My new job starts in just 3 days and I know it will take a while to adjust to the new schedule. But this blog brings me a lot of joy and is an ongoing diary of my food-centric life; I don't want it to fall silent. The plan is to try and update the blog once a week or so, perhaps with shorter posts.
To commute to work, and go around town for errands, and for riding in the park, I bought myself a bike yesterday-
Believe it or not, it has been 11 whole years since I last rode a bicycle (a trusty red BSA SLR bike is what I used from middle school right past college). Turns out it is true what they say about riding a bike- you don't forget once you learn. I hopped on and rode confidently. Got any suggestions for what I should name my new bike?
I have to give a BIG shout-out to our friend Mike Weiss of Big Shark Bicycle Company and his team for being absolutely terrific and helping me pick out a sturdy and affordable bike that fits my needs. I love supporting independent local businesses, especially ones where they so obviously love what they do, and when they show their customers the love. They even tried to convince me that I don't look dorky (or dorkier than I usually do) in a bike helmet.
Meanwhile, the weather in St. Louis has been picture perfect. We have been gorging ourselves silly on summer produce, throwing together meals with the loot from the Farmers' Markets and consuming them without pausing for blog pictures. Last night I finally remembered to grab the camera.
This is what we enjoyed yesterday- whole wheat spaghetti with a raw pasta sauce, or salsa cruda, that simply captures the essence of summer. No cook recipes are always welcome in summer, although you will have to turn the stove on to cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, grab a big bowl and toss in ingredients to make the sauce. A gourmet meal awaits you in 11.5 minutes. This is not an exact recipe, just a general method that you can tweak to your heart's content. Because it is such a simple recipe, the quality of ingredients matters even more than usual, so please use the best seasonal produce you can find.
Raw Pasta Sauce
1. Start boiling salted water for pasta. When it comes to a rolling boil, cook whole-wheat spaghetti until al dente, then drain the spaghetti.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a large bowl, mix the following-
- 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large ripe fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1⁄2 cup olives, chopped finely
- 2 tbsp. basil-walnut pesto
- 1 bunch fresh basil, cut in chiffonade
- Hefty pinch of red pepper flakes
- Plenty of salt and pepper
I'm sending this recipe to Presto Pasta Night, hosted at Fuss Free Flavors this week. This event is your one-stop shop for pasta inspiration for every season.
Neighbor Girl made this side dish to go with the spaghetti, again, something stunningly simple and completely delicious. This did not even make it to the table, everyone (except me- I don't do goat cheese) grabbed it in the kitchen and ate it standing up.
- Halve and pit fresh apricots.
- Grill them, or sear them on a pan with some butter, making sure to sear both sides.
- Place the apricots cut side up on a plate, fill the centers with your choice of cheese (she chose a crumbled goat cheese) and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
To all my friends in the USA, happy Independence Day weekend! What are you doing this weekend?