A while back I was complaining about being over that whole avocado-smashed-on-toast thing, but awesome Ashley suggested an easy switch-up: smashed avocado on corn tortillas. No duh. So simple and obvious and delicious! Just different enough that it’s renewed my (formerly waning) interest in avocado on carbs all over again. Especially if they can be eaten outside on the balcony in the sunshine.
Some of my shots from last week’s Rau Rum preview dinner… full details for Le Pick Up’s summer feast here!
Not much has changed in two years… I still have a faint loathing of the brunch ritual, unless it’s chilaquiles. In which case, yes, yes, yes. Chilaquiles for breakfast, that I can give a thumbs up. This batch was topped with not just guacamole but also my famous tomatillo salsa, made extra spicy with a habenero or two, and served warm. And also: refried black beans with salsa fresca, pan-fried breakfast potatoes with chorizo, pineapple in lime juice, and Sasha’s amazing sauerkraut.
As if it weren’t already a brunch that demanded a post-meal nap, there was dulce de leche-filled churros, too. (Thank you, Sabor Latino.)
Carlo, framed by two bunches of peonies, makes me sad that peonies here are gone so fast. When they were in season, we were picking big bunches from bushes every morning. You couldn’t keep up — the bushes would hang so heavy with the blossoms and be destroyed in an hour of rain or a day or two of sunshine. But while they were here, our apartment was full of magic.
Now, I know I’ve written in the space before how much I love David Tanis’ easy fruit tart. It’s a simple, clever dish from a book packed to the gills with simple, clever recipes. I recently adapted Tanis’ recipe to make an easy savory tart, topped with tiny zucchini from the market. (That it looks like a pizza was entirely unintentional, I swear!)
I rolled out the pastry, cut it into a circle, then brushed it lightly with heavy cream. To make the topping, I sprinkled a cup of finely grated gruyere, and layered baby zucchini, sliced thinly on a mandoline, and drizzled with good olive oil. After 30 minutes, the tart was finished! We ate big slices with a lemony salad of bitter greens and radishes, and the meal was just the right balance of sumptuous and lightness. In the future, though, I would cut the zucchini thicker and use even more cheese — the buttery, rich crust can handle more aggressive toppings!
Finally! It’s terrace season. It’s so lovely here it inspires me to rearrange all my food into the shape of a heart. (The key to great avocado toast? Red chili flakes, lots of salt, and just a few squeezes of lemon).
Funny how time gets away from us — especially when there’s a wedding in the works. Especially when there’s 200 people coming to the wedding, and especially when you’re the maid of honor. But, as with events that seem to take a million lifetimes to plan, they all seem to be over in a split second. So I’m back in Canada, for now, and I have plenty of things to do — like this workshop that’s just around the corner. It’s going to be just great, and you know? It’s nice to be back.
Guess what? Last week I bought my very first DSLR! It’s been overwhelming and amazing trying to figure out how to work this thing, but I really love it so far. Perfect timing, too — I had it for my arrival in Ithaca and plan to bust it out every five minutes for the next two weeks.
Also, I’m kind of in love with my friend Bill’s coffee table (first photo). He has concert stubs dating back over a decade on display. Smart idea. I have a million shoeboxes stuffed with ticket stubs, and while I can’t bear to throw them away, I don’t know what to do with them, either.
Another genius idea? My friend Christian’s kimchi stew (!), third photo from bottom. He caught nine trout from the lake earlier that morning. I think I can safely say that it was some of the best fish I’ve ever had in my life. Ever.
It’s great to be back.
What’s more special than hiking to a secret waterfall in the height of the summer heat?
Oh yeah, eating onion rings afterward.
Freshly squeezed tangerine juice, Darjeeling tea, blanched spinach, poached eggs, and whole wheat toast.
At a recent dinner we hosted, my partner was in charge of making the pasta (linguine with stinging nettle pesto), while I was in charge of the salad. Our dinner duties divided, I was determined to blow his mind. (I’m extremely competitive). I love salads with mixed temperatures — this one had medallions of golden baby beets, tiny charred coins of zucchini, gently toasted walnuts, micro arugula, dried apricots, roasted broccoli rabe, wild dandelion, and perfumed nasturtiums (from here) — and every bite was a heady mix of hot and cool. What’s more satisfying than watching people go back for thirds?