Summer

Kool Slaw

Print Email
by Jessica Harper

ColeSlawI’m told that coleslaw dates back to the ancient Romans, although it didn’t really kick into gear until mayo was invented in the 18th century. (Can you imagine life before mayo? One more reason to be glad that, in the birth lottery, you got a later century.)

“Cole” comes from the Latin word colis, you will be interested to know. But the Dutch called the salad koolsla,which I find more appealing so I’m stealing from them.

(We also have reason to believe that the Dutch practically invented tulips so they have really got it going on.)

But enough with the history lesson. I like a salad that won’t wilt overnight; you can make Kool Slaw on a Friday and eat it all weekend. Have it with (or inside) a sandwich, pop open a beer, and it’s a kool day.

Summer Pearl Barley Salad

Print Email
by James Moore

barleysaladBarley is a wonderfully versatile grain with a rich nutty flavor and a nice chewy, pasta-like consistency. According to the Whole Grains Council, “barley is highest in fiber of all the whole grains, with common varieties clocking in at about 17% fiber.”

It’s a great addition to hearty soups, but it’s also nice in summer salads and makes a perfect alternative to pasta.

This recipe is easy to throw together early in the day and stored in the refrigerator, giving the ingredients and chance to blend and become more flavorful. You can add other favorite summer ingredients like cucumbers, zucchini, or cherry tomatoes.

Farro Caprese Salad

Print Email
by Joseph Erdos

farrosaladInsalata di Caprese is one of those classic Italian recipes that shouldn't be reinvented. It's so simple and delicious just as it is—sliced mozzarella layered with sliced tomatoes and basil leaves and drizzled with olive oil. But there is room for reinterpretation, especially when you take those familiar flavors and ingredients and turn them into a whole new kind of salad.

I love grains in all their many forms, but they are most interesting when left whole and unadulterated. Wheat berries, for example, are wonderful in a salad. The Italian grain farro, which is related to spelt, is another whole grain that makes a great salad. This recipe combines farro with the ingredients of a classic Caprese salad. All the components that make a healthy and refreshing salad are right here.

Instead of sliced mozzarella and tomatoes, I use small bocconcini and cherry and cocktail tomatoes. For added tang, I drizzle the salad with red-wine vinegar. Serve this salad in place of the usual pasta or macaroni salad at your next picnic. It's perfect as a side dish for grilled meats, like steak or chicken. But it can even make a terrific light appetizer. Add some whole grains to your diet with this recipe. It will have you going back for seconds—even thirds.

Cherry Tomato Salad

Print Email
by Joseph Erdos

cherrytomsaladPicked up a pint or quart of cherry tomatoes at the greenmarket? Or harvested some from your garden? You could eat them as they are or make something special. What would you make with them?

The tomato plants in my garden have provided for many relatives, friends, and coworkers. With such a surplus we were giving them away as fast as they were growing. Cherry tomatoes, such little bursts of summer freshness, are great for a light salad, combining other vegetables and herbs from the garden like onion, cucumber, and parsley.

Great for accompanying grilled meats or roast chicken, this recipe for cherry tomato salad is sure to be a highlight of summer’s end. Make it any time of the year too, but it’s most refreshing when made with perfectly ripened tomatoes.

The Best Maine Lobster Roll

Print Email
by James Moore

lobsterrollI was walking through my local farmer’s market today and saw a new vendor called the Maine Connection Seafood Company.

The prize on their table was fresh Maine lobster – flown to LA the same day that it is caught from the family run fishing business.

Of course, you can buy a whole lobster and cook it yourself, but this is so convenient and incredibly fresh.

Lobster rolls in Maine are almost always made with a top split hot dog bun, but they’re nearly impossible to find in California.

Amaretto Peach Bake with Honey-Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Print Email
by James Farmer III

peachcrunchAlmond and peach flavors are totally apropos for one another – probably because they’re cousins! Peaches are in the almond family. Just take a gander at a peach pit’s inner pit or the blossoms even – you’ll see the family connection for sure! I won’t bore you with the horticultural nomenclature, Latin naming, bark similarities and inner cambium layers of their trunks: just trust me – they’re related!

My sisters and I had the best extension of siblings with our first cousins growing and still do today! Something about having your own playmates from your own family tree is so fun. Growing up in a small town, we often were mistaken as “oh he’s one of those Brantley kids” or “she’s that Farmer girl isn’t she?” and for the sake of not splitting hairs, we’d just answer “ yes’m or yes sir” accordingly. We’ve always been glad to be the from the same tribe!

The kissin’ cousins in this recipe are the amaretto cookies, almond liqueur and the peaches. They are a household of flavor all to themselves! I can remember my Mema, my great-grandmother, and my Mimi, my grandmother, being the most temperate of ladies – “lips that touch wine shan’t touch mine!” was often exclaimed. Yet, there was always a bottle of almond liqueur, grand manier, sherry or Lydia Pinkum cough syrup somewhere in the pantry or medicine cabinet! I guess they had to say such an expression because they married Baptists. I digress…

Lemony Blueberry Corn Bread with Basil

Print Email
by Susan Russo

blueberrycornbreadThe farmers' markets here in Southern California are amazing -- you can find dates, figs, guavas, kumquats, passion fruit, persimmons, and pluots, but rarely do you see humble blueberries.

I grew up picking and eating fresh blueberries every summer back in New England. Why, I wondered, are they so hard to find in California?

The problem is dirt. Apparently blueberries like to grow in highly acidic soil and Southern California has alkaline soil. This presents a challenge to growing blueberries in Southern California (which explains why most the of the blueberries I buy at the market are from Washington).

New England's acidic soil is perfect for blueberry bushes. I don't know what was better, marching along rows of blueberry bushes, basket in hand, with blue lips and fingertips or standing in the kitchen watching my mom use my very own fresh picked berries to make sweet blueberry buns with lemon icing, old-fashioned double crust blueberry pie, or a loaf of hot blueberry-corn bread (that went straight from the oven to my mouth).

Georgia Caprese Salad

Print Email
by James Farmer III

peachcapreseThe classic triumvirate of tomato, basil and mozzarella is nothing short of divine. I can just imagine Michelangelo snacking on this delicacy whilst carving the David statue. The salad is such a quintessential, Italian dish yet it has become a major part of the American summer menu – especially with the resurgence of heirloom tomato growing!

My Georgia Caprese Salad has a fun origin and pays homage to the old adage “necessity is the mother of invention.” The necessity of mention was supper. A light summer supper for yours truly alone. I was hot. I was tired. I did not want to cook – the thought of being around more heat was as tempting as repeatedly running into the back porch screen – head first mind you – like the bumble bee was doing. My family was scattered with other activities, travel or who knows what and Ol’ Jimmy was home alone – and hungry!

Not only was the thought of cooking with heat unappealing, the thought of eating something hot was equally unappetizing. Enter the “necessity… invention” moment. I rummaged through the fridge and saw I had a block of Pepper Jack cheese from M&T. I said to myself, “Self, you can at least have cheese and crackers.” Then I got to thinking – a dangerous pastime.

Peach and Pecan Chicken Salad

Print Email
by James Farmer III

chickenpeachsaladWhether you are married or buried in The South, you will have chicken salad. You may be a newly born baby down in Dixieland, and your first meal will most likely be a Dixieland Delight of chicken salad – second to pimento cheese or barbeque. I say all this in jest – “jest” saying, y’all, we eat a lot of chicken salad!

This Southern staple is apropos for a wedding, a shower, a luncheon, a wake, a church supper or a hunt club picnic. It is a mandatory dish at garden club. You can be quite elegant with your presentation, and remove the crust (Mimi always said that if you cut the crust off, it was fancy), or you may scoop it onto a lettuce leaf. Or, you may dip Ritz crackers into the styrofoam cup of chicken salad as you leave the drive-thru window at Georgia Bobs – chicken salad can be casual, everyday or highbrow, high-end… diner’s choice.

Chipped, chopped, shredded or chunky – chicken salad is much the same as Southern barbeque in its array of forms. “Mother always chipped hers so fine that it was almost fluffy…” I’ve heard many a time. “Uncle Earl just chopped his…” you may have witnessed this. MawMaw, Mema, Mimi and Mama all have their methods and, like brands of mayonnaise, their posterity follow suit in their taste and preference. Then there is the entire debate about celery. As for me and my house, the finer chopped the better – if added at all.

Sparkling Rosemary-Ginger Lemonade

Print Email
by Susan Russo

rosemarylemonadeIt's almost the end of summer, which likely means you're sunburned, overtired, and ready for your kids to go back to school. I'm here to help. Are you ready for some relaxation? Here's what you need to do:

1. Make a batch of this Sparkling Rosemary-Ginger Lemonade and refrigerate it. Chill a tall glass in the freezer, and fill it with the ginger lemonade.

2. Find a comfy hammock or chaise lounge, preferably in a shady spot. Recline on it while sipping your ginger lemonade.

3. Tell your significant other, your kids, the dog to leave you alone. OK, maybe not the dog.

4. Listen to the hum of bees. Smell the sharp scent of freshly cut grass. Watch the clouds float by. It's a lazy summer day. Make the most of it.

5. If you're still not relaxed, pour yourself a second glass of ginger lemonade and add a shot of vodka or gin. Repeat steps 2-4.

 

restaurant news

Sundance Resort's Pear Cobbler with Almond Crumble
Utah
by Chef Mark Shoup

Sundance Ski Resort UtahChef Mark Shoup knows about cold weather. The executive chef at Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort in Utah serves up a lot of hot comfort food when hungry skiers sit down in the main dining room,...

Read more...
Clementine
Los Angeles
by Laraine Newman

shirley_temple_sm.jpg Clementine, the great west-side L.A. charcuterie has amazing candies, too...

Ok, so I love Shirley Temple.  Anyone who thinks I’m a sap can eat me.  She was a genius.  There’s never been a child...

Read more...
The Hungry Nomad
Los Angeles
by Anna Harari

hungrynomad.jpgThree weeks into all night shoots in Chatsworth on a low-budget indie movie with the same caterer twice a day serving us burgers for “breakfast” every single day (not even I can eat a burger...

Read more...
A Trip to Orange County's Little Saigon
Los Angeles
by David Latt

phogaCertain foods cause people to become rhapsodic. Proust had his madeleines. I have pho ga. At Pho Vinh Ky, the large bowl of chicken soup and rice noodles arrives with a plate of fresh herbs and...

Read more...