Red Sauce – An American Icon?

Thank you, Bon Appetit, for “Red Sauce America ” a celebration of the Italian American Restaurants we love. (1)  . Who doesn’t have a memory, or many, made in an Italian-American “red sauce” restaurant? I do. As I child, my family frequented Banchero’s, in San Leandro, California. Your meal came in courses – a relish […]

Preserved Lemons for a Burst of Flavor

 Preserved Lemon Tapenade   I first tasted preserved lemons as a teenager, cooking my way through the world of Moroccan foods and flavors with Couscous and Other Good Food From Morocco by Paula Wolfert, © 1973.  At the time, harissa paste, bisteeya, tajines, couscous and the pungent condiment “preserved lemons” were very exotic.   Today […]

Sweet Signs of Spring

Roasted Spiced Rhubarb with Fresh Strawberries A display of rhubarb at the farmer’s market in Carnation, Washington triggered fond memories of my Nana’s stewed rhubarb; she canned every spring and served as a breakfast treat.  Nana grew up on a farm in Minnesota where a hearty breakfast, including a fruit dessert, was the norm.  Far […]

Cilantro – Love it or Leave It

Thai Cilantro Sauce I adore herbaceous green sauces to embellish the simplest dishes – grilled chicken, pork…or juicy flank steak…a platter or raw tomatoes.  Pestos made with basil, arugula, cilantro-pecan and tarragon wait in my freezer for just the recipe or menu idea. I’ve built blogs around other favorites, Argentinian Chimichurri and Italian Salsa Verde.     So […]

National Farmer’s Market Week

 Celebrate with Chimichurri Sauce National Farmer’s Market Week runs through August 11 and celebrations are going on around the country.  Reliable sources say the number of famer’s markets around the country grew almost 10% this year and according to the USDA, grew 17% last year.  No wonder the popularity is growing.  Having a face and […]

The Hunt for Wild Blackberries

Blackberry, Basil and Pinot Noir Sauce Summer is a precious (ie. short) season in the Northwest and the thought of it coming to an end is sad except for one thing, wild blackberries finally ripen.   My dog Mocha loves them as much as I do.  Our trail walks this time of year become less an […]

A Bounty of Summer Garden Herbs

Italian Salsa Verde  One of my favorite uses for summer’s bounty of home-grown herbs is an Italian-style Salsa Verde.  A traditional Italian use of this emerald-colored sauce is to enliven boiled meats (bollito misto) however our preference for fair-weather cooking is the grill.  We find a spoonful of Salsa Verde  complements seafood, chicken,  pork and […]

Good, Simple Food – Tomato Sauce for Pasta

Humble Tomato Sauce Mundane as it is, homemade tomato sauce is a backbone of the Italian corner of our kitchen. It’s our supreme comfort food: pasta with tomato sauce settles us in after a long trip away from home; it’s food we celebrate with, cry over and dress up to entertain friends. I swear it […]