Eli Cooks

Salmon with Watermelon, Cucumber and Arugula
September 16, 2009, 10:00 am
Filed under: Main | Tags: , ,

salmon with watermelon cucumber and arugula

I think I’m becoming my mother. When I was growing up, anytime we went to a restaurant, she’d find something that she was sure she could make at home and spend half the meal wondering how to make it. More often than not, all plans to recreate Applebee’s chicken smothered in cheese, tortilla strips and ranch dressing (or whatever it was that day) were forgotten by the time we reached the car to go home. But I still think of it as one of my mother’s defining characteristics.

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Summer-in-a-bowl Salad
September 9, 2009, 10:00 am
Filed under: Salad, Side | Tags: , , ,

summer in a bowl

No two foods are more evocative of summer to me than garden-fresh tomatoes and sweet corn. Both fall into the category of “available all year round, but why bother?”. Tomatoes go from juicy, tangy, sweet, vibrant and pleasingly misshapen to pallid, mealy, flavorless, numbingly uniform globes. The sweet pop of kernels in freshly-picked corn becomes starchy mush in the off season. The out of season versions just don’t hold a candle to the real thing. Put them both together and it’s like summer in a bowl. The kind of fleeting pleasure to savor while it lasts and remember (or look forward to) fondly the other 10 months of the year.

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Fennel, Watermelon and Blue Cheese Salad
July 26, 2008, 12:34 am
Filed under: Salad | Tags: , , , ,

Fennel, Watermelon and Blue Cheese Salad

I signed up for a CSA box this year, and I can’t quite decide if I like it or not.  The quality of the produce has been (mostly) very high and I like the concept of supporting small local farmers, but I’ve found myself going to the farmers market less frequently because I have a fridge full of CSA produce at home and more importantly I miss getting to pick out my own produce.  The mix in the CSA box just isn’t what I usually eat.  There’s a lot of salad greens…and while I like salad, I think I’d have to eat it every day to keep up with the amount in the boxes.  The more I think about it, the more I realize that I can support small, local, organic farmers by simply going to the farmers market and buying their produce there.  And not paying for things I don’t particularly want.

But there are some pleasant surprises in the box every week.  This week I was happy to see a few small heads of fennel. I’m a big fan of fennel and generally prefer to eat it raw, sliced thin and lightly dressed.  I love its anise-y crunch, and I love serving it to people who are sure they won’t like it because they don’t like licorice.  Fennel has such a wonderful, subtle, fresh flavor. Continue reading