Winter Blues: Summer Memories from the North Fork

Winter has really been getting to me, everything from the nasty, dirty snow that lingers on the city streets to the dark, chilly nights that greet me as I leave the office. After revisiting some photos from the summer, I thought it might be the perfect thing to post these photos from a lovely little highlight of my summer that took place last July. They brightened my otherwise gray day.

Delicious and easy summer-time lunch: sliced tomatoes from the farm stand with fresh ricotta, mixed greens, and charcuterie was the perfect solution. We washed it down with a lovely Chateau Coussin Provencal rosé from T. Edwards imports and finished the meal with sliced plums and peaches.
Meats and cheeses from the Village Cheese Shop in Mattituck, NY
  Shaved ricotta salata is a refreshing change from mozzarella.
A series of guacamoles and salsas: Stevie’s an avocado purist, so her guacamole was without any tomatoes. Judy, on the other hand, likes to mix things up, it seems, since she threw some green apple and tomato into hers. 

I love fresh salsa, so we got extra tomatoes and limes, then used up the white onion and cilantro left over from the guacamole. For fun, I threw some diced peach into a separate bowl to create a fruit salsa–inspired by, but much better than, the jar of mango salsa I saw at the grocery store.

 Delicious fettucine with a rich, corn and basil “pesto” was a major hit at the table. From the August 2010 issue of Bon Appétit magazine.

Skewers of delicious, fresh, grilled vegetables. 

 Grilled pineapple: the perfect summertime sweet to complement pork chops, or delicious on their own. And those grill marks so remind me of summertime.

Corn fritters: I wouldn’t let anyone shuck the corn until right before we planned to make the batter and fry it up; my mother has always told me that it is bad for the corn to expose it to air, since the sugars immediately begin to turn to starch.

Wondra-coated bay scallops: We’d made sure to buy local,
even though the Peruvian sea scallops were cheaper, and we were
rewarded by their sweet, juicy flavor.

Food Adventure: Gnocchetti Verdi in Alto Adige

I rang in the New Year in a small town in Alto Adige, Italy, also known as the Südtirol. Here, the joint of influence of Austria and Italy is palpable everywhere—on the road signs that read in Italian, German, and the local dialect; on the cartons of milk labeled in kind; and most certainly in the food. Bordering, and formerly a part of, Austria, this Alpine region is characterized more by its German cuisine, albeit with Italian names, evident in the heavier meat-and-potato-laden dishes. By far my favorite of those I tried, however, was a dish that seemed more to bridge the two cultures: gnocchetti verdi are a local specialty whose form is like that of spaetzle but whose flavor is more reminiscent of a spinach-infused potato gnocco. Topped with butter and Grana Padano, it made for an excellent après-ski meal.

 Gnocchetti verdi in the ski rifugio