There are certain things synonymous with summer. A mixture of childhood rituals, nostalgia, ideas I’ve collected and things I’ve lived along the way. Many center around activities like swimming in cool green salty water and the rest, unsurprisingly, around food – looking up from sandy beach seats to watch bi-planes pulling banners white against pure blue summer skies; the cooing of morning doves in the hot dawn; blueberry muffin making and black raspberry ice-cream in hand rolled sugar cones after dinner. continue reading
It is firmly mid summer now. The long hot days and torrid nights tell me so. That, and the welcome sound of crickets and cicada wings and evening skies that twinkle with the light of fireflies. I love that summer effortlessly evokes a childlike sense of freedom. Something that seems to lie quiet the rest of the year. Even as an adult summer is the season of no rules; staying up long into the evening, neglecting chores in favor of spontaneous beach trips, swimming out deep into the cool green waters of the atlantic.
And there is part of me that thinks perhaps this clarity of inner child on these sweltering summer days affords me the opportunity to see things in a simpler light. To unpack and uncomplicated the life I live the rest of the year. Leaving it behind in favor of salty beach hair, bare feet, and lazy outside dinners. continue reading
I can envision dappled sunlight filtering down through the leaves of the apples. Their branches bowing under the weight of a thousands of young bright green fruit. There is a table under these branches and pitchers of water are dotted along its length, catching the light and throwing it in large angular patterns across the surface. An easy-going Sunday sort of music can be heard and people are wandering about the garden nibbling on various crostini, cheeses and fruit. Some have cocktails in hand as the stoop to admire a flower or reach toward one another in greeting.
Cooking for a crowd is something for which I have the very greatest affection; the menu planning, ingredient shopping, kitchen prep and especially, those last few moments before the meal begins and everyone is seated together at the table. I even love the clean up. Washing and putting away all the plates and flatware and large platters; I ones I only ever use when serving a crowd.
Unsurprisingly, the Wednesday before my recent Boston workshop which I hosted with guest teacher Betty Liu, in the midst of all the bustling and prepping, I felt that familiar infectious excited happiness I always feel before an event. I could feel it bubbling up as I was driving back to the farm, windows down and heady hay scented summer air rushing in and a load of beautiful Five Fork Farms blooms in tow. I began to feel intoxicated with happiness . In less than 24 hours, accompanied by two of the loveliest food bloggers I know, Betty & Valentina, I would be standing in my kitchen, cooking for a crowd. We were preparing a lunch which relied on fresh ingredients, prepared simply, and using as much gorgeous produce from my gardens at CottageFarm as possible. Our gardens at the farm have been producing at such a rapid rate it was wonderful to have an excuse to cook up a big meal to share! To showcase without overworking or overcomplicating things is always my desired method of preparation. I simply want the food to be at its best and freshest and for this to shine through. continue reading
Food, and gathering together at the table have an undeniable ability to create the greatest sense of comfort. Easy, unfussy food and a convivial attitude are the perfect catalysts to entice us to relax into the experience and linger at the table. When I dream of the perfect evening it is one full of the ebbs and flows of chatter and laugher over music, around a table laden with dishes and a distinctly unhurried feeling. Nothing brings me greater pleasure than seeing the table in the morning strewn with the odd dish or two and that new pair of taper candlesticks having all but burned away to tiny nubs.
The recipe below is one I have been making rather a lot lately, due in part to its ability to encourage a sense of comfort and invite us to linger at the table just a bit longer. The other reason for its successive appearance is that it includes moving the kitchen from the indoor ovens to the open fire of the outdoor grill. There is something about cooking over the open flame; it brings new flavor and possibility to ordinary foods. Grilling is also an excuse to stand outside, something I never miss to opportunity to do, with a glass of wine or the ubiquitous summer g & t in hand and enjoy the beauty of the season and the company of friends and family while you cook. It seems all the more social to cook on the grill, with people strolling up to chat and refresh drinks and take a turn maneuvering whatever is cooking over the flame. As the cook you can be in the center of the action as opposed to cordoned off away in the kitchen.
Finally I love this dish because it uses one of my favorite ingredients, radicchio. Grilling the radicchio, it’s as if it gives up its secret. Over the fire it transforms from a bitter stiff leaved chicory to something so much sweeter becoming supple and delicate . I am always amazed at how simply dressing it with a bit of salt and pepper and olive oil is so transformative when coupled with the grill. Even without pasta , the radicchio is worth making. It is lovely over a garlic white bean puree, or mixed in with simple greens for added texture. Its sweet smoky flavour also lend well to being smothered in chopped egg and drizzle with a bit of dressing and capers. I just love grilling up large deep red quarters of radicchio and watching as they turn to a beautiful deep plummy caramel.
Use a fresh egg pasta. Cook it until it is only just tender, you want it to retain its toothsomeness. Coupled with the tender smoky sweet radicchio and the richness from the olives and the brine from the anchovy this dish comes together in a way that is so satisfying I can only name it as true comfort food.
A little note on the olives and anchovies – if possible try to get cured olives rather than brined. they will be dark and wrinkly, not the prettiest, but their flavor is deep and dark and wont compete with the salt or brine of the anchovy. For the anchovy, I use the white fillets – they are brined rather than salt packed and have a fresh bright taste and do not require the same prep as the salt packed. I also love a tangy slice or two over a piece of baguette.
Egg fettuccine with Grilled Radicchio
- 1/2lb or 250g fresh egg fettuccine
- 1 medium head of radicchio
- 3 white anchovies (brine preferably)
- 1 Tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- zest 1/2 lemon
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Tbsp fresh chopped chives
- 1/2 cup cured black olives
- salt and pepper
Remove the outer leaves of the radicchio and trim the stem end. then cut the radicchio in half along the vertical and agin into quarters. you want to ensure that you have cut each wedge with a bit of the stem still on so that they hold together on the grill. Coat in olive oil then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and turn every few minutes until sides are beautifully charred and the radicchio is tender. aprox 6-8 minutes. Let stand until you are ready to serve
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil add 2-3 Tbsp salt and return to a boil
In a small saute pan warm 3 Tbsp olive oil and add the smashed garlic cloves stir until fragrant. Then add the chopped fresh rosemary and saute again until fragrant. Then add the anchovy filets and saute until slightly crisp, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon as you go. Remove from heat and discard garlic cloves. Then stir in the parsley and lemon zest. Let it stand-off the heat while you make the pasta.
Add your fettuccine to the boiling water. Stir and test after 1 minute for doneness. Depending upon the freshness of your pasta, it may take anywhere from 1 -5 minutes to cook. Be careful not to over cook. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.
Then add it to the saute pan with the anchovy mixture, toss well to coat. If needed add a little of the cooking water, bit by bit, until the noodles are coated well and evenly in the mixture. Then stir through the olives and plate the pasta. Add grilled radicchio quarters to each plat and sprinkle with fresh chives and a good crack of fresh black pepper
Workshop with guest teacher Betty Liu
Thursday, June 23rd + Friday, June 24th 2016
Dinner | Loyal Nine Restaurant, East Cambridge MA
Workshop | Warehouse XI, Union Square Somerville MA
Time | 6:30-9:30pm Thursday & 8:30am – 5pm Friday
Price | $475
I’m so excited to be hosting my first event here on the ground in Boston and I couldn’t think of a lovelier or more talented photographer to join me as a guest teacher than Betty Liu
Betty is not only a masterly photographer but an inspired cook with a gorgeous food blog and incredible command of flavours and ingredients. I am always inspired by her kitchen wizardryTogether, Krissy & Betty will help you to learn camera basics and the process of photography including, how to use natural light, incorporating the human element and setting up a shot.
Please join us on Thursday 23 June for a dinner at Loyal Nine, one of the nation’s most creative and innovative new restaurants. Here we will enjoy offerings from their seasonally inspired colonialist revival menu and get to know one another. There will be a bit of a discussion over dinner on discovering inspirations and social media but mostly we can just kick back get to know new friends, enjoying good food and the conviviality of the table.
The following day, Friday 24 June will be spent at WarehouseXI making images through hands on instruction. Our day will start with a light breakfast where we will dive right into shooting! Betty & Krissy will begin with a discussion on how to use a camera and will share their knowledge, experience and understanding of photography & the creative process. You will learn how to create and shoot still life scenes, how to use natural light, camera mechanics, prop selection and scene creation. Gathering again at the lunch table, we will have time to consider the mornings teachings and engage in a Q&A session. In the afternoon we will roll off into small groups so that you may set-up a scene to shoot yourself; building upon the morning’s lessons with guidance from Krissy & Betty.
In addition, you will also have an opportunity to shoot a live scenes and learn to capture movement during our cocktail making demonstration. A guest bartender will be creating something special just for us! And mixing it up on the day – a great opportunity to capture process in action.
Equipment needed | DSLR camera with manual setting options, Lens or lenses, Batteries and charger, Notebook
Please contact Krissy @ firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot
*Please know that due to nature of the event, payment must be made in full at the time of registration and can not be refunded. Price of the ticket includes all dinner, breakfast and lunch costs and a cocktail.