Summer Squash Sauce, Arugula and Parmesan

A couple of yellow squash and a zucchini sautéed in olive oil with onion and garlic- sprinkled with fresh Parmesan on top of a bed of arugula and pasta.  Olives, sliced tomatoes with fresh mozzarella on the side .

The tastes of summer.

Licorice-Yes or No?

This past week I’ve asked how you feel about eating Cilantro and Rhubarb. What tastes are pleasing to your palate?

Here’s another distinctive flavor.

Licorice-Yes or no?

Meet Menno, from Holland, who has a stand on Saturdays at Winterfeldplatz Market, selling all kinds of licorice. Some with salt. Some with a lot of salt   My eldest son likes licorice. I do, too   But without the salt for me, please. Here is Menno’s website   http://www.lecker-lakritz.de

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Above- The brochure listing all the varieties  And the  assortment I selected for Mark

Somewhere in the archives I have photos of my sister eating a licorice ice cream cone in Twisp Washington. And of course Menno has sold pure licorice powder to our favorite Berlin ice cream store, Kiez Eis, for licorice ice cream. You know I asked.

 

Rhubarb- Yes or No?

Another distinctive flavor. The cilantro responses were mixed as I figure rhubarb will be as well.

BUT even if you see the word rhubarb and declare you don’t like the taste of this mouth watering stalk, that’s only because you didn’t stop in Kiez Eis https://kiezeis.de/ yesterday afternoon.

Oh my.   It was absolutely the taste of perfect childhood summer captured on top of an ice cream cone.  Next time I will taste a sample of the Spargel (asparagus) Ice cream and report back.

Rhubard   Yes or no?

(Just don’t eat the leaves) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhubarb

‘Tis the Season

’Tis the season.  Strawberry season. These look good AND taste wonderful. We all know there are berries  that look impressive but disappoint when you bite into them. But not these.

These strawberries captured the taste of summer. Totally!

Unadorned, they were perfection.

(and when I went to look up strawberry I read that “in the botanical world technically they are not considered a true berry” who knew?

“The strawberry is not, from a botanical point of view, a berry. Technically, it is an aggregate accessory fruit, meaning that the fleshy part is derived not from the plant’s ovaries but from the receptacle that holds the ovaries.[4] Each apparent “seed” (achene) on the outside of the fruit is actually one of the ovaries of the flower, with a seed inside it.”[4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawberry

Cucina Vitale Dinner on the South Side

We finally made it for Saturday night dinner on the South Side.  We’d been meaning to go eat at Cucina Vitale ever since Vincie discovered this dining gem in a Post-Gazette article by Dan Gigler in late January.

Cucina Vitale 

White tablecloths, cut red roses in glass vases, excellent service, delicious food cooked to perfection and served expertly.

Our Antipasti started with black and green olives, Roasted red pepper hummus-like spread and garlic infused olive oil in which to dip the crusty bread. Every bite was delicious. A dish of Greens and creamy Beans was shared. There are no words! What other descriptor can I use besides DELICIOUS?

Followed by the soup of the day which was Tomato Bisque with Basil  (Traditional Wedding Soup is always on the menu)

The specials were Chilean Sea Bass and Lump Crabmeat with a Lemon Caper Compound Butter with sides of Broccoli Rabe and Roasted New Potatoes.

And I ordered the  Cheese Ravioli topped with Medallions in Gorgonzola Sauce with a drizzle of Balsamic.

Tempting house made desserts of Cannoli, Lemon Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake, Burnt Almond Torte or Tiramisu were offered but we hadn’t left enough room.There are a few things to know if you plan to go-

Reservations are essential. BYOB if you desire and it’s Cash Only.  


GREENS & BEANS                                                                                                                            Escarole, Northern Beans, Garlic, Shallots, White Wine, & Parmesan


The Chilean Sea Bass with Lump Crabmeat and Lemon Caper Compound Butter

The Tomato Basil Soup with a touch of Parmesan


Chef Frank Vitale learned to cook from his Grandmother, in the photo on the restaurant wall.

Shot from across the street as we got into the car.

 

Chef Sam Cooking Class with Lentil Cheeseburgers and Caesar Salad

Chef Sam cooks a Lentil Cheeseburger recipe with a Roasted Red Pepper sauce and prepares a Caesar Salad during Cooking Class. He told how he sterilized the eggs for the dressing, gently lowering them into boiling water for five minutes. Safety was emphasized.  Lentils, mushrooms, beets, carrot, onions and garlic were a few of the main ingredients.  Miso paste helped hold it together.  There were ten participants and we all enjoyed the delicious meal at the end of the class.

The class was held Wednesday afternoon at The Stephen Foster Community Center on 286 Main Street, located next to the Lawrenceville Branch of the Carnegie Library. The center is housed in an 1865 brick building now on the National Historic Register. The center offers fitness classes such as Cardio Strength and Flexibility, Tai Chi, Yoga, Soul Line Dancing, and Practical Meditation in addition to craft and  other recreational activities.

Next cooking class with Chef Sam is May 29 at 12:30. $4 is the cost of the class.

 

 Thank you Chef Sam for a great class and delicious meal

Allegheny County senior citizens can eat lunch for a modest donation of a dollar but should register by calling the Community Center office by noon the day before at 412-350-5460.   Contact Allegheny County Seniorline 412-350-5460 for eligibility, if you need a Home Delivered Meal.

Look What Steve Bought at Bloomfield Groceria

We were sad when a local neighborhood business on Cedarville Street, Groceria Italiana, closed their doors last summer..

But here’s the good news!

It  has recently reopened as Bloomfield Groceria.  It’s really close to Steve’s work so he picked up this wonderful ravioli and brought it home.

We are thrilled they are in business under new proprietors.

Especially after tonight’s dinner of their delicious Spinach and Cheese Ravioli. I sautéed baby spinach- you can see it peeking out underneath.

And I grated some fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. I asked Steve if he could  to pick up mushroom ravioli for dinner next week.

Here’s an Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article written by Bob Batz, Jr., about the new Bloomfield Groceria  

https://www.post-gazette.com/local/neighborhood/2019/03/25/Bloomfield-Groceria-Italiana-Italian-grocery-store-Cedarville-Little-Italy-opens/stories/201808050006