the week in photos

IT WAS HOT. That’s the first thing. Though, to be honest, the a/c in the kitchen works pretty well, making the kitchen rather a more pleasant place to be than my 90 degree bedroom (plus three  hot cats!), so I wasn’t exactly running home at night.

Speaking of heat, something I’ve been thinking about: are you wondering why I don’t make more salads and raw things during these hot months? There are good reasons! Not even one of which has to do with a fervent desire to transcend the salad-y reputation of vegan chefs!

First of all, I’d say that 80% of my clients work in offices, which are notoriously freezing. Second, raw foods just don’t travel as well or hold up as well. Third, if I delivered you a cooler full of lettuce and shaved fennel I really wouldn’t feel like I was doing my job of nourishing you–salads are lovely and I personally eat giant ones every day, but no matter how hot it is, we still need some heartier meals for proper nourishment and fulfillment. And finally: I’m leaving the raw veggies part of your diet up to you! Each week I try to include between one and three cold dishes, either lettucey salads or cooked or raw cold vegetable salads (not including the optional salad mix and salad dressing), but beyond that I figure you’re eating plenty of juicy local veggies and fruits, and depend on me for the heartier, more labor-intensive meals. Make sense? I hope so.

OK, let’s get to the photos. As usual, immediately after putting a particularly photogenic dish away I remembered I hadn’t taken photos of it. Do you think this says something about living in the moment, how I never seem to remember to take photos of the prettiest dishes? Why do I always remember to take photos of raw produce? I think because I’m continually in awe of what farmers do with their medium, the earth, and find a little routine what I turn their gems into. Or something.

yumyumyumyum

Sauteed pattypan squash with a saucy mixture of coconut milk, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, lime juice, and wild lime leaves for the red rice dish

Bhutanese red rice with coconut lemongrass sauce, baby vegetables and purple basil!

Bouillabaisse in progress (hey, that sort of rhymed!): saffron and orange strips in a homemade fennel stock, awaiting their pals artichoke hearts, chickpeas, leeks, fennel seeds, and more. Oh--the artichokes are already in there--there they are on the right. I bet that means the chickpeas are hanging out in the bottom, too. That's some really nice saffron, isn't it? Do you know how you can tell? It's dark, dark orange. Cheaper saffron is more yellowy, and the cheapest is super yellowy, because it's cut with turmeric. I don't care if it is the most expensive spice on earth--no cheatin' saffron in my kitchen!

Rouille sauce for the bouillabaisse

Rouille sauce for the bouillabaisse

The only time all year I make a dish featuring sea vegetables! Yep, I use gorgeous kombu in all my stocks and broths, and my puttanesca has sneaky sea veggies to give it a fishy flavor, and my Caesar salad has nori for the same reason, but here dulse and wakame are the stars: sea vegetable salad with roasty toasty sesame oil, sesame seeds, scallions, grated carrots, Hawaiian pink sea salt, lemon, the whole shebang. And mighty tasty, too. And! local(ish) wild-harvested sea vegetables, from Maine!

It's basil season!

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