Skillet Potatoes with Olives and Lemon

Another summer recipe for Gourmet Unbound, this helped my use up some of the piles and piles of new potatoes I’ve been receiving from my CSA. Almost too easy to be believed, and terribly delicious, this recipe includes some of my favorite things, including some meaty green Sicilian olives, capers, and lemon zest.


Marinated Eggplant with Mint and fresh goat cheese

Often I miss Gourmet magazine, and sometimes I plan enough in advance to contribute to Gourmet Unbounds’ website celebrating the recipes of the former magazine. I prepared this recipe on hot evening and served it with homemade goat cheese, fresh that day, and some olive oil crustinis. At first I wasn’t so sure about the mint, but I’m telling you it was delicious, and even better as a cold, straight from the fridge snack over the next few days. These marinated eggplant strips would also be delicious in a cold vegetable picnic sandwich, which I’m trying this weekend.

Pre-Movie dinner at Banana Leaf

I’ve eaten one of the most satisfying meals of my life floating on a restaurant boat under twinkling colored lights in the middle of a cloud forest. So I have a special spot for Malaysian food. In the middle of a rainstorm, trying to grab a Chinatown dinner near the Trocadero so that we could still make it The Balcony’s showing of Hot Tub Time Machine, I dashed into Banana Leaf. Often I avoid Banana Leaf because with a HUGE menu, they manage to offer only a few vegetarian options, and they aren’t that exciting. Luckily, they are willing to substitute tofu for shrimp, which give you a few more options. Above, one of the dishes I always enjoy, Mee Siam. Stir-fried vermicilli with tofu, fried eggs (instead of shrimp) and bean sprouts with chili sauce and a sliced boiled egg on top. Greasy, full of flavor, and a giant portion.

We also ordered Green Nasi Lemak, a coconut friend rice with vegetables, and again we subbed in tofu for the shrimp. While it was a pretty pale color, this dish paled in comparison to the Mee Siam. Just not that exciting. Some chili sauce helped. Which brings me, perhaps, to the crux of the issue. The menu it too large, they should ditch the entire Japanese section, and focus on the dishes they do really well. Of course, I’d love some more vegetarian dishes, too! Banana Leaf can be a little hit-or-miss, but its extremely affordable, in a convenient neighborhood, and you just might order a dish you love!
Special coconut rice fried with mixed vegetables, shrimp in ginger sauce.

Late lunch with Memphis Taproom’s Summer Menu

By know you know how much I LOVE the fried pickle spears at Memphis Taproom. I couldn’t even bring myself to take another picture of them this time, but rest assured they started the meal. While I went for the pickles and an ice cold IPA, I found myself a little peckish, and ordered off the summer menu, which is full of great vegetarian choices. The coconut caught my eye, and I ordered the Smoked Coconut Club with thin slices of grilled lemon garlic tofu, smoked coconut, and tomato herb mayo on some hearty multigrain bread. Oh, and the fries, of course. With four little sandwiches (and an order of friend pickles under my belt, literally) I had plenty to take home for a late night snack.

My sweetpea, who has just recently returned to vegetarianism, was intrigued by the chicken-fried portabello. He pronounced it crazily chicken-y mostly because the frying was done so well. And who can deny a “chicken” sandwich with spicy pickles, and basil mayo?

Cold Summer Zucchini Salad

I know that I’ve been slacking -its true. A trip to Toronto, a visit from my aunts, a visit from some other special someone, and now the flu and the past three weeks have been a whirlwind. But I’m back. I promise. Above, an easy easy salad that makes use of all the zucchini that has been appearing in my CSA, plus the tomatoes that are finally starting to roll in. I’ve long made a version of this salad, but I decided to use the recipe from this month’s Bon Appetit, and found the addition of lemon juice especially addictive. What this salad really needs, though, is perfectly ripe tomatoes, so add your own. And make sure to use a high-quality pecorino for the brightest flavor. In the last week, I’ve had this salad for lunch three times. That’s how much I like it. Give it a try!