Thursday, July 29, 2010


Suffice it to say we've got a glut of yellow summer squash over here. Actually, no, that won't suffice. We've done the sweet, buttery-yellow fruits sauteed, shredded, grilled, in pasta, in soup, in chocolate cake, with even more squash growing up along the garden fence and taunting us from on high. I'm snacking on a squash-basil muffin as I type this. Even the local food pantry turned down our offer to donate some squash--seriously. After Mark's band played last Saturday I was peddling them in the streets of Hoboken and leaving them on top of friends' cars.

And I haven't even mentioned the basil: quadruple batches of pesto, quarts of basil-lime syrup for tasty drinks both alcoholic and non, marinara sauce, salads, and stir fries. From just two plants of Genovese basil. That doesn't even include the Thai and holy basil plants. Geez.

We just started digging potatoes today--20 pounds' worth from just four of our many, many plants. The bounty continues...which is incredibly awesome, but it's starting to seem strangely ominous as well.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Frittering Away

Crispy, melty, savory success. I filled these squash blossoms with a blend of ricotta, mozzarella, and pecorino romano cheeses and some anchovies, garlic, and oregano, then dipped them in seasoned flour and a beaten egg and deep-fried. Deliciousness.

Monday, July 5, 2010

In Blossom

The photo above is a hot mess, sure, but it illustrates tonight's promising dinner. For a long time I've wanted to cook with squash blossoms, but they're virtually impossible to find at the store, and every year we've grown squash I've been too anxious about our yield to interfere with reproduction and sacrifice any potential squash fruits. Suffice it to say that shouldn't be a problem this year, with dozens of blooms and fruits everywhere and leaves as big as the baby trying to snuff out the poor melons.

In Rome we enjoyed delicious fried blossoms stuffed with cheese at a side-street trattoria, and I'll be riffing on that tonight by filling our sweet-smelling flowers with ricotta, romano, anchovies, and basil before battering and pan-frying them.

Most of that basil became pesto within an hour of being snipped, and the rest will be used for my favorite basil beverage. There will also be juicy local peaches with elderflower and verbena syrup for dessert. The abundance of produce is still a novelty this early in the season, and I'm all a-twitter with recipes. Wonder what my level of enthusiasm will be at the end of August with peppers and tomatoes covering every flat surface in our house. I think I'll still be pretty stoked.

Such a tease, these baby Nyagous are--the tomato equivalent of jailbait.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Nico and I harvested about 200 big, beautiful shallots today. Hot damn! I must calculate what the cost would be if we bought that amount at the grocery store. Not sure how to factor in the hours of backbreaking labor and the value of Mark's sanity.

Now I just need to learn how to braid them after they've cured.