I am soaking up the last bits of Summer in New England while the Mr is traveling for work this week. Without hesitation, I decided to hide away in the country and eat well at home. This is something I have not done nearly enough since the New Old Stone House renovation dragged on..and on…and on..and on…and on! Renovation stress + Cocktails + Restaurant Food = not healthy. The local produce is so full of flavor this time of year – it barely needs any preparation to enhance it. A sprinkle of salt and a little heat? Perhaps. But that is about the extent of it!
Even though the kitchen renovation is finished – I have not really gotten into cooking at the New Old Stone House yet. I have only stocked it with a few kitchen essentials, which means it isn’t functioning the way I’d like it to. We currently spend all our downtime in Connecticut. I don’t exactly want to break up the Country House kitchen tools and end up with two semi-functional kitchens, you know? And more importantly, I need to find a good place to shop for groceries in the Palisades. Nothing is quite like my Guidos Fresh Market! I am truly spoiled by them.
The saddest thing I saw at the market this week is that cherry season is coming to an end. (Cherry season is just not long enough – I squealed aloud when I saw the first shipment arrive in mid-June.) The best thing this week was that the organic local peaches were in abundance. I have a whole collection lined up on our range hood while they ripen. I swear I could smell them all the way from bed last night! Now, what do I do with them? I’ve seen a ton of peach crumbles over the last few days on instagram, but I am tempted just to eat them in their simplest form – sliced with a sprinkle of sugar – or maybe not! A cobbler? I guess I have a few days to decide…
Last night I broiled Painted Hills Strip Steak and served it alongside sliced heirloom tomato and Burrata. I also had a white bean salad with a bit of kale, red onion and a light vinaigrette dressing. I don’t know about you, but I have been especially paranoid about eating “healthy” kale after reading this. (I have been eating *so* much kale the last few years that it is hard to wipe it from my grocery list cold turkey.) I suppose this is yet another instance where “moderation in everything” rules the roost.
Today I made a side dish that I recently had at a friend’s house. She prepared hers with purple basil which was a spectacular sight. That acid yellow and dark plum color combination was such a delight that I couldn’t wait to eat it. I have not been able to find purple basil in our parts, so I finally decided to try the recipe with green basil and it was just as delicious. (Just a guess, but I am pretty sure she got her purple basil at the Union Square Farmers Market.)
It’s very simple: sauté thinly sliced shallots in olive oil on medium high heat. Add the beans. Sprinkle with a bit of salt. Once the beans are hot/cooked (I like to leave mine with a bit of crunch!) add in a handful of shredded basil leaves. Turn off the heat and let the beans wilt the basil. I served it with sliced heirloom tomatoes that had a sprinkle of salt. Such simple Summer flavors, but so darn delicious!
Banana Nut and Honey Smoothie: in the Vitamix, blend
1 cup Greek Gods Honey rBST-free yogurt (Have you tried this brand? Delicious like ice cream!)
1/2 cup organic milk (You could use nut milk or water if you prefer.)
2 frozen bananas
1 Tablespoon Natural Peanut Butter (As you know, I love Koeze brand peanut butter.)