From close to far apart

maggie and nina

Breakfast on Green Lane 1987, 48 x 66 inches, oil on canvas  (Margaretta Gilboy and Nina Goldstein Reid)

Just over a month ago we returned from a relaxing visit to Hawaii.  In our first weeks home we rushed from Boulder to Denver and back for exhibitions and artist talks.   I had been sorry to miss the opening of my late friend Maggie Gilboy’s retrospective at BMoCA and the opportunity to talk with the many friends and family who gathered to celebrate this wonderful artist.  I had my chance to honor her when Simon Zalkind, the curator, and I presented a conversation about Maggie, her life and work, as we sat in the museum amongst her paintings.


Margaretta Gilboy, Portrait of Barbara Shark 1982, 36 x 44 inches, oil on linen

Prints from Shark’s Ink. are in several exhibitions around the area. We viewed the show at 15th Street Gallery, Boulder and Bud gave a talk at Michael Warren Contemporary in Denver.  This was the usual commotion of our art life.

Hard to believe the changes in the world since then.

Bud caught a head cold and spent a couple weeks recuperating.   I got the bug and am feeling better.  With colds and physical distancing,  we needed a treat.  I decided to bake cookies only to find I had run out of flour.  Flour.  A staple around here, one that never runs out.  Until now.  And there was no flour to be found in my usual grocery stores.  I am amazed that everyone seems to be baking.  Who could predict what times like these bring about?

I did have almonds and the perfect flour-free macaroon recipe from Patricia Wells.  Simple and delicious.

Almond Macaroons

   Lightly toast 1 cup of raw almonds.  Cool, then whizz in the Cuisinart with 3/4 cup sugar until sandy and finely ground.

macaroon ingredients

macaroon ingredients 2

    Add 1/3 cup egg whites, usually from two large eggs, but do measure.  Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, and a pinch of salt. Whizz until combined.  Drop teaspoonsful on a parchment lined sheet, an inch or two apart – they spread just a bit.

ready to bake

Bake at 375° for 10 -12 minutes.  Cool on a rack.  This makes about 30, 2 1/2 inch cookies.


I was left with two egg yolks and didn’t want to waste them so I made a lemon pudding for our dinner dessert.  A simple, delicious treat for two.

lemon pudding

Lemon Pudding 

Combine 6 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a saucepan.  Whisk in 1 1/4 cups milk (I had 2%) until smooth. 

Add the two egg yolks, a tablespoon lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Whisk smooth.   Cook gently over medium heat, stirring, until thickened.  This took maybe 10 minutes, but watch carefully and adjust the heat to prevent scorching or boiling over. 

Remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon butter and 1/4 cup lemon juice.  Pour into cups and cool, then chill in the fridge for a couple hours.  Cover if saving for another day.

The recipe is easily doubled.  Use three egg yolks and twice the other ingredients.

(If you make the pudding and not the macaroons, you will have 2 egg whites left over.  Put them in a small jar and freeze, ready to defrost and make macaroons another time. )

Roseanne scouted out a bag of flour for me, and Bronwyn of Lyons PT dropped off a few pounds from her 50 pound stash, so I’m set for bread and treat baking during this trying time.

I hope some of you are also venturing into the tasty world of baking.  Buon Appetito!

Tropical bounty

Friends 1991

Friends 1992, pastel on paper, ~22 x 30 inches

Someone in the neighborhood is roasting coffee.  The deep, burnt, delicious smell competes with the sweet aroma of the flowering coffee trees growing down below the lanai where I write this.  These are our last days in Holualoa and I seek to hold on to the sights and fragrance of this paradise to lighten the cold snowy days awaiting us back home.

And I want a last taste of the bounty of this place, the avocados, papayas, tangerines, coffee, bananas, limes and lemons and the fish.

lemon tree2

The old lemon tree growing in front of the studio fell down last week.  I hadn’t been able to pick the lemons growing  high up in the thorned branches until the tree lay on its side, the Kona lemons now within my reach.  A sad sight indeed.

The lemons are large and lumpy, and very juicy.  I squeezed a few to make the base for lemonade lightly sweetened with a sugar syrup.

For some reason, I hadn’t yet baked banana muffins, a favorite made with apple bananas, small and delicately tart.  With our imminent departure, I quickly whipped up a batch to accompany our lunchtime salad.

banana muffins

This recipe makes a good loaf of banana bread too.

Cream together 6 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar.  Stir in 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3 mashed apple bananas (or 2 regular). Add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in 1 cup macadamia nuts (or walnuts). Bake at 400° for 25 minutes. Makes 10 muffins.

Ka Lae 2001

Ka Lae 2001, oil on canvas, ~40 x 72 inches

Over the years, Hawaii has provided me with many images from which to make paintings and drawings.  The drawing of Bud and Hiroki, at the top of this post, hangs in the Morinoue dining room in Holualoa.  We had dinner there a few days ago and I took great pleasure in seeing it.  One of the guests, not knowing I was the artist, commented that she had been admiring the piece. What more acknowledgement can I ask?


Fishing 1993, oil on canvas, about 60 x 40 inches

We’ve eaten a lot of fish while here, ahi, mahimahi, marlin.  Grilled at Lava Java by the sea wall down in Kona, sushi up north in Hawi at Sushi Rock and at Shiona in Kona for my birthday.  I like to sear a hunk of ahi to top a salad.


So, as we visit our favorite beach and seaside walk, bid goodbye to dear friends, and eat the last papaya for breakfast, we say aloha and mahalo to this lovely place.

Looking Back 004

Leaving Hawaii 2001, charcoal on paper, ~30 x 64 inches

Avocados in Holualoa

opening coconuts (1)

Opening Coconuts 1992, pastel on paper, 20 x 30 inches  (Hiroki and Miho)


The enormous old avocado tree next to the house has been delivering its fruit to the doorstep here in Holualoa.  It is thrilling to find huge avocados, barely grazed from their fall, waiting to be made into guacamole and added to every salad and salsa.

Don Ed Hardy has been with us to make prints with Bud.  He’s a great help in eating the plentitude of avocados and in adding three lovely prints to the Shark’s Ink. collection.

But there are so many avocados!  After a week of this bounty, I have reconciled to discarding all but the perfect ones.  Paging through my little Hawaii cooking notebook I found several avocado recipes I had forgotten. So, for dinner with John and Debby, I made a cold avocado soup (recipe in How I Learned to Cook…), first made with Bob Kushner. Simple to make in the blender, it is a combination of one large avocado, coconut milk, yogurt, jalapeño, and spices.  Very more-ish.


I made a focaccia to serve alongside. Next came a favorite salad I make only in Holualoa ─  Papaya and Shrimp.  We eat papayas each morning here and often in a salsa or this salad.  They are a welcome addition to our Hawaii diet.


For the salad, one and a half papayas, cubed, a julienned cucumber, a pound of cooked shrimp, avocado chunks, and macadamia nuts are chilled, then tossed with the dressing:

3 tablespoons of lime juice, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce, 1/2 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce, (or a big pinch of hot pepper flakes), 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger, 2 minced green onions, and a small handful of cilantro, chopped. 

The original recipe in Pacific Flavors called for a diced red pepper but I didn’t have one.  Serve over a bed of lettuces or spinach.

papaya shrimp salad

Another recipe, for an avocado chocolate pudding from my friend Cydney, awaits another dinner party.  Meanwhile, who wants guacamole?


A New Year

Lunch at Greens

Lunch at Greens 2008, oil on canvas, 18 x 44 inches

My new year has arrived with resolutions and menus that include dishes made with simple winter ingredients.  We received some wonderful food gifts for Christmas ─ jams and salsa from Zoë, a Spanish food assortment from James and Noriko and interesting olive oil and vinegar from sister Susan to add to the beans, grains and root vegetables of the season.

gifts 2

Instead of my usual habit of hoarding these special nibbles, I decided to use them without delay.  So we had grilled ham and cheese sandwiches with mustard and Zoë’s strawberry/balsamic jam.  Delish!  And shrimp and butternut squash tacos garnished with her Peach Salsa. The candied walnuts and Susan’s pecans quickly disappeared.

Included in our Spanish gift box were two jars of tuna packed in olive oil, something I have eyed in the La Tienda catalog but never ordered.  Anxious to taste it, I fashioned a tuna and bean salad, with white cassoulet beans from my Rancho Gordo stash.


I warmed the cooked beans so the dressing would permeate more completely.


Then dressed them in a combination of lemon juice, mustard, minced garlic (for garlic-allergic Jan, use a shallot), a splash of the lemon-infused olive oil, salt, and some plain olive oil.


Added two stalks of thinly sliced celery and three julienned radishes, then the broken up tuna.

ready to plateI plated the salad into two servings, then garnished them with chopped parsley, dill, and shaved parmesan.  Served while the beans were still a bit warm.

the salad

At the last minute I decided to add a soft-boiled egg to each plate.  I recently learned an excellent, quick method for cooking eggs ─ steam them. (Thanks to Kenji López-Alt.)

In a  pot with a steamer basket bring an inch of water to a boil.  Add the eggs, straight from the fridge.  Steam for 6-7 minutes for a runny yolk, 9-10 minutes for a ‘hard-boiled’ egg.  I find this method fast and dependable, especially when I want a soft egg.  (I live at 6000 feet so adjust your timing accordingly.)

with egg

Serve the salad warm or at room temperature with slices of crusty bread and butter.

One of my resolutions for 2020 is to clear out the freezer and the pantry of past-their-prime foods or forgotten items.  I had a frozen tub of sourdough starter saved  for several years and wanted to see if it still had life.  I nursed it along with daily infusions of water and flour until it was bubbly and fragrant.


I used a combination of recipes and memories to concoct loaves to bake in a covered cast iron casserole.  One new trick is to do the final rise in a bowl lined with parchment.  Then lift the risen dough into the very hot casserole.  No inverting and having dough stick, or getting a painful burn.

I’ll continue to comb through my cupboards, spice drawer and the freezer for other forgotten goodies to enhance our winter meals.

Buon Appetito!



Winter comforts

Beehive Michael and me

Mussels at the Beehive 2002, charcoal on paper, 22 x 20 inches

After our travels and a lovely traditional Thanksgiving with family, I have gotten into winter cooking.  I try to resist buying out-of-season vegetables and figure out new ways to cook roots, brassicas, and hearty greens.

A current favorite is bucatini with butternut squash and taleggio.  This pasta looks like spaghetti but has a tiny opening right through each strand.  It is chewy and delicious. Use whatever pasta shape you have but I recommend seeking out bucatini.

First roast a peeled and sliced (about 1/2 inch) small butternut squash, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, at 400° for 20 minutes.  Turn and roast another 10-15 minutes until browned and tender.

roasting squash

Cut into bite-sized pieces (1 inch) and set aside.  Put water on to boil for the bucatini.  I figure 4-5 ounces for the two of us, but you know your appetite, so cook as much as you like.  Here on Blue Mountain Road at 6000 feet, this takes 9 minutes. While the strands are cooking prepare the other ingredients.


Sauté a thinly sliced shallot in olive oil in a pan that will hold the pasta.  Add the squash to the pan with a scoop of pasta water.  Keep warm.  Prepare 4 ounces of the taleggio – the rind should be removed and the cheese torn or cut into 1/2 inch bits. This is a soft, tangy  cheese and will melt into the pasta to make a delicious sauce.  Finely chop a good handful of Italian parsley.

Test the pasta for doneness and a nice chew.  Drain and toss with the shallots and squash, adding a tablespoon butter. Add the taleggio and top with parsley.

ready to toss

For a variation:  last week I had mushrooms that needed cooking so added them to the dish with a handful of toasted, chopped walnuts.  Cook the mushrooms in a hot skillet filmed with oil, do not turn or toss, let them brown. This brings out their woodsy flavor. When the mushrooms have released from the pan, add some chopped garlic and toss. Lower the heat and let cook a bit longer until tender.pasta

A favorite dish at Basta in Boulder was their roasted vegetable salad (no longer on the menu). I used the idea to make a warm salad with veggies I had in the fridge ─ brussel sprouts left over from Thanksgiving, butternut squash, golden beets, onions and red pepper.  I peeled the squash and beets,  cut them into similar sizes, sliced the sprouts 1/4 inch thick, cut the onion and pepper into chunks, tossed with plenty of olive oil , salt and pepper.

roasting veggies

I roasted them at 400° for 20 minutes, turned, and cooked another 10 – 15 minutes until tender.  In the last 10 minutes I added chunks of bread (large crouton size) tossed with oil and minced garlic to crisp up and provide another texture to the mix.

roasted veg

Squeeze a half a lemon over the veggies and serve warm or at room temperature.  If I had had any, I might have tossed in some arugula to brighten the salad, but it is delicious as is.




From left, Jennifer Doran, me, Barbara Takenaga, Fred Stonehouse, Bud, Claire Sherman, Jim Robischon

In late October, we spent a week in New York exhibiting at the Print Fair. We made time to see several exhibitions including Bob Kushner at DC Moore and Hung Liu at Nancy Hoffman, and catch up with colleagues and friends.

One night I made Bud, Roseanne and me dinner at home (Cynthia and Bob’s great loft) ─ a butternut squash risotto, and one night we invited our printmaking pal Pam Paulson to join us for an omelet supper.  Otherwise, we ate at favorite, easy restaurants such as Cafeteria and Westville.  I used  my hand surgery to be excused from making any dinner parties.  Next year.

After packing up the booth on Sunday evening we woke early on Monday to catch a flight to London to visit our dear friends Bernard and Jeannie Cohen and family.

Bernard at Canyon de Chelly  1993, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches; Evening in the Desert 1993, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches

London was damp, cool and bustling.  We stayed with Bernard and Jeannie in Camberwell and learned to navigate our way into the center of London.  We visited our old neighborhood, Kew, and the Royal Botanic Gardens and had lunch at the Maids of Honor, hardly changed in 50 years.

Kew 3Kew 2








Visiting Kew was top of my to-do list and eating at an Ottolenghi restaurant was second.  I use Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks regularly and wanted to experience his version of the food.  Bernard, Jeannie, Bud and I made a lunch reservation at Nopi, just off Regent Street.

Wow.  From the warm welcome and stylish, simple dining room  to the amazing food, we had a smashing lunch. As Bernard said, it’s rare to have a restaurant meal where everything is delicious and memorable.  We ate polenta chips (fries), cauliflower and green bean fritters, sea bream with an agrodolce and lemon yogurt garnish, squid with baby artichokes, a blackcurrant sorbet ─ like deeply flavored velvet, and  a nut brittle─ a thin cracker topped with caramel, chocolate and salty nuts.  Amazing.

Liberty of London was also on my to visit list.  Bud waited in an easy chair while I perused the stacks of fabric bolts, wondering how I could choose.  I finally picked two, one for me, one for Roseanne, realizing almost any piece would be a good one.  Now it was past lunch time and we were near Warwick Street and Nopi.  Perhaps we could score a table.

Again the gracious staff took our coats and lead us to wait at the standing bar. Fortified with a small bowl of complimentary spiced nuts we watched as others finished their meals, until a table was ready.  Our waiter, remembering us said, Weren’t you here yesterday? and we were off to another lovely lunch.

We ate green beans with freekeh and miso, roasted eggplant with a tamarind flavored yogurt (fabulous), the sea bream because it had been so delicious we couldn’t resist a repeat.  We finished with roasted pineapple accompanied by coconut ice cream and macadamia nut crumbles.  All the dishes simple and perfect ─ my kind of cooking.

After a long flight home we had time to re-combobulate and do laundry before departing for Savannah and our niece Hilary’s retirement from the Coast Guard ceremony.


The Splinter.jpg

The Splinter 2007, oil on canvas, 22 x 22 inches

Hilary flew over the hangar where her family and friends waited, dipping her helicopter in a salute while we all cheered.  Thrilling.  The ceremony was moving and funny, with her compatriots speaking of her exceptional qualities and stellar service.  She gave a wonderful speech, relating how she first became a Marine, then a helicopter pilot.  All through the ceremony were moments when I teared up, touched by the camaraderie and love being expressed.

We stayed with Bud’s hospitable cousins in the center of Savannah.  Arnold treated us to dinner at The Grey, Chef Mashama Bailey’s restaurant in a repurposed Greyhound station building.  Another memorable meal, beginning with popcorn!  And fabulous popcorn ─ dressed with clarified butter and nutritional yeast.  We ate delicious, rich, cornbread.  I ordered a turnip bisque, curious to taste this unusual restaurant offering.  Creamy, vegetal and topped with gremolata. I followed this with middlins (broken Carolina rice bits), with shrimp, a kind of southern risotto.

We’re home now, ready to settle back into our life of printing, for Bud, and painting and writing, for me.  I am inspired to try some new flavors in my winter cooking.  Stay tuned.


The last of summer

fall coat

Autumn Coat 2013, oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches

Today is sunny and warm but the forecast for the rest of the week is for cold weather, very cold, with rain and snow predicted.  My garden is unruly and overgrown as I hadn’t been able to do much over the summer with my bum hand.  I did put in tomato plants but a severe hail storm in June set them back.  They  recovered and I picked the last of them today along with a bit of basil and a handful of green beans.


Our friend Sally came for lunch last week and I decided to offer a last ode to summer.  I made a zucchini soup.

This is a recipe from Deborah Madison in her marvelous Local Flavors cook book.  I served the soup cold but it is equally delicious warm.  There is a mystery ingredient that makes it irresistible so read on…

First, roast a couple poblanos.  I do this over the open flame on my gas range but use whatever method you prefer.  Peel and seed them and chop into 1/2 inch squares.

poblanos and cilantro

Next, cut a medium sized zucchini, about 12-16 ounces, into 1/2 inch pieces.  Thinly slice a medium onion, red or yellow.  Chop the stems from a bunch of cilantro into small pieces; chop and set aside the leaves.

zucchini and onions

Saute the onion, zucchini, cilantro stems, 3 tablespoons chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons chopped mint, in 3 tablespoons safflower oil until onions are tender and zucchini limp, about ten minutes.

soup pot

Add the poblanos, 2 corn tortillas torn in pieces (the mystery ingredient), 5-6 cups water or chicken stock and a teaspoon of salt. Simmer until the veggies are soft then add the cilantro leaves.  Cool then puree in a blender.  Season to taste with salt and serve, hot or cold, with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt and a wedge of lime.

zucchini soup

With the soup I served a farro and fresh corn salad, combining summer and fall tastes.  The salad included roasted poblanos, cilantro and pine nuts.  The dressing is one I frequently use with grain salads ─ juice of a lime, a finely chopped clove of garlic, a teaspoon of ground cumin, a big pinch of hot red pepper flakes, salt, olive oil.

farro salad

The soup and salad were accompanied by a baguette from the St. Vrain Market (highly recommended), an assortment of cheeses and a tomato and basil salad simply dressed with salt and olive oil.


So autumn is here and my cooking begins its seasonal change. Baking has taken a turn toward recipes I associate with the cold.  Lately I’ve made  date bars and ginger snaps.

For the date bars, pit and chop about 20 dates, enough to make 2 cups.


Then make a batter with 2 large eggs, 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed, 1/2 cup unbleached flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the dates and 1 cup of broken walnuts. The dough will be stiff and thick.  Spread in a buttered 8 inch square pan and bake at 325° for 25-30 minutes until firm and brown.  Cool on a rack.


Makes 16-25 depending on how you cut them.

date bars

We have changed our bedding to a down comforter and turned on the furnace.  Sad to see summer end with the Zweck’s farm stand now closed and my garden dry and about to be frosted.  I am ready, maybe, to be inspired by autumn and winter recipes.

Hot summer, cold soup

path (3)

Path 2001, oil on canvas, 72 x 54 inches

In the last seven weeks four artists have come to stay with us and make prints at Shark’s Ink.  I wrote about Fred Stonehouse in my last post.  Claire Sherman arrived after Fred and made a lovely, large lithograph using  broad brushstrokes – a multilayered landscape, green and mysterious.  She had time to complete a second, small, exquisite image of a waterfall, again, abstracted with her painterly marks.

I had been struggling with severe carpal tunnel pain in my right hand, so by the time the next artist, Amy Ellingson, arrived, I was ready for surgery.  Amy and Bud worked on her first prints at Shark’s, two large lithos made from digital files and printed in many colors,  creating a labyrinth, a lattice, a map, with tunnels and windows of color. (This is a studio shot of one of the prints.)

amy's print

And I learned to cook using my left hand.  Not so hard if you must do it.  The doc said to  keep the dressing dry and clean and I tried but it’s not a pretty sight after a week in the kitchen.  Amy was most accommodating and helpful and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her over coffee and granola, drinking delicious wine at dinner on the porch, and talking of our lives.

Over the seven weeks, we had dinner parties, inviting friends to join us.  For several I made a simple starter, a cold cantaloupe soup.  Truly more than the sum of its parts, I devised the recipe after having had a similar soup years ago in Barcelona.

For four to six small servings, sauté half a medium sized onion, chopped, in two tablespoons of olive oil until tender and golden.


Meanwhile, cut up a two pound cantaloupe and toss into the blender. Add the onion and whizz until perfectly smooth.


Add salt to taste.  Chill well (I made this the day before) and serve in small cups with a drizzle of olive oil and something salty and crisp alongside – a hunk of focaccia or a home made cracker.  (Check out the new Search button in the side bar to find recipes in previous posts).

Enrique Chagoya is here this week and as it’s been very hot, we have had salads for lunch.  I read about a new salad dressing and had tried it out on Amy (we liked it) – made with feta and buttermilk.

Mash 2-4 ounces of feta, the kind that comes in a water bath.  Add 1/3 cup buttermilk, a minced, mashed clove of garlic, a couple tablespoons chopped Italian parsley, the zest of a small lemon and juice from half of it, and, if you like, some olive oil to thin the mix.

salad with feta dressing

Most of my salads don’t need a recipe but rely on what’s in the fridge. I depend on a stock of wonderful vegetables from Zweck’s farm and tidbits leftover from dinner.  Today’s salad featured smoked trout accompanied by green beans, tomatoes, avocado, black beans dressed with olive oil, cumin, chile flakes, mint, and a few slices of a delicious Colorado peach.

smoked trout salad







Summer eggplant

The Handstand 1987

The Handstand 1987, pastel on paper, 30 x 41 inches

Artist Fred Stonehouse has been with us for the last ten days, making three wonderful prints.  He enjoys food and cooking so with Fred as an appreciative guest, I have felt free to cook whatever inspires me.Fred and Bud


The summer heat means summer veggies ─ cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, and eggplant ─ are available at Zweck’s farmstand.  I cannot resist the glossy black Asian eggplant or the fat, round Italian variety. We have had grilled eggplant, soba noodles with eggplant and mango, and eggplant risotto.


For Grilled  Eggplant, I rub the halved vegetable with lemon juice, then marinate all day in this:

Combine 1/4 cup shoyu, 1/4 cup sesame oil, 1/4 cup sherry, a couple of cloves of garlic, grated or finely chopped, some grated ginger.


At dinner time, grill over a hot fire until tender, turning once.  Serve with any grilled meat or fish or simply with a bowl of rice and a salad.

grilled eggplant

Soba Salad is a little more complicated.  This recipe is based on one in Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi.  Sauté a large, cubed globe or Asian eggplant in a three tablespoons of safflower oil until browned and tender. Add oil if necessary.  Set aside on paper towels to drain.

saute eggplant

Cook 7-8 ounces of soba noodles in boiling water until tender, about 6-8 minutes.  Watch the pot as it tends to boil over.  Blow on the rising water or add a bit of cool water to prevent an overflow.  Drain, rinse in cool water and set aside to dry.

Chop a peeled mango into 1-inch pieces, slice half a small red or sweet onion into thin rings, and prepare the dressing.


For the dressing,  combine 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Add a big pinch of hot red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, the zest of a lime and its juice, and two cloves of garlic, grated.

mango and dressing

Toss the noodles with the mango, onion, eggplant and dressing.  Add a big handful of chopped basil and one of chopped cilantro.

soba salad

This Eggplant Risotto is also based on an Ottolenghi recipe.

Burn a large globe eggplant until the skin chars and the flesh is tender.  I do this right on my gas burner.  You could use the broiler or a gas grill but the stove top is the easiest.  It gives the eggplant just the right smoky flavor. Peel away the burnt skin and chop the flesh into 1-inch pieces.


In 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sauté a medium onion, chopped small, then add a garlic clove, smashed and chopped.  Add a cup of Arborio rice and cook for several minutes, stirring.  Add a 1/2 cup white wine and cook until it is almost evaporated.  Start adding hot vegetable or a light chicken stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring often, until the rice is almost tender.

risotto ingredients

Add the eggplant, the grated zest of a lemon, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/2 cup grated parmesan.  Stir in a handful of slivered basil leaves.  Serve with additional parmesan on the table.  Buon appetito and happy summer!


Summer Sunday Supper

Ars Longa

Ars Longa 1998, oil on canvas, 40 x 48 inches  (Don Ed Hardy and Bud)

On these warm summer days I plan meals that can be prepared in the cool of the morning and served with little fuss.  And with the heat, cold soups are perfect to anchor a supper menu.

We are traveling to San Francisco this week to help celebrate the opening of Don Ed Hardy’s retrospective exhibition at the deYoung Museum so I needed to clean out my fridge.  I had beets from Zwecks’ farm and couldn’t bear to waste them so decided to make a beet soup.

I first made this  with a Walla Walla onion given to me by my friend Sue Macdougall, who grew upon a ranch near Walla Walla and orders the onions each year.  I didn’t have one today so I used a red onion.

First I steamed the beets until tender.


I sauteed half an onion, chopped, and two stalks of celery in two tablespoons of olive oil then added the steamed, peeled beets cut into chunks, a handful of dill from my garden and four cups of water.


This gently simmered, partially covered,  until the veggies were soft.  I cooled the soup for a bit before whizzing in the blender until perfectly smooth.  I tasted for salt and was amazed, as I am each time I prepare this, at the luxurious velvety texture.  Into jars and then the fridge to chill until dinner time.



Served with a dollop of Greek yogurt, a dusting of minced cilantro, and avocado toast topped with smoked trout along side.  A simple supper before our travels.