Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Evening In August

 I always think of  W.S Merwin's prose, "August", this time of year and certainly today at 92degrees.
We walked to the local farmer's market, on dry, brittle grass. We passed a  60 year old fig tree, laden with ripe figs and hornet's nests.
I decided to pull all the herbs and vegetables out of the fridge, strike the grill and make a Summer salad. I skewered and grilled,  Moroccan spice-rubbed beef,  corn and onions, prepared a  mixed salad of greens with various herbs with lemon/virgin olive oil dressing, slicing radishes, grilled and chilled red peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes.  I halfed figs and sprinkled with toasted,slivered, almonds and cardamon, chopped mint, touch of honey. We toasted, as the sun was setting, listening to the local college band practicing for football season, with a Saffron cocktail.

Saffron Cocktail
Make a simple syrup of  2 cups water, bring to boil and dissolve 1 cup sugar and large pinch of saffron.
Set aside and chill.
In chilled glass filled with ice,
add one part vodka,
one part saffron syrup
and fill glass with sparkling soda.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Forth Fortune

Tonight, as the sky is getting darker earlier, I glanced around my kitchen and considered the garden-grown melon, the bowl with ripe peaches, the platter of vegetables about to be grilled. The hardboiled, brown eggs simmering with onion skins and tea on the gas stove. The salted slice of tomato, just placed in my mouth. The tamarind chicken marinating in the fridge. The chilled bottle of Cava. Chickpeas soaking in water, to be later turned into hummus. I picked up my antique Kiddush cup and realized how fortunate I really am.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Watermelon Salad Middle Eastern Style

We had a yummy lunch at Israeli owned Hummus Place in the East Village. On the lunch menu was this Middle Eastern dish, Watermelon with Feta Salad. We opted to share the Hummus and make our own later for dinner. After walking a total of 10 miles, a ferry ride to Statan Island and back, we made our rounds to our favorite markets. Try this . Takes 5 min to prepare. So perfect for this time of year!
Watermelon Salad
1/4 watermelon cut in cubes, nice and chilled
 top with fresh feta cheese, cut in small cubes
 sprinkle with finely chopped fresh mint leaves
 sprinkle with Israeli Za'atar (a spice blend of sumac, sesame seed and Za'atar- a mountain herb which has a fragrance of savory oregano and thyme. This spice blend can be found in Middle Eastern markets.