Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Seasonal Recipes: cheap and tasty

We are probably one of the last households to receive and read three daily newspapers.  One of the best things about the NY Times and the Boston Globe are the Wednesday food sections.  Sometimes the recipes call for difficult (read drive 80 miles to get ingredients) or sound like a lot of work and with 30 ingredients (mostly vegetarian), but last week had a couple of seasonal recipes that sounded like something I might try, and try I did.

From the Times, I made the Cucumber and Buttermilk Soup with Sourdough Croutons. Quick, Flavorful No-Cook Soup  It's a lovely green color and had a pleasant taste before chilling.  From the Globe I got Orzo salad with green beans, tomatoes and olives. Truth be told, we are eating the croutons on hand, whatever their flavor. Yummy orzo salad recipe

Our tiny garden has produced a bounty of cukes, and naturally a recipe where I needed two pounds (!) was welcome.  Buttermilk and avocados were on sale, and the herbs were in the garden, too.  This was a no-brainer.

The salad uses green beans and tomatoes, always a good combo, and I had a package of orzo.  Olives from the olive bar for flavor and that elegant little touch of black.  Sweet onion  also on sale.  Basil and mint in the garden.  This looks like a winning vegetarian meal.  Easy, great for a hot evening, an no list of 27 ingredients or time-consuming cooking.

The Times and the Globe today had tributes to Julia Child on the occasion of her 100th birthday.  I have her epic cookbooks, and always had a favorite veal stew that I made with fresh tomatoes every summer.  Caflouti is a favorite dessert in our house, easy to make, tasty and not a diet-buster.  The Times has a yummy roast pork recipe from Julia that I'll make tomorrow for family company.

The great thing about the recipes in the newspaper is that they come to you.  No wracking of brain, no browsing through cookbooks (a pleasant activity, nonetheless).  Ingredients are usually seasonal.  By and large prep is not too difficult.  Just screen out those too time-consuming, weird or that don't really sound all that good.   You'll recognize them immediately.  They call for lime leaves and oddball stuff.  Or weird combos like kale and squash.  Butternut squash is fine for soup or a vegetable but I get fatigued seeing it in the most outre combinations. Now I never tire of green bean recipes!  Yay. 

I'll do photos tomorrow, so  you can judge for yourself.  We had more chicken pesto pasta salad with tomatoes this week.  My own recipe, intuited many years ago from Rebecca's Cafe in Kendal Square, Cambridge.  That was one dynamite dish.


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