Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Counter Culture

Summer is a beautiful time in the kitchen. There are so many fresh, colorful, delicious foods to set on the table. Here is a pictorial tour of what's been happening on my counters:

Fried Squash Blossoms: these are a once-a-year treat! Stuffed with ricotta, garlic and herbs, and then fried in a mesa flour batter, they are an amazing appetizer. One hint: pick your flowers early in the day before they close up! Otherwise they are just too hard to stuff.

Grilled Pizza: I did go ahead and try Bobby Flay's recipe. We all loved it. The grilled pizzas did take a lot longer than I hoped. First we had to cook enough flatbread for 8 people, then we had to put on the toppings and get them all back on the grill.

Once I resigned myself to this being an "event" rather than just a quick dinner, things went a lot better. It's an ideal meal to make with company on your back patio with a beautiful evening to enjoy.

Kale Chips: You may have noticed that Kale Chips are all the rage on the internet this year. When a large bunch of kale arrived in our CSA produce recently I decided to join the crowd. Surprise, surprise! The kale chips were absolutely amazing and I'll be making those again! (Here is a recipe to try.)

Jam: One day a friend came over and we made jam: peach, peach-ginger, strawberry-rhubarb, and mint jelly. The sheet that comes inside the pectin boxes has just about any basic recipe on it and we followed that for most of what we did. For the peach-ginger jam, I added chopped crystallized ginger to the peach recipe. (In case you are wondering what's wrong with the mint jelly -- the jar pictured was the leftovers in the pot, including the scum.)

I finally harvested some rainbow swiss chard from my garden!

It seems once a summer we sit down to an all yellow meal!

I hope you all are also enjoying the delicious produce of summer!


  1. I can't believe you have 5 kids, including a new baby, and yet can manage all this Heather. So amazing! Your photos are as good as the food appears to be - and some of that makes even me think of trying to follow a recipe. Maybe when I'm home again with supermarkets that contain something other than limp lettuce and pigs ears. Bravo!

  2. Speaking of grilled pizza (which sounds amazing by the way and which I'm definitely gonna try) have you ever tried pan-fried pizza? It's a really fabulous twist on traditional pizza and is much quicker; no need to make a fiddly yeast dough, just rub fat into flour and add olive oil until a dough is formed. You cook this in a cast-iron pan (a griddle pan would be even better to form those blackened griddle marks that are so attractive) and add the toppings of your choice. Delia Smith (I take it you are familar with this famous British cook!!) has a really great recipe. If you really love pizza and experimenting with recipes and want to make quick AND delicious food I'd advise you to try pan-fried pizza!!

  3. I'm so glad that you were able to try the grilled pizza. My favorite combo is red sauce, goat cheese, and greek olives!