Monday, October 10, 2011

Pesto Part Due

  I make pesto out of anything green, and when garlic scapes were all over the market tables I used a bunch to make a delightful sandwich spread.  Scapes are the curly green stalks that grow from garlic bulbs- they are cut off before they flower to allow for maximum development down below.  They have a fresh garlic flavor and pleasing crunch, and can be eaten raw or cooked like green beans. 

  A jar of pesto is great to keep in the back of the fridge or freeze into ice cubes, and making it in the food processor couldn’t be easier.  I chopped up the scapes and put them in the bowl with a clove of garlic, some pine nuts and grated pecorino, then drizzled a glug of olive oil over the top. 

 I pulsed a few times to get it started, then let it rip while I poured a slow stream of olive oil through the hole in the top, until I could see the puree start to thicken as it took in the oil.  I tasted it and added more nuts and cheese, until I was happy with the balance.

  Scapes are not around anymore, but you could try making pesto out of all kinds of things, like spinach, arugula, kale, green beans, or good old basil, of course.

  I bought some soft bread and sliced salami, and hard boiled some farm fresh eggs- I sautéed up a few of the scapes until they were wrinkled and crispy on the outside.      

   Lisa came over with some sweet strawberries and we headed to East River Park for a beautiful picnic by the water, a wonderful way to spend a sunny afternoon!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Montauk Weekend


  A few weeks ago, we borrowed my parents’ car and drove out to the end of Long Island’s South Fork, to Montauk, where we spent the last weekend of the summer with our friends Bob and Monica.  Half an hour past the last of the Hamptons and it might as well be a world away, or as the guy at the reception desk put it, "Everything is casual out here.”

  It was the perfect two-day trip.  We stayed at the beautiful Montauk Yacht Club and drank dirty martinis out on the stone patio facing the waves; we slurped up juicy oysters pulled from the very waters that crashed around us. 
  In the morning, the boys went fishing and Monica and I rode bikes into town, while the sea breeze whipped through our hair and the sun shone down on our bare shoulders.  In the afternoon we went out to the end of the earth, to Montauk Point to see New York’s first lighthouse, still guiding ships home today.  We sat there as a thick mist rolled in, and felt the deep boom of the foghorn reverberate in our teeth and bones.   
photo by Monica Hernandez
  On our way home we stopped at a proper roadside crab shack and indulged in a feast of the North Atlantic’s tastiest jewels, dressed in their best!


 The temperature dropped with the fog, and a steaming bowl of creamy clam chowder hit the ultimate spot- so rich and full of delicious fruits of the sea, the spoons stand straight up!

Fried clam strips on a buttered roll

Likely the most expensive thing I'll ever eat on a hot dog bun and worth every penny...
  The boys released most of the fish they caught, but PJ brought back a bluefish to make a cevice. 

  I chunked up the filets and squeezed about 8 limes over top, until the fish was completely submerged.  This went into the fridge overnight.  The next day, I drained the lime juice- the fish had turned from translucent to opaque and firm.

  I chopped up tomatoes, onion, green olives, a jalapeno pepper, and some cilantro.  I put these in a bowl with the fish and add olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  It was delicious!