Lemony White Bean & Fennel Soup

When life gives you lemons….. make soup! The lovely Karen, Orchard Mistress Supreme at Lemon Ladies Orchard in Northern California, sent me a little gift box of Meyer lemons in the mail last week (as well as some of her amazing Santa Rosa plum jam). And I’ll tell you, in a year that has so far included birth and death, travel and tribulation, shoveling and shoveling and shoveling some more, months spent away from home, broken bones and broken water […]

Homemade Curry Powder

It’s a well known fact that the hardest part of making curry powder at home is digging the various whole spices out of whatever wacky spice storage solution you’ve got working. Especially when said spice storage solution involves a shoulder-deep cabinet with only one shelf, a door that will stay open only if propped on a wooden spoon, and is packed to the gills with pantry staples. But, once you bite the bullet and drag the Maldon salt, matcha, peppermint […]

Tepary Bean, Pork & Winter Vegetable Soup

Have you ever had tepary beans? Apparently, once upon a time, they were an important food source for Native Americans in the American Southwest, and the history of their use dates back over 6,000 years in Mexico. Yet, until recently, I had never heard of the tepary bean (whose name seems to derive from t’pawi, Papago Indian for “it’s a bean”) and without Rancho Gordo, I probably would not have been able to find them. Tepary beans are drought-resistant, native […]

Pumpkin & White Bean Ravioli

Hello Fall! Can you believe that the last time I was here I was roaring about tomatoes, and now we are solidly in the heart of autumn: the leaves outside my window are a riot of yellow, red and pale green, and they drift down like snow, to crisp and brown and pile up in the corners of the deck, every time the wind blows; the annual Pumpkin Patch has taken over the church parking lot in Ridgefield; the sky […]

Garlic Scape & White Bean Soup

It’s hot. So it would seem that a hearty, garlicky, potato + white bean soup is just the ticket, no? I didn’t think so either, and in fact, I made this soup simply to use up the two big bunches of garlic scapes that were in the fridge, anticipating yet another bunch in this week’s CSA. I thought I would simply make the soup and freeze it, assuming that a thick-n-hearty soup was not the thing to offset my popsicle-and-popsicle […]

Ayocote Beans with Chile Sauce & Roasted Cauliflower

It’s cold, grey, windy & rainy in New York: an excellent day for a warm & spicy bowl of beans! Despite very liberal applications of chicken soup, I still have a cold and I know I’m cranky, but doesn’t it seem that September and October have been very November-y this year? Cold, damp, grey. It’s getting dark by 4:30pm and we haven’t even hit the end of Daylight Savings time yet. I’m really hoping that November takes an “Indian Summer or […]

Pasta e Fagioli

Back in my Boston days, I lived for several years in a tiny (300 square-foot) but adorable apartment in the North End, Boston’s version of Little Italy (but so much more charming, in my opinion, than NYC’s Little Italy). Boston’s North End was settled in the 1600’s and has all the requisite charm of history: twisty, cobblestoned streets, narrowly packed brownstones, tiny and ancient graveyards that pop out of nowhere, the Old North Church and Paul Revere’s house. Despite ongoing gentrification, and […]

Roasted Flageolet Beans & Vegetables with Preserved Lemon

Update: The original was good, but as I suspected, additional vegetables and preserved lemon take this dish over the top. Updated to detail the most recent version, this one with carrots, parsnips, leek + scallions, preserved lemon, dried mint and yes, more free spice mixes from Penzeys, this one Turkish Spice. Enjoy! ———————————————————– After the excess of “man-food” over Superbowl weekend (Why is it that men lay claim to meat & grease why women get salads & ‘light’ pasta? Food/gender […]

Vaquero Bean & Chorizo Stew

Vaquero beans are so beautiful, I wish I had photographed some for you before I soaked them. They do, however, maintain their lovely markings even after cooking, along with their shape and a toothsome texture. This is a pretty classic bean stew: tomatoes, sausage, aromatic vegetables and a little cilantro or parsley to finish things off. Truly, any bean will work in this recipe, so why not take the opportunity to explore an heirloom varitety that you’ve never tasted? Rancho […]

My Favorite Posts of 2010

As promised, my top 10 list of favorite posts in 2010: some old favorite recipes, blogged about for the first time, some preserving experiments that came out just right, some geeky math and rule-breaking canning, and bacon, of course. I don’t care what they say – bacon will never die! Lemon Lavender Marmalade It seems fitting to kick off this year’s list with a Can Jam post: after all, it was the inaugural year of Tigress’ Can Jam (the first […]

White Bean & Roasted Turkey Soup

Heirloom beans, roasted Thanksgiving turkey, aromatics and sage = one delicious soup. Are you as tired of turkey as I am? While I do love the big bird, seven days straight and my body is screaming for a green salad, crisp, crunchy vegetables and anything-but-meat. So what do I do? Make soup, of course.  Hear me out – it makes more sense than you think.  I didn’t make it to the market last weekend, since we had so much food […]

Smoky Black Bean Soup

We’re having truly New England weather today: daylight savings is barely 24 hours old, yet I woke up to dim, grey skies, a blustery Northeast wind (I keep expecting to see a witch fly by on a bicycle) and big, fat snowflakes. Followed rapidly by sleet. Or hail. Or freezing rain. Or all of the above (or my favorite weather euphemism “wintry mix.”). There is really only one thing to do when November is still in single digits, yet you […]

Traditional Pork Chile Verde

Summer is in full swing here in New York and while it doesn’t seem like you would want a pot bubbling on the stovetop for hours, Chile Verde always strikes me as a quintessential summer dish: bought at a roadside stand in some dusty, hot, Mexican town on the way from one surf spot to another, ladeled into piping hot, homemade tortillas and liberally sprinkled with fresh cilantro. Heaven. This version is nearly as good (although the lack of surfing-inspired appetite may […]

Dark Days: Christmas Limas with Caramelized Onions & Bacon

Something a little special for the last Dark Days Challenge of the season: local heirloom lima beans! “Local” because I smuggled them home in my luggage after my trip to San Francisco last spring.   “Dark” because it’s been raining for three days straight and the sun is a distant, fond memory.  “Challenge” because, well – they’re lima beans. Let’s face it, the lima bean gets no love.  I’m not even sure why. I can’t remember a single time that I even tried a […]

Dark Days: Better late than never

It would seem that one of the hardest challeges of the Dark Days Challenge, for me, is actually getting my post up on time.  It’s not that we are not eating locally; we are. In fact, it’s pretty hard not to eat locally when local food constitutes >90% of what you buy.  It’s just that, as the days grow longer, paradoxically there seems to be more stuff to cram into them, and the week flies by until, ooops! it’s Tuesday […]