These handsome nephews of mine are busy rolling out some pasta dough to be cut into fettuccine. They were out to visit from New York along with the rest of the family which was super fun and these two were excellent rolling helpers. While I spent way too long on whatever else I was cooking that night, rolling fresh pasta is surprisingly quick. I think I timed myself from mixing dough to having noodles ready to cook at 14 minutes (and the dough should rest sometime in there) – and then cooking time is literally about three minutes depending on your noodle size. Anyhow, I do love to enlist the help of Addie and have mixed up dough in a couple preschool classes which was fun. So, yep, fun for the whole family. And other people’s too.
I usually make my dough by pouring two cups of flour onto a big board, counter or large flat-bottomed bowl. Mix in a little salt and I’ll often toss in some fresh herbs from the garden. Make a little mountain with a dome and crack three eggs in the middle, then mix up the eggs working in some flour until you can stir it all up. You can add some drops of water if the dough is too dry. Knead for a few minutes and then the professional folks will say to make a couple balls and wrap them up, which I’ll do if I have time, but I often end up making eight balls and just begin rolling when they’re formed. Having a wee roller is great but I’m sure a rolling pin and cutting works fine too, though maybe that would take forever (probably still worth it for how delicious it is). Coating with plenty of flour maintains separation in the noodles and clean up of the machine is easy too as it only involves wiping off the flour.
Okay, I thought I might write some silly pasta suggestions here or something, but this is already ridiculously long and boring so you one should get a prize for even reading this far. If you just skipped to this last short paragraph you don’t get a prize.
Did I mention that Rachel is really liking tomatoes this year? She has never liked tomatoes but each year really wants to since they are so lovely and I force her to plant tons of them. Well, with her newly found love we have been making bread salad full of tomatoes over and over. Our CSA comes with a loaf of bread on pickup at Grand Central Bakery, which these days means that the day after we usually have some beautiful tomatoes and a heal of crusty bread. perfect. The photo shows a version probably breadier than we usually make it and with mostly cherry tomatoes and some other small varieties from the garden, but the best is a salad heavy on big, meaty heirloom varieties. We typically toast the bread in the oven with some garlic and olive oil rubbed on then toss with tomatoes, some herbs from the garden (basil, lemon verbena, parsley sometimes). I like to make a vinaigrette with a touch of balsamic vinegar, but sometimes we just use olive oil and salt, then some mozzarella or a time or two we have tossed in some feta because its what we had (it works when the tomatoes are really flavorful but might overpower some). So easy. Oh hey, just noticed that this salad in the picture has fried capers too. Fun.
We don’t buy corn too often. I think its a psychological complex that developed since pretty much every processed food now has corn and soy in it, so it just seems wrong to go and buy even more corn. But the CSA has delivered corn on the cob for a few weeks, and of course, some good fresh sweet corn is delicious.
Tossing it straight onto the grill has proven super easy, delicious and surprisingly forgiving. I honestly don’t know how long I’ve been throwing them on there – maybe twenty minutes or so. The outside chars prettyily and the inside gets nice and hot without getting soggy and takes on a nice smoky flavor. We have been eating them without anything on them because they are so sweet and tasty grilled. I also threw some on the fire while camping, which worked out okay too, but the husks burned through and started flaking off a wee bit before the corn was fully cooked.
We picked some blueberries, peaches and pickling cucumbers out at Sauvie Island Farms today and picked up our CSA delivery. Oh boy. I’m going to go eat now for a few hours.
Fava beans get a bad wrap, I think, because they are ugly and tough to process. But inside, look how cute they are! And they aren’t as tough as some would have think. First one must peal the big hairy bean pod and extract these lovely little seeds. then blanche the beans for a couple minutes, rinse to cool and pull out the actual bean