Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer Favorite: Linguine with Pecorino, Tomatoes and Arugula

I'm trying to remember if I've posted this recipe previously? My brother made it for us about 8 years ago, and it's become a summer favorite ever since. One can, of course, buy these ingredients at large markets year round, but there's something about using fresh, in season arugula and tomatoes that makes me want to save this one for summer only. 

Arugula tends to bolt and go to seed when the temps get up there, and tomatoes don't ripen, generally, until it gets pretty warm. But there is usually, around here anyway, a brief intersection at the beginning of tomato season (and end, if you a did a second, later planting of arugula), where you have both ripening together, either in the garden or, as in our case, from our CSA. This is one of those weeks for us, so we had it for tonight's dinner. I meant to take a photo but we ate it up to fast :-)

I like to serve it with Italian sausage, sometimes garlic bread, and for those who can (since I can't at the moment), either, a lighter red wine, or, Patrick's current favorite, Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc.

Recipe found at Epicurious

Recipe Notes:

I generally don't remember to have shallots on hand, but have substituted all kinds of onions and even chives with good results. I increase the balsamic vinegar to 1/4 c (because we love it so much). Pecorino Romano is lovely, but rich sometimes for our budget at about $18.00/lb, so I often use traditional Romano at about 1/2 the price, or even Parmesan, with equally scrumptious results.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

a thought for a summer Sunday afternoon

Life is very full, and often, fast. But sometimes, in the midst of it all, I remember something important.

That it's all so fleeting, both the good moments, and the hard moments. In these rarer moments, when I can step outside of myself and remember this, it's easier, also, to remember to really revel in the good moments. To breathe them in, soak them up, and enjoy them fully. And not to dwell too much on the harder ones, angry, sad, or just stressful ones. For they too will pass in the blink of an eye.

Today was the birthday of both my paternal grandfather, who lived to a fairly respectable old age, and my dear sister in law, who passed way too soon. May we all remember to revel in the moments we have with those we love, not knowing how many precious moments will be given to us.

Happy Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

CSA Love...Sweet Land Farm

Someday, I'm thinking winter-ish, when the compelling need to be outside soaking up sunshine is past, when the baby has arrived (only 8-ish weeks now, holy cow!), when life settles down a bit (am I really thinking this will happen?), I may again post more frequently. There's so little time these days, and this pregnancy has not come with the burst of energy I got halfway through when carrying Helena.

Part of accepting that, has been scaling things back a bit. The large garden we planned hasn't materialized. We have kale we're harvesting, and a few odds and ends we got in that will bear fruit later in the season, and the ground will be ready for a more serious endeavor next year, but we're not going to be primarily eating fresh foods that we grew ourselves this summer. 

Instead, we are enjoying the bounty of a weekly CSA share. We did this once before, while sharing a home with my parents for awhile, and I loved it then too. Having a box of who knows what each week taught me to eat things I hadn't given much thought too before, largely greens other than lettuce.

A good friend recommended Sweet Land Farm, and we are really loving it. I've heard there are other great CSAs in the area, but this one really works for us. They have this wonderful set up where you show up weekly and fill your bag with your choice of what's available then. We love this, because we get to try a little of the things we're unsure of, and really load up on what we're craving (can you say cilantro! so much salsa these days!).

Also, they have a take as much as you like section, largely greens now such as kale, collards and chard, and you can take as much as you can eat that week (not meant for stocking up and preserving). This gives us plenty of the greens we love, and we've been putting them in everything.

Bounty from the first week
Finally, they have a u-pick section, some of which is unlimited (we loaded up on basil this week), some of which is rationed...strawberries and sugar snap peas...mmmm! Oh, and flowers. Did I mention flowers? You could easily spend the $20-ish dollars a week per share on the flowers we've been picking.

Wishing you all the delights of summer's bounty!