Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Charred Okra with Tomato, Garlic and Preserved Lemon

To be honest, I don't get that excited about farmer's markets, especially in this city. I like the idea of them, but around here I feel like they are filled with overpriced bee's wax candles and what look suspiciously like mass-produced pies. But last summer a Project Eats stand opened up across the street from me. Project Eats is an urban farming initiative, and they converted an ugly vacant lot in the public housing in front of my apartment into a garden. These guys rule.

Last week they had great looking tomatoes and okra so I tested out Ottolenghi's recipe in the Jerusalem Cookbook.

Like everything in that cookbook, it was delicious.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Roof Deck Dining in Brooklyn

Last Friday was perfect. Taking advantage of summer hours, I left work at lunch and headed out to Brooklyn to visit Rupal. (There were ballerinas dancing outside of Macy's promoting LancĂ´me's new mascara so maybe I made a quick stop to splurge on overpriced eye makeup.) Anyways, we had agreed earlier in the week to make a meal based entirely on what she was growing on her roof. It had been a hectic few weeks, and the idea of having an entire afternoon and evening to relax was making me giddy.

 First, we stopped at her local wine shop, Passage de la Fleur, the kind of wine shop with a charming owner who makes you feel like you are purchasing something special. Armed with two bottles of crisp, summery wine, our next stop was Rupal's roof where she picked eggplants, cucumbers, tomatoes, greens, edible flowers, chives and other spices.

Once downstairs again, Rupal poured me a glass of wine and insisted I sit down and look through her new cookbook - Japanese Farm Food. Over the next few hours, she pickled cucumbers, prepared a fresh curry paste, and chopped up vegetables for a salad. I did nothing but drink wine, and drool over the gorgeous food porn.

When dinner was ready, we went back up to the roof and ate the freshest, most perfect meal ever. The curry paste is based on our mutual hero Nigel Slater's recipe:

We then finished with a glass of Amaro that she brought back from her recent trip to Italy. I mean???  It was the kind of night where you can't stop smiling, where you love your city and your friends, where you help yourself to thirds and, of course, solve all the world's problems over many glasses of wine. And to top it all off, I made it back home on the C train in 30 minutes, long eyelashes and all!