Tagliatelle with Ragu Sauce

IMG_4820We had our first of many cold and rainy days in Paris this past weekend.  Cold, rainy weather always makes me crave hearty, warm comfort food.  I decided to pick up some fresh pasta and to make a ragu sauce.  I do not eat a lot of meat these days and when I do I buy the good stuff from a local organic butcher.  I picked up some meat, a few key ingredients and a bottle of red wine and I was good to go.  There is nothing traditional about this sauce (sorry Italians!) but it’s damn good nonetheless.   I made extra to freeze so I will have a quick hearty dinner readily available for a busy day.

 

What is your go-to meal for cold wet weather?

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Roast Vegetable Caprese Salad with Capers

IMG_4403I eat caprese salad at least once a week in summer when tomatoes are fresh.  It’s one of my favorite foods.  It tastes like summer on a plate.  It’s light but filling, cool and easy to prepare when the weather is hot.  Every once in awhile though I like to switch it up.  This was one of those attempts and I’m sure glad I tried it.  Roasted eggplant, zucchini and peppers are topped with buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and capers.  The whole salad is then tossed with a caper vinaigrette.  A lovely summer meal!

 

What is your favorite summer meal?

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Orzo with Roast Summer Veggies and Feta

IMG_4474Awhile back my aunt made Ina Garten’s Orzo with Roast Vegetables as a side dish with dinner.  Light and lemony, it was perfect for summer.  I decided to make a version of this dish as a main dish the other night.  I added in more veggies and changed the recipe a bit but the concept remains the same.  A bowl of this orzo and a glass of rose are perfect for a hot summer night.

 

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Roast Chicken, Peach, and Avocado Salad with Yogurt Dressing

IMG_4395I went to my favorite market in Paris yesterday.  The one I wrote about HERE.  I was so happy to see all the summer fruits and veggies (tomatoes!!!) and a brought home a whole slew of favorites.  Amongst them was a perfectly ripe avocado, a few peaches, a head of fresh, young lettuce and half of a roast chicken.  You know how the idea of a meal starts to form in your head as you shop?  That’s what happened to me.  I thought of this epic salad and went home to make it.  Luckily it live up to the idea in my head.  Next time it’s hot and you don’t want to cook, make this instead.  It’s fast, easy and so delicious!

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Summer Pasta with Zucchini Ribbons and Cherry Tomatoes

IMG_3694Zucchini is an interesting vegetable.  I feel like it changes its flavor by cutting it in different ways.  With pasta, I really like zucchini ribbons.  Sautéed very briefly they retain a bit of their crunch and add a nice texture.  I like to make easy summer pastas with sauces that require barely any cooking if any.  This is the kind of dish you can throw together in a flash and it is healthy, fresh and bursting with flavor.  What is your favorite summer pasta?

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London Days and Ottolenghi

IMG_3844I’m not a huge fan of British food.  Sorry!  I am however a big fan of some of the diversity of the London food scene.  Craving Malaysian roti canai?  Got it.  Want a real taco de carnitas? Done.  One of my favorite spots in London is Ottolenghi.    The chef and author, Yotam Ottolenghi, wrote one of my all time favorite cookbooks, Plenty.  I love his unusual combinations and fresh flavors.  When I am in London I make sure to stop by one of his delis.  I know it will be the best meal I have while I’m here.  Keep reading for the items I picked up this time.  Perhaps they will inspire you (as they have inspired me) to try something new in the kitchen!

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Taste of Summer: Caprese Salad, Roast Zucchini and Pesto Rice

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This is the kind of meal I love to eat during the summer.  Simple, delicious and tasting of ingredients at their finest.  I’m not going to give you a recipe because none is needed.  What you need is just-picked summer fresh produce or this won’t be the same.  You also need buffalo mozzarella (not the one made from cow milk) which is life-changingly flavorful.  The caprese salad was made with an heirloom tomato, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil, and drizzled with balsamic reduction*.  The rice was tossed with some leftover pesto but if I didn’t have that I would have just added a bunch of herbs.  The zucchini was tossed with olive oil, garlic and salt then roasted.  Prefect!  Just another reason why I love summer.

*I make my own balsamic reduction.  Slightly sweet, this thick syrup is perfect drizzled on fruits or salads in appetizers.  To make balsamic reduction, boil regular (not super expensive) balsamic with a teaspoon of sugar until thick and reduced by half.  About 30 minutes.  Warning: this does not make your house smell good!

 

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