I took the J Muni line to Noe Valley this week. Destination: Omnivore Books. A store dedicated solely to cookbooks. A dream come true, really.
Cookbook author and former Bay Area inhabitant David Lebovitz was scheduled to visit the bookstore for an autograph signing. I wanted to get my copy of his latest cookbook, My Paris Kitchen, in preparation of the author signing.
As I crossed the street to head to the bookstore, I passed a man with earbuds and did a double take.
Celia the Bookstore Owner: "Yes! He was just in here. His restaurant is just two blocks down the street."
Me: "Do they serve lunch?"
So yes, I recognized a chef walking the streets from my hours of watching food geek television. And yes, after making my book purchase, I headed straight to Cosentino's restaurant, Porcellino, for lunch.
I chose the salami sandwich, sauteed, garlicky broccolini, and a lavender lemonade. The housemade salami, salty and slightly spicy, with peppery arugula, and sweet and acidic tomato conserva all tucked into a soft Italian bread took me back to simple, country meals in Tuscany and Provence. Just a few ingredients, treated with care and respect, can be transformed into a memorable meal.
Oh, I definitely want a pitcher of that lavender lemonade in my fridge all summer long.
I seriously think all vegetables should be served like this. People would always clean their plates.
Living in Ann Arbor for ten years, working at Zingerman's, led me to find star scratch bakeries all over the country. Tartine has been on my must see, must taste list for years. The first Tartine cookbook was published in 2006, the year G and I married and honeymooned in San Francisco. G bought the cookbook for me for Christmas, 2007, the year I became a culinary student.
We finally made a trip to the Mission this weekend to experience Tartine in person. There was a line out the door, the small corner shop, without a sign to identify itself (so hip here in SF), bustling with happy customers. While in line (they move you along quite quickly), we eagerly looked at each table's dishes of cookies and cakes and bread puddings. We chose a selection to go: an eclair, a slice of chocolate tea cake, a morning bun, and a frangipane tart. The only pastry left to photograph is the tart.
My first choice for trying a recipe from Fresh Every Day was an easy one. I thought having some fridge pickles would be a tiny harbinger of spring whenever I opened my fridge. I even had a mason jar I could use to store the crunchy go-to snack.
These pickles are so easy and so good. I'm planning on having them in the fridge throughout spring and summer.
Into the mason jar and with a good shake went white vinegar, sugar, salt, black pepper, whole cloves, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and dill seed. Then I added some thinly sliced kirby (pickling) cucumbers and white onion. Ta da! Tasty pickles that will last for at least a month in your fridge.