The summer of 2020 is winding down and we are preparing to go back to school. In the words of Jerry Garcia, “what a long strange it’s been!” The last 6 months have been life altering to say the least. Being in lockdown in an apartment in New York City because of a raging pandemic was insane but I wrote a new book, spent every waking hour with my husband and son, and was forced to do nothing when there was nothing to do. On some level, I am grateful for that time but as soon as lockdown ended in June, we started taking trips outside of the city. We spent some time out east on Long Island where we hit up the farm stands and got lots of fresh corn and tomatoes and made several trips to the Hudson Valley, one of our favorite areas. This last time, my plan included picking blackberries!
It has been a long time (3 years?!) since I posted what I like to call a Blue Plate Special – a plate of goodness that usually includes a protein like tofu, tempeh or beans, and two or three sides. I have made so many over the years and they are on full repeat in my kitchen that I didn’t think I could come up with another combo. But I have and it’s a good one!
You can think of this as a summertime public service announcement. If you have excess basil on hand, and you have made one too many batches of pesto, here is another idea. Basil oil! It is so easy, it is not even a recipe, but I will give you one anyway!
This season in our lives has certainly had its challenges. As I type this, we are still in the middle of the pandemic and things are nowhere near normal. Or what used to be normal. Or, now maybe a new normal. Anyway, I have been trying to keep things as sane as possible and trying to come up with ideas for dinner. And that is how salad came to be a regular dinner around here.
We went up to the Kingston Farmer’s Market last month and I was so happy to pick up a bunch of garlic scapes. They are one of my favorite seasonal offerings – the other is ramps but sadly, I missed them this year – and I brought them home and rationed them for as long as I could. Here’s what I made!