Pounds and Pounds of Produce – A Visit to Kruger Pepper Farm

Sicilian Caponata This year, instead of being jealous of the people who rave about their extraordinary harvest of tomatoes, peppers and the like, I made a 2 1/2 hour road trip to the Kruger Pepper Farm in Wapato, Washington, a candy store for cooks who are not serious gardeners. Thanks to my husband’s Italian heritage […]

Chew On This!

Spring Herb Risotto with Toasted Grains What I love about the gluten-free trend is it has brought more grains and flours to our fingertips.  I’ve got red, black, brown jasmine and brown basmati rice in my pantry along with amaranth, millet, bulgur, farro, freekeh and a rainbow of quinoa. Grain choices don’t stop there  I […]

No-Recipe Summer Eating

Strawberry Salad with Crumbled Gorgonzola and Pistachios   A surfeit of strawberries and a beautifully hot, summer day led to a craving for a classic – strawberry salad.   Warm summer evenings call for no-oven, no-stove and no-recipe dishes that you can assemble while a lean entrée is sizzling on the grill.    A salad […]

What is An Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

Mixed Grain, Mango and Black Bean Salad with Cumin-Chili Dressing I was recently asked, “What is an anti-inflammatory diet?”   A simple answer: A diet built around whole foods with lots of produce, whole forms of grains, healthful fats and a couple of servings of fish each week (or equivalent omega-3 fatty acids).  An anti-inflammatory […]

Cabbage – In the Raw

Dress Up Cabbage for Summer Meals: Coleslaw 3 Ways Humble cabbage, often passed over in favor of glamorous sister vegetables such as kale, rapini, broccoli and cauliflower,  turns into Cinderella come coleslaw season.  At its simplest, shredded cabbage and onion tossed with lime juice and a few seasonings, make a cool and crisp taco or […]

Polenta – Italy’s Other National Dish

Polenta On The Grill  On a visit to Pescolanciano, Molise, Italy, the birthplace of my husband’s grandfather, our relatives showed us a video of the Polenta Festival that takes place each August.  The entire village comes together to prepare and eat polenta.  We think pasta is Italy’s favorite staple but polenta has a rich culinary history […]

A Taste of Morocco

Moroccan-Spiced Farro Stuffed Bell Peppers When I was a teenager, I feel in love with the deeply fragrant spice combinations of Morocco.  I had picked up a discounted copy of Paula Wolfert’s book, Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco, and began to curiously cook and eat my way through an ancient cuisine with strange […]

Poor Man’s Pasta

Spaghetti with Bread Crumbs, Anchovies and Parsley  OF COURSE we take for granted the fact that we live in a world with clean running water, fresh vegetables and an abundance of protein sources, spices and condiments to use each day.  Yet, sometimes it’s nice to strip away the extras and have an ultra-simple meal like this […]

Lentils for Luck

 Lentils with Rosemary and Red Wine I often start January with a series of “good luck” foods.  The Christmas cookies, champagne and caviar are long gone and it’s time to get down to the business of resolutions and a fresh, healthy start to the year.  Since a trip to Umbria in 1990 where I sampled the […]