A Simple Basic Tomato Sauce

Eat Well Edibles Grow Well Recipe

In an ideal world, my kitchen counters would overflow in late summer with vine-ripened tomatoes of all shapes and sizes and colors, picked that morning and still warm from the sun.

Though my thumb is arguably quite green, I am, at present, keeper of a garden routinely ravaged by an impressive array of creatures and forces of nature. Each season my tomato plants are the most spectacular failures. Plans to preserve the tastes of long-faded summer sunshine with jars stacked upon jars of whole tomatoes, tomato chutneys, fiery salsa and a killer homemade tomato sauce are shelved for ‘someday.’

For tomato sauce there is, thankfully, another way. Maybe even a better way.

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Tofu Scallion Brown Rice Onigiri

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Following my husband’s recent solo visit to Tokyo I thought, what fun to match it up with a recipe.

Many aspects of Japanese culture could be summarized as a balance of precision and minimalism. The approach to food is a delicious study of these contrasts. Traditional Japanese cuisine offers dishes that are beautiful and complex yet healthy and practical, exemplifying an effortlessly natural simplicity of diverse ingredients.

Onigiri — pronounced oh-knee-gree — are portable little bundles of rice often eaten as a snack or light lunch on-the-hoof. Nigiri means “to squeeze,” which is how onigiri are formed into the classic triangles, balls or cylinders — either by hand or with the help of shaped molds.

Some onigiri are filled with tasty surprises, like sashimi-grade tuna, salmon roe, avocado, or umeboshi (Japanese sour salted plums). Some have a strip of nori (dried seaweed) at the base to keep your hands free from the sticky rice, and some are wrapped entirely in nori or fresh shiso leaves. Other onigiri are just rice, but with seasonings mixed in prior to shaping or sprinkled on top after, perhaps furikake (a mixture of sesame seeds, nori and other seasonings), sakebushi (dried salmon flakes), or yukari (red shiso powder).

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Maple Fig Shortbread Bars

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

There is a definite seasonal urgency to cooking, especially this time of year. One minute you’re on top of the game, the next Mother Nature snatches away your favorite ingredients without warning. Removing her wrench from my plans is where you will currently find me.

Originally conceived to capture the final harvest of fresh figs, our tree took an early holiday, and has since been put to bed. But I’m a sucker for fig cookies, and darned if this setback was going to impede my weekly baking therapy — dried, it is!

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Blistered Tomatillo Jalapeño Salsa Verde

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

A salsa is only as good as its components, and our favorite green salsa is as good — and simple — as it gets.

Broiler (or grill) blistered tomatillos, jalapeño and garlic are blended with fresh cilantro. Then, minced raw onion gets stirred in just before serving to add texture. The result is bold, vibrant and almost fruity; not too spicy; perfect consistency to dunk into or spoon over.

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The Easiest Summer Side Salad

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

I’m posting a couple days earlier than usual to share this no-cook summer dish ahead of the upcoming Independence Day holiday — a recipe that is, and forever will be, a summertime staple on my family table. (Hi, Dad!)

Crisp cucumber and vidalia onion slices are a classic pair tossed in vinegar and dill, with just a bit of salt and sugar to balance. Flowering season of our garden chives winding down, I took the liberty of embellishing mine with crushed blossoms for color and flavor.

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