So Many Good Meals, So Few Blog Posts….

This will be my catch-up entry (no, NOT ketchup, don’t use it) for the summer.  I haven’t posted anything for more than a month.  Sure, I have good excuses, but you don’t want to hear them anyway.  So I will just share some of my favorite dishes with you during this period.

Vegan Solution for Cheap Red Wine

One of the meals was built around a very cheap (~$5) Sangiovese from our friends at Trader Joe’s.  The brand was Griffone, and I had found their Primitivo to be a great value, so I thought I would give the Sangiovese a try.  No luck; it had all the charm of cheap cherry pop (soda).  The vegan solution was to use the wine (reduced by boiling it down) to flavor some onions, add freshly-cooked vegetables and combine with a good organic pasta.  Pasta was Trenette from Liguria: veggies included onions, tomato, yellow zucchini, fresh fava beans, and scallions; and the wine (to drink) was one of my favorite Ligurian reds, Bansigu, from Social Wines.  What are the grapes?  Here is the list from Bruna, the winery:

Granaccia 70%, Rossese, Barbera, Cinsault e altre varietà in percentuale minore.

red onion, cheap wine combo red, yellow and gold fresh fava sauce before pasta water sauce Trenette closeup pasta and sauce in pot Bansigu


Next Stop: A Vegan Indian Meal

While Barbara was away in July, it was a good time to experiment with Indian foods and associated spices, of which she is not particularly fond.  I recently bought Anupy Singla’s book, Vegan Indian Cooking, and I’ve found a number of great recipes in it.  Two of them made a fine supper one evening: Kachumber (a tomato, onion, cucumber salad which I made frequently all summer), and a legume dish with lentils and chickpeas.  In honor of my desire for maximum cross-cultural experiences, I chose the wine — a 2012 Roussanne from Savoie, France.  Could not have been a better pairing.

! Kachumber Chana Masala Legumes 2014-07-07 18.35.08 Indian Lentil Dish 2014-07-07 18.57.40 2014-07-07 18.56.12

 Vegetables and Grains

With the farmers markets this summer, I had access to great vegetables, and I also had time to bake.  So a number of meals featured these ingredients, especially beets, Ottolenghi’s hummus, and my favorite whole grain levain bread.

L salad lunch bread and tomato, shitakes and greens Chinese spinach Ottolenghi Hummus-2 whole wheat levain - July 12


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