Kind of like Shakshouka

So basically this is some eggs poached in a bunch of cooked tomatoes with lots of tasty spice. A bit like huevos rancheros and the like, Rachel spotted this recipe in Sunset and thought it would be a tasty way to use up lots of our tomatoes. This from the lady who doesn’t really like tomatoes, except cooked sometimes, so we gave it a shot. She was right and it was super delicious – it begins with a paste of cumin and coriander seeds, lots of paprika, then salt and garlic. Along with some peppers and several tomatoes and thats pretty much it. We made this a lot when we got a build up of tomatoes from the garden and so never got around to canning any whole tomatoes or sauce which is a shame, but oh well. It was also fun to cook over a fire, though of course heat is a little trickier to control and poaching the eggs in the sauce is a bit tricky already as the bottom seems to cook up pretty fast while the tops don’t get too much heat, even covered. Maybe an attempt to flip the yolks would have helped, because generally they went from way undercooked to overcooked in seconds. Still tasty though.


Broccoli pesto and green beans w/ tomatoes

The broccoli pesto is from Super Natural Every Day, by Heidi Swanson, who also blogs at 101cookbooks where there is a similar recipe. I never have any really great ideas of what to do with broccoli, though Rachel makes some tasty soups, so it was fun to try something unique and even summery. This broccoli had a little bit of a bite to it which made the leftovers seem a bit too broccoli-ish if that makes sense.

The beans and tomatoes are from our yard and the CSA (yes this is from a while back – so what) and were super delicious. I love to throw this little business together, though Rachel maybe doesn’t quite as much since she doesn’t really like tomatoes, except cooked, and these are only cooked a wee bit.

Start with some red onion slice thinly and toss in olive oil warmed over medium heat. Cook until soft then turn up the heat and toss in the beans along with some salt and pepper. Cook that together a few minutes – sorry I’m not good at specific times or markers – just cook them until they are nice and warm and perhaps you even see a few spots where they are browning. Then throw in the tomatoes cut into chunks along with a pour of red wine vinegar and then a pinch or two of red pepper flakes. I suppose I should try this recipe with some fresh peppers sometime, but I think maybe I just want a tiny kick without overpowering with pepper flavor. Cook and stir until the tomatoes break down a little bit and you’re done. Eat it.


I really like summer

Avocado toast and tomatoes with some fromage blanc was the perfect quick lunch the other day. We have been getting tomatoes steadily from the CSA the past few weeks and even had one turn red in our garden, along with a handful of yellow pear tomatoes – but Addie pretty much picks and eats those before I get my hands on ’em.

The avocado mix is the juice of about one lemon and an equal part olive oil with a wee bit of salt. Mash that up with an avocado and some red pepper flakes and you’re ready to go. Summer is yummy.


Tuna Nicoise Salad

I’m not sure the official rules for a Nicoise salad (perhaps only a salad in Nice can qualify). I can’t even keep track of whether I’m capitalizing the titles in these posts are not. Anyhow, this was a recent evening’s version, with some tasty sashimi grade albacore from the Flying Fish Co, a beautifully golden heirloom tomato, green beans, small white potatoes and a hard-cooked egg. Its a bit of a shame that I didn’t pick up some Nicoise olives. Also, I think we were in a hurry to eat and so tossed together an oily dressing, but a nice anchovy spiced creamy dressing was almost certainly the right answer.

 

 


Everything came out purple

Yep, it is still a bit damp and cool out here so why not bake chicken in summer? Our Le Creuset French Oven is so perfect in every way and it is just right for cooking up a couple chicken breasts. During the winter we were making something like this about once a week. Since its summer, kind of, that meant some different veggies which was fun – I tossed in some tomatoes, fennel and purple cabbage. Yep, that purplefied the rice, which Addie was pretty excited about. But then again, she likes to say ‘ooooh, aaaaahhh,’ pretty much anytime a pot is brought to the table covered and then the lid removed. I should do that more. Its really cute. And gratifying. Anyway, toss in however much rice you and yours typically eat, but perhaps a bit less water than usual as the chicken and veggies will help juicify that rice too. I rubbed the chicken with a little salt and stuffed it with lemon slices and the fennel fronds. Is that the right word, fronds? These were pretty big breasts so I baked at 350 for about an hour then turned it up to 375 and cooked without the lid for about half an hour until the skin got nice and crispy. The fennel on top dried out a little bit, so I should probably try to tuck it in a bit better next time. Next time.

On the side are some fresh boiled beets. Addie downs beets like candy these days, though she was really upset when I cut one on her plate and then she wouldn’t touch it. To boil them just cut the leaves near the head, but don’t cut off their little tail or cut below the stem or tons of juice will leak out when cooking. Don’t worry about pealing them either. When they are done cooking – it really depends on their size, poke them with a fork to check if they are tender – just rinse them in cold water and pull off the skins and stem with your fingers along with the tails if they gross you out, or leave them on if they are pretty. Hey, some folks think they are pretty.

I also cooked up the beet greens, which I don’t usually do, but these greens looked really nice, so I figured I should. I blanched them then placed in an ice bath, chopped really finely and sauteed in some garlic. Oh wait, I know, Martha Shulman has a perfect, simple recipe on her NYTimes blog Recipes for Health.