July is the month of raspberries, tomatoes, beets, and so many other delightful goodies. It’s also the month of weeds. And if you’re a farmer or gardener, you will know this all too well.
Dear cherry tomatoes,
You light up my summer. You’re the best. What would July be without you?
That is the love declaration I’ve been silently making every time I bite into this cherry tomato galette. I think the tomatoes may be telepathically getting the message.
I have to tell you, I am reading the most fascinating book. It’s actually what inspired me to make this recipe. It’s called Eating On The Wild Side by Jo Robinson, and it’s being hailed as the first book to reveal the nutritional history of fruits and vegetables. Ok, I admit this may not sound as riveting as a suspense thriller, but to a veggie-growing nutrition nerd like me, it’s pretty much on par so I’m savoring every word. And here’s what I learned that inspired me to whip up this dish: it turns out that beets and carrots become MORE nutritious when you cook them. Who knew? I sure didn’t.
When I was little, a friend who had come to our house for dinner told everyone at school the next day that my family was weird because we ate GREEN spaghetti! In a small rural town in an era when foods like avocados and even bagels were considered novelty items, spinach pasta – my mom’s clever way to sneak greens into our meals – definitely earned me a reputation as the kid who ate the wackiest food. Well it turns out old habits die hard and true to my roots, I’m still eating green pasta today.
This is the time of year when garlic plants work their magic. They shoot out their scapes: long curly tips that need to be picked off so that the plant invests all of its energy into its bulb, ensuring nice fat heads of garlic to be harvested later in the summer. In the meantime, while we wait for our garlic bulbs to reach full size, we can enjoy elegant scapes. They’re gorgeous to look at, and delicious to eat!
I first heard about strawberry basil tart from my wildly romantic French friend who swears this dessert has been proven to woo even the toughest suitor. And she is right, this one’s a heart melter. So if you’ve got your eye on someone special, you may want to make this for them. Or even better, make it just for you. Oui oui oui! Sweep your own self off your feet, you deserve it!
Rhubarb is one of those rare foods that is next to impossible to find off-season. I actually find it kind of reassuring that there are still some things in this world that you can only get your hands on in their actual growing season. For the most part, our current food system allows us to eat pretty much anything year-round, whenever we please. But there is something satisfying about having nature call the shots. When rhubarb finally presents itself, all pompous and leafy in the garden, it’s such a joyful and precious thing. All that patient waiting is generously rewarded. That’s why when rhubarb season is in full swing, I tend to lose my mind a little: I want to eat it every single day, and incorporate it in every imaginable dish.
Helloooo out there!
Writing the very first post on a new blog is a curious thing. It reminds me of when I used to perform at music festivals as a teenager. You would awkwardly step out onto the stage, blinded by the spotlight, and squint out into the darkness, trying to make out a familiar face in the audience. You couldn’t see a thing in that pitch black ocean but you knew people were out there by the rustling of papers and the occasional cough. And so you took a deep breath and began to play. So hello dear mysterious reader, wherever you are, whoever you are, welcome to Kitchen Vignettes on PBS! Please visit often, don’t be a stranger, and say hello or leave a comment below. That way I’ll know you are indeed out there, even if we can’t meet face-to-face.