Skillet Chicken with Apples and RosemaryWe found this recipe at Family Food on the Table -- thank you, Kathryn, for the inspiration! This dish is irresistible; everything about it says, "It's fall!" Our toddler loves it too! Curry Leaves, Shrimp, and Black Mustard CurryThe star ingredient here: fresh curry leaves. Grown from -- you guessed it -- the curry tree, these leaves can be found in most Indian grocery stores. Fry them in oil before adding the other ingredients, and their aroma of citrus + smoke will fill your home. Coupled with black mustard seeds, coconut milk, and garlic, this dish is warming, soothing and satisfying as the seasons turn.Baingan BharthaIf you've never tasted the smoky flesh of charcoal-roasted eggplant, you haven't ever experienced the soul of this mighty late-summer nightshade. With its roots in roadside dhabas in Punjab, baingan bhartha shows off the versatility of this humble vegetable, pairing the eggplant with summer herbs and aromatics of your choice. The result is a creamy, smoky dip or spread that calls for freshly baked naan and a dollop of yogurt. Humble Cake + FigsI'm pretty sure you could make this whole recipe with one bowl and a wooden spoon. It feels like an old world cake: yogurt and olive oil and, in many variations, honey. This ATK recipe had the lowest ratio of sugar to flour that we could find (1 cup to 3 cups). We loved everything about it. Ode to OttolenghiOttolenghi makes this dish with "conchiglie," or as my family would recognize them, shells. My son and I were excitedly in search of the conchiglie when we discovered "campanelle," which translates from Italian as "little bell." We were certain they were flowers, and we were certain that we should choose them. According to Ottolenghi, this dish is based on a Palestinian "shishbarak" that he describes as ravioli-like dumplings. This vegetarian version shouts out to summer, as the basil plants grow dense while tomatoes still ripen on the vines, and hot days make me grateful for nearly no-cook dinner. Aleppo peppers with a good rosé are simply smashing!Mom’s Banana BreadIt's Sunday morning, people! Could there be anything better than banana bread and coffee, with a little jazz and the Sunday Times? This recipe is an oldie but a goodie. My mom found it on the back of a flour bag years ago, and we've been using it every since.Best Bran MuffinsThe Ula Cafe was walking distance from my JP condo, and they featured a "muffin of the day" on their FB feed that often motivated a morning stroll for me in summers. Nowadays, we make our own at home, and this recipe is fail-proof: we've don blueberry bran, pear pecan and, here, apricot almond. The buttermilk and honey make these tangy and sweet in all the right ways. Happy morning to you!Post-Farm Tomato PestoWe aren't done picking tomatoes yet. Particularly not after discovering this Lidia Bastianich recipe for a no-cook tomato sauce, which does something magical to both tomatoes and linguini. Without chopping, sautéing or simmering anything, we were so happy with this hearty pasta sauce. Post-farm, post-beach summertime perfection!Anything CobblerLet this be your anything cobbler! Use any fruit! Use any amount of butter! Use any amount of water! That we enjoy making it in summer is a testament to the deliciousness of baked stone fruit and the "anything" quality of summer -- indeed, here we have a most forgiving recipe!Sushil’s Thai Eggplant BasilOn our fourth date, I took Indu to a small, casual Thai restaurant in Brookline, MA named Rod Dee. I've been frequenting this place for almost 20 years, making it as acceptable for take-out after work as it is for a date, right?? The key to this dish is, quite simply, heat -- and not necessarily spice levels (although they count too) -- but rather the temperature at which you cook the tofu, eggplant and aromatics. We use a cast iron wok that retains temperature and distributes high heat evenly, making the cooking process easier to control. We were lucky today to find these Thai Spice garlic heads at the Needham farmer's market, and we're pretty proud of our own home-grown thai basil and asian eggplants -- it's harvest time, after all.
Yo Soy Artichoke DipWho would have thought to try tofu in an artichoke dip? This savory, hearty dip is magical. The garlic and aleppo peppers and just the right amount of bite, and the tofu/yogurt combination creates a velvety texture that all comes together in a most satisfying way. It's summer, and our cousin Pavan is visiting from New Jersey. Nothing like rosé and artichoke dip to start the night! We love you, Puv!Vij’s ChickpeasThis chickpea dish beats traditional Punjabi "channa" in a heartbeat. The sweet dates and and dreamy, smoky black cardamom redefine the humble chickpea. Paired with nan and yogurt, you have a meal unto itself. Great family dish, as well -- not a lot of heat, but flavors that even our two-year old recognizes as being supremely yummy! My friend Saloni introduced me to Vij's Kitchen, an Indian restaurant in Vancouver that Sushil and visited on our honeymoon -- it lived up to our excitement. Thanks to our friend Helen for making us this beautiful bowl!