August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004
chef, mentor, heroine, author, television icon, inspiration, nonagenarian, friend
“Today we are going to make a delightful dinner, Caesar Salad and Salmon en Papillote. Of course, cooking en papillote does not have to be fancy – it’s a fine method for everyday cooking too.”
uss abraham lincoln cvn-72
nimitz class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
commissioned november 1989
docked in the port of los angeles
For five days I could see the “island” of the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln from my kitchen window. An aircraft carrier’s “island” is the command center for flight-deck operations, as well as the ship as a whole. The island is about 150 feet tall, but it’s only 20 feet wide at the base, so it won’t take up too much space on the flight deck. The top of the island is outfitted with an array of radar and communications antennas.
She is a jaw-dropping sight – at 1092 ft. (over 3 football fields long), 252 ft. wide, weighing 100,000 tons, she accommodates approximately 70 aircraft. She is powered by two nuclear reactors which enable her to operate continuously 20 years without refueling. Her life span is an estimated 50 years. The USS Abraham Lincoln is the first aircraft carrier to be docked in the Port of Los Angeles in more than 20 years. Her visit here is the inspiration for my dish, featuring NAVY beans…
You’ve heard the expression “like a kid in a candy store?” Well that kid was me this past weekend at the Farmers’ Market in Palos Verdes. If it looked tasty, I bought it. No restraint whatsoever. From Japanese eggplant to okra to heirloom tomatoes. And asatsuki, carrots, red serranos, beets, patty pan squash, spinach, garlic, Anaheim chiles, Thai basil, mitsuba…I had no plan, no recipe in mind. I was simply vegetable-crazy.
8-layer farmers’ market fantasy
curried fresh carrot juice sauce with blanched okra & mitsuba
grilled green & yellow patty pan squash
sautéed spinach with sesame, garlic, soy sauce
crispy polenta cake
fire-roasted anaheim chile
fresh goat cheese & asatsuki
cumin dusted grilled beet
spicy smoky heirloom tomato & thai basil
roasted japanese eggplant, maldon smoked sea salt flakes
lacy pickled lotus root
Just like the previous post on spicy pickled cucumber & wakame, lacy pickled lotus root is a unique summer side dish that offers a refreshing counterpoint to grilled meat, poultry or fish. In addition to its slightly crunchy texture and mildly sweet flavor, this aquatic vegetable graces the table with its circular stenciled patterns, a delight for the eye as well.
Lively, crisp, and vinegary – spicy pickled cucumber & wakame is a perfect summer accompaniment that offers a refreshing counterpoint to grilled meat, poultry or fish. Crunchy Japanese cucumber, fiery serrano chile, and briny silky wakame combine to make a cool & spicy restorative hot weather side dish.
Tofu Salad à la Provençal
Heirloom Tomato, Tofu, Olive, Sweet Pepper, Scallion, Anchovy, Mitsuba
Garlicky Tamari Vinaigrette
WANTED: Colorful summer salad recipes with flair! Drab dull ordinary salads need not apply. Does your salad have what it takes? One that incorporates esoteric flavors and uses summer crops at their peak. Will it make us feel satisfied on the hottest dog days? We’re looking for salads that go well with cold-dry-pink-wine. Must be full-flavored, nothing wimpy! Willing to experiment. Unlimited opportunity. Apply soon, before summer passes us by.