplant, and green beens are straining against the cardboard seams this year as well). While we're smack in the middle of an extreme drought here in California, the tomatoes are plumping up into sheer perfection. The zucchinis seem to be almost atomic. And as it happens when I feel the abundance of vegetables, I turn to the tried and true Ottolenghi to guide me.

Indeed, Ottolenghi serves up many a carnivore's delight; however, I find that Ottolenghi prepares vegetables in usually interesting and always delicious ways.  This little number is a variation of the Palestinian salad, mafghoussa (which simply means "mashed").  And while it ain't much to look at, this sweet, creamy, savory, little salad that can be served as an opener, a side dish, or as a spread on some well-toasted bread.  Quick recommendation:  chop or mash the veggies eve…