August 2, 1989 |
When pesto - that pungent combination of basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and olive oil - was introduced, fresh basil was about as common as a rare steak. Cooks in the know had herb gardens where they grew enough basil to supply half the world's Italian restaurants, and everyone else was envious. Now basil is available year-round in most supermarkets. (It must even have replaced the African violet as the most popular house plant by now.) So to put a fresh slant on what's become a summer perennial, substitute cilantro for basil in the usual pesto recipe.
September 25, 1996 |
Yo, Chefs! My son treated my husband and me to dinner at the Victor Cafe. We had a very enjoyable evening, and we especially liked the olives and oil mixture we were served before our meal. I have tried to make it at home, but it just misses the right flavor. Could you please get this recipe? Marie George, Philadelphia Dear Marie, Marc Merdinger is the new chef at Victor Cafe. Since he's only been on the job a few months, he was especially flattered that you requested his recipe.
August 23, 2012 |
I don't know whether this is a tale about the glories of pesto or one of faulty memory. With summery basil pesto on my mind, and the desire to do something other than dressing pasta, I recalled a favorite dish from the famed Zingerman's Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Mich. It was a cold chicken, pesto, and fresh tomato salad, the alchemy achieving greatness beyond the simple ingredients. But I couldn't remember: Did it have walnuts too? Or another something? It was years ago, nearly 20, so memory failed.
October 11, 2007 |
In my fantasy life living on a farm, autumn would be dedicated to putting things up. I'd pickle, can, preserve, dry and freeze all the waning bounty of the garden before it succumbed to the first frost. Then in winter, I'd make entire meals out of the pantry, reveling in the likes of black currant jelly and pickled green tomatoes lined up on well-organized shelves. In my urban Brooklyn, N.Y., reality, however, my garden gets just enough sun to nourish the few pots of herbs.
September 5, 1990 |
Not so very long ago, basil, sweet basil, that herb of herbs, was for all intents and purposes something that came dried, in a jar, and was used in making spaghetti sauce. Now, fresh basil is called for constantly, in salads and soups and stuffings, as seasoning for cooked vegetables. Pesto, the Italian sauce made of basil, Parmesan, garlic, olive oil and pine nuts, was exotic less than a decade ago. Now it's so ubiquitous that it sometimes seems as conventional as ketchup. Not surprisingly, fresh basil has metamorphosed from a seldom-found seasonal treat to a year-round commodity almost as widely available as fresh parsley.
May 24, 2012
Throughout the 2011 baseball season, the Daily News was inundated with emails and calls. Nonetheless, Phillie Phoodie is back for another season as the guardian of Phanatics' taste buds. This year, the Phoodista will sample new offerings at Citizens Bank Park, as well as some nearby eateries that are popular game-day stops for Phillies fans. We may even hit the road to taste test some of the region's minor league ball parks. First up: Outlet: Panini's, at Section 133. We went: Pregame, 12:30 p.m. Wait: None.
January 30, 1991 |
Dear Polly: When the tooth fairy comes, give the coins she leaves a special touch by spraying them with a little hairspray, then sprinkle on a bit of glitter. A bit of glitter sprinkled around the bed adds even more magic to this joyful childhood experience. A fun idea for a girl's birthday party is a "doll-fashion sew. " Ask each guest to bring a doll. You provide material scraps, lace, needles, thread and the like. Let the girls design their own outfits, then have a fashion show, as each models her creation on her own doll.
July 3, 1992 |
New flower boxes were being eased into place the first night I visited Chattanooga's in Wayne. By the next night, they were already filled with blooms. The flower boxes are just one indicator of the changes afoot at 523 W. Lancaster Ave., known as Conestoga Crossing in a previous life. Inside, the menu has been facelifted by chef-owner, David C. Wentz, formerly executive chef at La Fourchette. La Fourchette isn't being cloned here. Wentz looked at his closest competitors on Lancaster Avenue (Taquet, Ristorante Primavera and L'Auberge)
October 27, 2011
The Whole Foods on South Street got a makeover, and with it, some mouthwatering features. First, a pasta bar, which, as at the Plymouth Meeting location, has bins of fresh pasta from Westmont's Severino Pasta Co. (an Inquirer Food Team favorite). The selection rotates seasonally, including pastas such as fettuccine cut to order from fresh, flavored dough sheets, and butternut squash ravioli, priced at $4.99 to $9.99 a pound. You can also pick up Severino sauces such as pesto and vodka.
July 13, 1994 |
Call them what you will - dips, pestos, tapenades, purees, sauces or toppings. What these quick food-processor spreads can do for your cooking repertoire might surprise you. Take any of the following recipes and serve it as a flavorful spread for crackers, a speedy pasta sauce, an unusual condiment with fish, chicken, meat or cooked vegetables, a unique sauce base on pizza, a zesty topping on bruschetta or a filling for mushrooms or omelets....