I think I had my first fresh apricot in Italy, about 6 years ago. I bought a few at the Mercato Centrale in Florence, and I remember them being sweet, juicy, and delicious. Then again, I’m pretty certain that everything in Italy is delicious. The season for fresh apricots is short; they’re an early-summer treat that only come around once per year, and they’re totally worth celebrating. Right now, you can probably find them at your local grocery store nestled in with the season’s other stone fruits: peaches, plums, and nectarines.  Apricots ripen from the inside out, so you want to choose ones that are slightly firm to the touch. Fortunately, when it comes to… View Post

During the week, we’re all about quick meals that require little prep but taste delicious, and this is certainly a dish that fits the bill.  If you’ve ever wondered how restaurants are able to achieve that saucy, glossy, sauce-clinging-to-noodles effect that makes the dish so good, this is one way to to do it. When the pasta is several minutes away from al dente, it gets moved to the sauce with a ladle full of pasta water. As you finish cooking the noodles in the sauce, you toss, toss, toss, adding more starchy pasta water as needed to provide enough of a bath for the noodles to cook in. Finely shredded cheese is slowly added… View Post

Spring has come early this year, and you’ll hear no complaints from me about it. These sunny-and-65 days are perfect for sipping lemonade, and I’ve got an A+ recipe for you. This from-scratch lemonade is infused with rosemary and lavender, and it’s such a winner. It’s sweet and sour, floral-y and grounding. You can tweak to your liking, using flat or sparking water, a bit more sugar or a bit more lemon, more herbs or less.  The most time-consuming step in this recipe is the squeezing of lemon juice from roughly 8 lemons. I’m sure the bottled stuff would be fine, but fresh-squeezed certainly tastes superior. It’s worth the extra bit of time. What’s your… View Post

Everybody knows ice cream, and you’ve probably had sorbet, sherbet, frozen yogurt, snow cones, and gelato. But have you been introduced to granita? I was first exposed to granita in Italy when I studied abroad during college. It’s a semi-frozen dessert made from water, sugar, and other flavorings (most often fruit or coffee). It’s wonderfully icy, soft, and refreshing, and you don’t need an ice cream maker to make a batch at home! After combining the ingredients, granita is made simply by freezing in a flat container, scraping the top with a fork periodically as it freezes to create a light, fluffy texture. For this recipe, I cooked the rhubarb in a sugar and water mixture until… View Post

This beautiful and tasty recipe for a shaved asparagus salad is perfect for a summer picnic. I’m a little late in getting this out – I originally created this recipe when asparagus was in season at my local farmer’s market, but it would still be delicious with late-season asparagus. It’s lemony and super fresh-tasting with just the right amount of salty, cheesy punch. It takes a bit of patience to shred the asparagus with a vegetable peeler, but it seems to be the best way. My mandoline is usually stellar but didn’t do a great job with this task. The time is worth it, though.