Happy July, everyone! Do you have any fun plans for the 4th? We’re going to North Carolina, where Andrew’s parents have a house near the beach, and we have lots of swimming, cooking, and exploring on the agenda. I’d also like to try lots of local foods—butterbeans, grits, country ham, and local seafood and produce are all on my wish list. Reading and relaxing time are high on my list of priorities as well. This past week has been pretty stressful in terms of national news, with the opening of a Supreme Court seat. I’m not going to attempt an in-depth analysis here, but suffice it to say that I’m pretty terrified of what a Trump pick might mean. Even amid the anxiety I did manage to have a pretty fun NYC weekend (I’ll tell you all about it and share some pictures below), but I think this vacation is going to be much needed and appreciated!
Andrew and I are amassing a small backlog of dates that we need to go on. We’ve been celebrating our wedding anniversary every month, and in June we also had the anniversary of our engagement to celebrate. It’s hard to keep up with all this celebrating! So I’m not sure precisely which occasion we celebrated, but we went to Via Carota, the Italian sister restaurant to Buvette, our very favorite French restaurant. Sadly, we did not love Via Carota (I found the food oversalted and the pasta too oily), but we had a fun time anyway. We arrived to a bit of a line, but when we were seated, it was right next to Jake Gyllenhaal and his date. I really wanted to photograph our fava salad but didn’t want to pull out my phone to do so since I couldn’t help but overhear the actor talking about how self-conscious and annoyed he was that people seemed to be looking at him and sneaking photos. Ugh, sometimes it’s not about you, Jake, it’s just about my vegetables! Finally they left and I was able to photograph in peace, but as I mentioned before, the food was underwhelming, so it didn’t really matter in the end. Hopefully our next date spot will have better food and fewer celebrities!
I had some better luck cooking at home over the weekend, with this cilantro-pecan pesto (it’s vegan, but you could add a bit of pecorino, parmesan, or even feta if you like) and with kohlrabi. I sliced the greens into thin ribbons and mixed them with shredded pecorino, crushed hazelnuts, fresh lemon juice, and olive oil for a variation on a kale salad. It was really tasty! I served it with pesto potatoes and leftover sockeye salmon.
This Saturday was a rare weekend day that neither Andrew nor I had to work, so we went on a mini adventure to taste some new things and explore new areas. After a morning workout, some cooking/photographing/blogging (me), and World Cup viewing (him), we went to Soft Swerve, where we tried the ube-coconut swirl and matcha-black sesame swirl flavors:
Afterward, we walked across the Williamsburg bridge and visited Barcade (which is, you guessed it, a bar with arcade games in it). They have a nice craft beer selection and it was not too crowded—we had fun!
Dinner was tacos from our favorite taco truck, Tacos el Bronco in Sunset Park. Walking back home past Greenwood Cemetery at dusk, we could see hundreds of fireflies flashing their lights. It was so peaceful and magical.
Tonight I think I’ll mix the cilantro-pecan with shredded chicken to use for some sort of lunch bowls for tomorrow. You could also use the pesto on pasta or as a topping for fish or roasted vegetables. Hope you enjoy the recipe!
- 1 large bunch cilantro, washed and thoroughly dried, leaves and tender stems only (about 2 cups packed)
- 1/3 cup pecans, toasted and cooled
- 3 plump cloves garlic
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
- freshly ground pepper
- Using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender, process the cilantro, pecans, and garlic, adding the olive oil gradually until everything is combined. Add the salt and pepper, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.