vegetables

Welcome Home Carrot Salad

A week of cocktails with this view:

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And meals with this view:

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Meant we really didn’t care that all our food came off this truck:

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But when we came home, we were certainly craving something simple and fresh like this:

carrot


Welcome Home Carrot Salad

This is less a recipe than a reminder: sometimes giving an old familiar ingredient a different treatment makes it fresh. And if you’re feeling veg-deprived, this is an easy way to eat a lot of carrots.

One pound of carrots
1/4 – 1/3 cup (to taste) of your favorite vinaigrette (we like this with a particularly lemony dressing)
fresh parsley, to taste

Shred the carrots with a box grater or in a food processor. Toss with the dressing and parsley and serve.

The Little Fish That Can

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There was a time when my daughter would fish anchovies out of the jar and eat them whole, and when both kids lapped them up on pizza, and those times are no more. They don’t dislike anchovies so much as they don’t prefer them. Whole, anyway. More

Meze

by Caroline

What I love most about eating out is not having food brought to me, piping hot, and having my water glass refilled without my having to rise from the table. It’s not even avoiding the prep, cooking, or clean up. What I really love about eating out is the variety, a full menu of appetizer, salad, and entree options to choose from. We cook pretty well at home, but we fall often into the easiest possible routine of one pot, one dish meals, a simple something-on-grains/flatbread/pasta.

So among all the many ways I was inspired by our glorious ten days in Turkey, from the street food to the markets to the freshly-caught fish for our last lunch, I was most inspired by meze, that ever-changing, always delicious, predominantly vegetarian array of dishes to start (and in some cases, fully comprise) every meal.

I should note that the kids were not huge fans. Ben gamely tasted a variety of meze (and quite liked the little bulgar wheat patties cooked in pomegranate sauce), but Eli thought even Turkish rice was “weird.” But they did not starve or get cranky, so while I can’t now remember what they ate every day, they must have eaten.

Meanwhile, the rest of us feasted. The five of us traveling in Istanbul and then the nine of us staying together on the coast ate out, often, for the price of burritos all around. And when we cooked at our rental house we did pretty well, too:

So I have been trying to remember the pleasure of eating small tastes of many dishes now that we are home in San Francisco and recently cooked a batch of kisir, a bulgar wheat and pomegranate molasses salad we encountered in various forms throughout Turkey. I followed a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi gorgeous cookbook, Plenty, which is helpfully posted at his website but do check out the book; it is absolutely inspiring.

Once the salad was made, I filled out our meze platter (which skewed a bit Italian) with roasted artichokes, a simple grated carrot salad, caprese salad, steamed green beans, salad greens and sliced radishes. It wasn’t Turkey by any means, but it felt like a brief return, and it was delicious.

Farmer’s Markets, Turkish Style

by Caroline

We shop at farmer’s markets so regularly, they are such an unquestioned part of both Lisa’s and my weekly routines, that we don’t actually write much, specifically, about them here.

We have written posts about various fruits or vegetables we’ve introduced to our kids, new recipes found at the market, the farmers or fish mongers we visit, but, as it turns out, not much about the market scene: the day of the week, whether we walk or drive, what the kids like to buy, and how we haul our pounds of produce home.

So I’m looking forward to all of you discovering the three, very different, market essays in our book (available for pre-order now!) and for now, am continuing to punt writing about my local market. Instead, to supplement what I’ve written already about the fabulous street food we found in Turkey, I thought I’d offer a peek at the amazing variety of goods you can find in the local markets:

spices

dishes

more spices

nuts and dried fruit

dates

olives

essential Union Jack sunglasses

backgammon sets

jewelry

fruits and veggies

fresh crepes

nuts

spices and soaps

headphones and Smurfs

more beautiful fruit

fabulous green veg

more glorious spices

just couldn't get enough of the spices

And what, after all this, did we actually buy? Eli bought a laser pointer. Ben bought three different bags of this kind of weird, granulated fruit tea:

And the adults bought the fixings to make a few meals like this: