What's for Dinner - #81 - the Planting Month - May 2022

First “proper” German meal, and it couldn’t get any more local or seasonal than this: asparagus from Beelitz, smoked ham from a local organic butcher across the street from us, new Annabelle potatoes with drawn parsley butter. The Pfälzer Riesling was probably the least local, but it was a fantastic pairing. Local, sweet as can be strawberries will be for dessert. Eventually :slight_smile:


My last trip to Europe was a week in Landeck, Austria, 2 days in Nuremberg and 3 days in Munich at the beginning of asparagus season in 2019. I’m wishing I hadn’t deleted the photo of my asparagus and parsley potatoes at Spatenhaus. The produce stands at Viktualienmarkt had at least 6 to 8 different asparagus varieties, from specific regions.

The only choices I get in Canada are:

Ontario, Quebec or imports,

green, white or purple, and

organic or conventional.


There’s a class of pastas where you take a head of broccoli/cauliflower/romanesco and deeply cook it down into a pesto-like sauce. I made one today using broccoli, starting with a couple crowns chopped up small and sautéed with garlic, chili flakes, & anchovies to get some color and develop flavor.

Then, I added some water and simmered the broccoli down until turned olive green and could be smashed with a spatula. The stems can be a stubborn, so it’s best to have chopped those really small at the outset. This step takes upwards of 30 mins.

Finally, I tossed in some pasta (orecchiette works well), pasta water and freshly grated pecorino. It’s a delicious combo, similar to a pesto but made with broccoli.


First 80+° day in my neck of the woods. Tomorrow even warmer.

Tonight was my standard Friday night dinner: my local butcher’s house-marinated steak tips, half a baked tater with TPSTOB&SC. And this time, broccoli instead of green beans or asparagus.

Wine. Welcome, New England Spring!


Hapoy spring!

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Mrs. P made the summer version of her famous pan seared boneless quail breast salad with arugula, watermelon, blueberries, honeydew, pineapple, strawberries, beautifully grilled fresh figs, mini peppers, sautéed red onions, kiwi, with a reduced balsamic syrup, and topped with fresh shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese. It went great with an excellent Oakville Napa Cabernet.


Matzoh ball soup, made more substantial by adding orzo and cabbage. Cannot kid myself it is still mostly winter here.


Burgers on the grill. Homemade ciabatta for buns.


Split pea soup, romaine wedge with blue cheese dressing, radish, red onion, snap peas and a warm buttery baguette. Another rainy day, will they never end?


I love split pea soup and I’m not eager for summer. I prefer sweater weather!


Tonight, I made Halibut with Togarashi, miso, maple, mirin and lemon juice, local Ontario asparagus, a Waldorf and a Greek salad .


I could jump right into that!


Thanks! I do much prefer to buy my shrimp frozen raw with shell on. Cdc (constant dining companion) doesn’t care for shrimp so it takes awhile to fill up a bag of shells. Luckily for me he can take or leave lobster too so there is that. But in season the two of us can fill up the freezer with corn cobs fast. We don’t just eat one ear of corn here in Penna at the height of corn season. In fact the corn is dinner, I just make up a coupla other things just to break up the corn a little.


I used to make split pea soup with the bones and scraps from smoked chicken. Loved it. Would not dream of smoking my own chicken as there are two bbq joints nearby


Chorizo and cheese omelette with fresh tortillas and black beans.


Mixed mushroom tart with arugula and balsamic vinaigrette. Since it has been cold and rainy in my neighborhood I made my favorite Yemenite beef soup which was delicious but not very photogenic so I skipped the picture.


BF and I had a wonderful time in New Hope the other night, getting drinks and apps at three of the newer restaurants that have opened within the last year or so. Our schedules only allowed one night.

First was Stella, a beautifully appointed bar and restaurant right on the river with a large collection of liquor (including Chartreuse, which hardly anyone carries). And so I ordered a Last Word, very well-made and garnished with Luxardo Cherries. BF sampled two of their recommended specialty cocktails. The homemade bread basket with assorted spreads was excellent.

Then we went over to Ferry + Main, the new name for the Logan Inn’s newly expanded dining area. Their recent renovation could have cost $10 million for all the work and expansions they did. BF had a beer and I asked for a Gimlet to be made with a splash of St. Germaine. Our app was roasted beets with yogurt foam, za’atar, and flax crisps. On the first bite, I wasn’t crazy for it but the flavors did grow on me.

Always nice when the glassware is on-par with the cocktail (and pricing). Nice coupes in both of the above establishments.

Lastly was Oldestone, formerly the long-running Marsha Brown’s. A decent martini for him and another Gimlet for me, but way overpriced (even for New Hope) and the menu borders on pretentious. But a beautiful space in a former church.


Hot day. Turned the AC on after I got home from errands. Was drenched when I left the nursery after picking up my starter herbs.

Greek chicken thighs with LOTS of fresh herbs and lemon, baby potatoes thrown into the pan with some of the marinade for roasting, and roasted green beans, onions, and red bell pepper tossed with olive oil and Penzeys Tuscan Sunset.




Fried chicken sandwich on homemade ciabatta roll.

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr