Sauteed Rapini with Garlic and Chili

When I was 26 years old living as a student in Florence, I befriended an American woman – also a student – who was dating a man from Positano. This woman brought me to that mystical town wedged into the craggy mountainside just south of Naples three times. Each time, I found myself disappearing into…… Continue reading Sauteed Rapini with Garlic and Chili

Tomatoes Niçoise

I wrote this piece a couple weeks ago in ode to my favorite fruit then forgot to post it. Now we’re in October and are preparing for the first freeze of the season. If you still have access to good tomatoes, keep reading and consider giving them the careful consideration they’re due. * I went…… Continue reading Tomatoes Niçoise

Once upon a time in Palermo : Caponata

In his chapter on Sicily in The Food of Italy, Waverly Root quoted Sicilian writer and scholar Gaetano Falzone: “He who has not eaten a caponatina of eggplant has never reached the antechamber of the terrestrial paradise.” Last fall, I found myself in Palermo, Falzone’s hometown, tasting caponata for the first time. That feels like…… Continue reading Once upon a time in Palermo : Caponata

Topping and tailing : Fagioli lessi

“I’m gonna grab an espresso. Any else want one?” Sam’s raises his hand, then continues dragging a giant crate of string beans over to one of the long wooden tables in the cortile. He lifts the crate and dumps them out in front of Cybelle, who is sitting and waiting patiently for us to join…… Continue reading Topping and tailing : Fagioli lessi

Sweet and sour : Zucchini in agrodolce

The dog has pancreatitis. The beaches in Chicago are still closed. I sprained my toe three weeks ago and still can’t run on it. The coronavirus continues, leaving in its wake remnants of hope and optimistic spirits. The end is nowhere in sight and despair is never farther than a few breaths away. This week…… Continue reading Sweet and sour : Zucchini in agrodolce

I’ve seen this before : Roasted Brussels sprouts with fish sauce and essenza

Recently, I watched an episode about memory from The Mind, Explained on Netflix, which gave me a new-found reverence for the brain, the most complex organ in the body. This highly evolved, efficient and impressive organ is responsible for so many important executive functions, including regulating hormones and maintaining homeostasis. It is also incredibly skilled…… Continue reading I’ve seen this before : Roasted Brussels sprouts with fish sauce and essenza

Bubbles : Roast carrots with gremolata

For the past year, I have cooked and delivered lunch to an office downtown every Monday. I prepare the food off-site and drive the same route to drop it off. I leave at roughly the same time, pass the same people as I walk from the parking lot to the office building and set lunch…… Continue reading Bubbles : Roast carrots with gremolata