This Christmas, I received Nigel Slater’s Notes from the Larder, a sort of sequel to his Kitchen Diaries I’m yet to read.
Slater presents a year’s chronology of recipes, experiences, photos, and thoughts on food. One of my new year’s resolutions is to slowly read it throughout the year as the seasons elapse and to attempt a recipe each month.
January was roasted Jerusalem artichokes (p. 18). I made these as a side dish for my family for Armenian Christmas dinner—one of the first holidays my husband and I adopted hosting duties for when we got married. The artichokes were just one item on a lost list of produce I intended to pick up from the Union Square Greenmarket after work on January 3rd. Winter Storm Hercules had different plans. That Friday, there would be no market, there would be no artichokes, and I would find myself in the office in sweatpants for the first time.
Not one year before, Nor’easter Nemo hit New York right before our wedding weekend, forcing us to reschedule our ceremony rehearsal and thwarting our guests’ travel plans. In short, Jon and I were used to snow threatening our big plans by now. So I zipped up my boots, trudged to Trader Joe’s on my lunch break to tackle as much of my shopping list as I could, and came home to find a bag of Jerusalem artichokes Jon had snatched up for me at Fairway. Those wacky little dudes masquerading as ginger root warmed my heart, if not my numb toes.
On the night of Sunday, January 5th, after weeks of menu-planning and eighteen scrawled pages of notes, shopping lists, and table-setting diagrams, we put together what I hope was a feast fit for the Epiphany.
- Charlito’s Cocina salami picante, Astoria Bier and Cheese fontina, quince paste, pickles, pickled hot green peppers, and olives
- Ash-e Reshteh Persian noodle soup, recipe from Najmieh Batmanglij’s Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey (p. 102)
- Grilled zucchini with fresh mozzarella, lemon, and dill
- Beet and goat cheese pizza, dough courtesy of Polito’s Pizza
- Jon’s homemade garlic hummus—friends have been asking for the recipe, so it’ll be here soon!
Entrees and Sides
- Moroccan eggplant and olive tagine, adapted from this recipe, to Christen the tagine I gave Jon for Christmas
- Ravioli and tortellini with tomato sauce, fresh basil, and homemade sausage from Astoria’s K & T Meats
- Lotus Foods black Forbidden rice and Bhutan Red rice
- Bon Appétit’s herb-filled Shirazi Salad
- Lemon-roasted Jersualem artichokes and mini potatoes
- Sicilian Sour Cherry and Pistachio Crostata (Silk Road Cooking, p. 244)
- Bon Appétit’s Roasted Pear Crumble
- Vanilla ice cream