Sometimes I think food is too beautiful to eat. I felt that way a lot in Paris. Particularly in chocolate shops and bakeries.
Sometimes food is art. And I just feel weird about eating art. You know?
But then I do it anyway. Food is art. Delicious, delicious, art.
I really worried that I’d have a food/art quandary when it came to this ratatouille.
But then I put it in the oven for the better part of a Sunday evening and it smelled so good that I dug in immediately and burned the roof of my mouth.
It was worth it. Don’t worry.
Single Skillet Ratatouille
recipe slightly adapted from Eat This Poem
Red Pepper Sauce
- 1/2 yellow pepper, diced
- 1/2 orange pepper, diced
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 1 14.5-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
- Salt and peper to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large or 2 small Italian eggplants
- 1 large zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 large yellow squash, sliced into thin rounds
- 4 to 5 roma tomatoes, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Line a baking sheet with foil, and preheat the oven to 450 F. Place peppers cut-side down on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool. Pinch skins to remove, and chop.
Reduce the oven temperature to 275 F.
Add olive oil to a large (10 inch) cast iron skillet and warm over low heat. Saute onion and garlic until onions are translucent. Add undrained tomatoes, chopped pepper, thyme, and bay leaf to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper, then simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Then puree in a blender until completely smooth. Pour into the skillet, but reserve 1/4 cup of sauce.
Beginning on the outside edge, arrange eggplant, zucchini, and Roma tomatoes neatly in the skillet, let them overlap so that 1/4 inch of each slice remains exposed. When the skillet is full, drizzle the entire dish with olive oil and sprinkle with additional thyme.
Cover pan with foil and bake for 2 hours. Uncover and cook for 30 additional minutes.
Whisk 1 tablespoon of oil with balsamic vinegar and reserved sauce to form a vinaigrette. Drizzle overtop of ratatouille before serving.
Let’s talk about salad. Not lettuce-y salad. Because, come on. Who has the time or refrigerator space to store a bunch of rinsed, lettuce? I’m talking about salads that aren’t strictly salad-y. Fake salads. Faux salads. Falads? No. No, let’s not go there.
My favorite kind of salad is the kind that I can eat now or later. The kind of salad I can make a big batch of when I’m feeling feisty and then not have to eat it all at once. The kind of salad that gets better after a night or two in the fridge (leftovers are a girl’s best friend. Never let anyone tell you otherwise).
I’m talking about lemony grain salad with crisp veggies.
Salads are not made of lettuce alone, friends. That’s a life lesson from me to you.
You guys. I think I’m starting to walk down the dangerous path of popsicle addiction. They’re everywhere! Tracy from Shutterbean is the queen of boozy popsicles as far as I’m concerned. And these vegan espresso fudgesicles on Take a Megabite? I just die.
I think I’m going to have to invest in a heavy duty popsicle mold like this one. What do you think? Any recommendations? I just know my life will be approximately a million times better once I can make 10 pops at a time instead of a measly 4. Summer’s here for at least another month — and let’s be real, New York won’t cool off until late September…if not early October. So it’s a pretty solid investment, right? Right.
Today’s popsicles are a creamy, dreamy delight, if I do say so myself. I tossed peeled and sliced peaches with olive oil and sugar and stuck them under the broiler. They got all gooey and fragrant in no time and my apartment didn’t become a hot box. It was a win-win! Next, blended the peaches and layered them with coconut milk in the molds. So simple, yet so delicious. So indulgent, and yet totally guilt-free.
There’s nothing better than peaches and (coconut) cream at the end of July.
Peaches and (Coconut) Cream Pops
adapted from Joy the Baker
makes 10-12 popsicles
- 1 pound fresh peaches, pealed and chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 (15 ounce) can whole fat coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place peaches on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Place in the oven, under the broiler until blistered and fragrant (about 10 minutes.) Remove from the oven and spoon the peaches into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and blend until smooth.
In a small bowl combine coconut milk, remaining sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix well.
Spoon the peach mixture into the bottom of each popsicle mold. Pour coconut milk over top into each mold, until 2/3 full. Spoon more peaches into each mold and add more milk until full.
Place popsicle mold lids over top and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.
(If you, like me, have a tiny popsicle mold, store leftover ingredients in the fridge and make a second batch later in the week.)
Friends, it is hot out. It’s so hot that I haven’t worn pants in days and proper shoes (as opposed to sandals) feel like torture. There are three AC units in my tiny apartment, but even they are not meeting our cooling needs. If I could camp out in the freezer I totally would.
Turning on the oven? Yeah. That’s not happening anytime soon. Our gas stove and I are in a fight and won’t kiss and make up until this heatwave breaks. So, what’s a hungry gal to do for dinner?
Black bean & corn salad, friends. Say it with me! It’s sweet and tangy, filling, and suitable for eating on it’s own or spooned over salad. You could aslo serve it with rice BUT PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD USE A RICE COOKER SO THAT YOU DON’T HEAT UP YOUR APARTMENT.
Sorry, this weather is making me a little crazy. I’ll just be over here eating salad in front of the open freezer. Don’t mind me.
Black Bean & Corn Salad
makes 2-4 servings
- 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15 oz can yellow corn, rinsed and drained
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 small red onion. thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon white rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons mustard powder
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, whisk together garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and mustard poder. Add beans, corn, onion and bell pepper. Mix to combine. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, allowing flavors to fully combine. Serve cold.
Do you follow @RealCarrotFacts on Twitter? It is, perhaps, one of the oddest and amusing joke accounts out here. Here are a few gems:
“Sometime if someone talks to you but you dont want to talk to him you can close your eyes and pretend to be a carrot”
“Life is a carrot then you die”
Quality, quality stuff.
I think the folks behind @RealCarrotFacts would dig this recipe. It’s carrot-based. And also quite delicious.
I love a good salad recipe in the summer, or any time of year, really. But a super simple salad that’s easily adaptable? Yeah, that’s the stuff of summer dreams.
I tempered cumin and paprika in hot oil and stirred in a dash of garlic and, later, parsley. But you could easily take it in a sweeter direction with cinnamon and raisins. Or stir in a creamy mixture or lemon and tahini. Delicious.
(Adapted from multiple sources)
Makes 4-6 servings
- 2 lbs carrots, peeled into ribbons
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Heat olive oil in a large skillet, add minced garlic, cumin, and paprika. Stir and add the carrot ribbons. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the ribbons are soft. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and parsley.
Serve warm or chilled.
Needless to say, I don’t get it.
- 2 cups sweetened cashew milk (the brand I used contained a dash of cinnamon and vanilla. So delicious! Almond, soy, coconut or dairy milk may be subbed in)
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 large frozen banana
The banana stand came to New York! THE BANANA STAND. You know. From Arrested Development?
When it arrived at Times Square last week, a few coworkers and I made good use of our lunch break and dashed uptown to see it. By 11:30, the line for Bluth bananas was already absurdly long, so we cruised in for a quick photo op and high tailed it back to work.
Little did we know, Jason Bateman and Will Arnett were due to show up not long after left. We missed this:
(And that is why you never go to the banana stand early).
So, having been deprived of a Bluth banana and a chance to gawk at the the stars of Arrested Development, I decided to make some frozen bananas of my own. These are bite-sized, stuffed with peanut butter, and dipped in chocolate. Perfect for an Arrested Development Season 4 viewing party or a sultry summer afternoon snack.
Grab your cut-offs, drink some juice, take a teamocil and make yourself some frozen banana bites. It will not be a huge mistake.
Frozen Banana Bites
Makes 16 bites
- 3 large bananas, sliced into 32 rounds
- 2 bars of dark chocolate
- peanut butter
Using a double boiler, heat chocolate until melted. Remove from heat. Arrange banana rounds in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Smear peanut butter on half the rounds, and top with the remaining rounds to form 16 peanut butter banana sandwiches.
Using a fork or toothpick, dip each sandwich in chocolate, and return to the baking sheet. When all sandwiches are coated in chocolate, place the tray in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove the tray from the freezer, transfer the frozen banana bites to a tupperware container. Return bites to the freezer for 30 more minutes, until the bananas are thoroughly frozen.
Eat immediately or store in the freezer.