Salad1 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

7.15.13 My Little Herb Stalk

I love eating out because creative chefs often inspire me to try new things at home. I think most home cooks feel the same way as you can see  by a feature of Melissa Clark's column on the Times' blog called Restaurant Takeaway, and something similar in Bon Appétit, known as The Takeaway. Who doesn't want to recreate those bold, compelling dishes that haunt us after we've dined out somewhere special? And when it's a relatively simple technique or combination of flavors you can copy, so much the better. That's the case with this mouthwatering fresh salad that pops up as a special at ABC Kitchen in Manhattan, where chef Dan Kruger is known for healthy seasonal cooking that drives people wild.

Don't worry about having to slavishly copy every last detail of a recipe. Here, it's the combination of fresh herbs, toasted pistachios and savory green olives in the dressing that makes this salad so addictive. At the restaurant, they lavish this mix on a whole gorgeous head of butter lettuce, but anything crisp and green will do.
Tagged — chives
Melissa 790 xxx
iphotos by gluttonforlife

4.26.11 Born Again

Still no camera (I'll retrieve it when I go into the city tomorrow), but G is clamoring from Southeast Asia for evidence of incipient spring in our garden so the iphone will have to do. (I'm actually impressed with the quality.)It's been nothing but rain rain rain for the last several days, though things have cleared up somewhat now and the bugs have already begun their relentless onslaught. Lots of new life is unfurling. Today I will venture into the woods on my first foraging expedition of the season. I'm obsessed with finding ramps, morels, nettles and fiddleheads. Last year I had no luck, nor have I been able to find a mentor in the area. All I need is a little nudge in the right direction. Meanwhile, in my own backyard, many things are cropping up. In the damp, shady bed beneath our bedroom window, the lemon balm you see above (also known as melissa) is off to a good start. This wonderfully fragrant member of the mint family will be pressed into service all summer long for tea, to flavor panna cotta and in poultices for soothing bites and scratches.
Tagged — chives