August 11, 2005
Alexandra and Jewls
Dog days of summer, so named for the sultry weather this time of year, when Sirius, the “dog star,” is in sync with the sun and thought by the ancients to make the sun even hotter. Pilates at 8:00 am yesterday and off to the Greenmarket so Diana and I could chat along the way. Alexandra and Jewls came by at 4:30, with three perfect Italian cheeses, a baguette, Italian honey, and crisp little fennel rings--and Alexandra's wonderful catalogue for the exhibition Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture. After a session on electronic research techniques for Alexandra's new book project, a cultural history of modern Japan--Jewls is her able assistant, working from Las Vegas, of all places--we feasted on the bounty of the summer harvest. We finished the meal with Turkish delight--I love all things rubbery--and rooibus tea, my personal favorite.
- Corn and peaches: The ripe New Jersey peaches at the Greenmarket were the most delicious I can ever remember eating. Perfectly ripe, oh so intensely peachy in flavor, and dripping with juice. The corn is at its best now too. And, one farmer grows shiso, my all time favorite herb, also known as beefsteak leaf and perilla and encountered in many a sushi restaurant. The leaves may be green or purple--the green is more aromatic. I cut the kernels from the cob and gave them a quick heat through with a little water, drained the kernels (and saved the liquid for soup), cooled them, and tossed together the kernels, thin peach wedges, shiso (roll a few leaves up and thinly slice into shreds), minced shallots, and freshly squeezed lime juice.
- Red, yellow, green tomatoes: Sliced these beautiful tomatoes, including the hard green ones, and simply arranged them on a bright yellow platter. Those who wished could drizzle olive oil on them and add sea salt and pepper.
- Green beans: The flat kind, trimmed (just the stem end, not the tips), cut into 1" lengths, quickly cooked in boiling water till just tender, drained, cooled, and dressed with capers, my preserved lemons (in a small dice), and dark fresh dill.
- Carola potatoes: These were wonderful! I bought small ones, scrubbed them, put them whole with their skins into cold water. Bring to slow boil, cook till firm, but not hard when pierced with a sharp knive, drain, and leave in pot, covered, on warm burner to firm up. I served them with chopped fresh mint, which Max loves. Carolas are a yellow waxy potato, sweet and flavorful, excellent texture, from Germany.
- Julienne of carrots, 4 kinds: Love those carrots in all colors, orange, rose, purple, and yellow, so I just scrubbed them, made a fine julienne on my trusty mandeline, and dressed them with fresh lemon juice, nothing else.
Posted by BKG at August 11, 2005 07:43 AM
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