A few weeks ago, we were leaving our friend’s apartment and she offered us a few springs of fresh oregano from her garden. Obviously, I accepted. Ever since I started my little indoor herb garden, I am convinced that there is nothing more convenient and delicious than having whatever amount of fresh herbs that you need at the ready. I never grew oregano though. I didn’t think I would use it often enough to merit it a spot on my small herb table. I was very pleased to leave with my little gift and made sure to stick the sprigs in a small cup of water in the fridge to stay fresh while I decided what to do with it. That night, I went to the store to buy the reddest tomatoes, crispest cucumbers and the best goat’s feta (which we are now completely obsessed with) that I could find. If I didn’t live with an olive hater, I would have grabbed some of those too. With all of those lovely, summery ingredients, I made a simple Greek salad. It was so good that it has become a weekly staple for us ever since, which is saying something because that rarely happens around here.
Part of me can’t bear to do anything other than shove my face with fresh, raw fruit now that everything is in the markets. I love berries a lot but if you made me choose, I think stone fruit would be my favorite. Especially peaches and nectarines. There is probably nothing better than a juicy, sun-warmed peach that pulls perfectly away from the pit. I am so grateful they are back. However, I couldn’t get the idea of poaching peaches in their own juice out of my head. I was watching Masterchef Australia (hooray! I still can’t get enough of that show…) the other day and one of the contestants cooked carrots in their own juice. I thought this was a pretty brilliant idea but because I am not such a fan of cooked carrots (although I am tempted to try them like this! I will report back) I decided that peaches would be a great way to try this intriguing technique. And so, I decided that poached peaches and cream was a very acceptable way to use my beautiful raw peaches.
When I have a half-meal (think: a hearty salad, a nice soup, or a simple noodle dish) a soft boiled egg on top usually makes it feel more complete. The egg adds something to really chew on and the yolk provides an amazing sauce-like addition. I always make the egg simply topped with some salt and pepper. But, I was recently watching the new season of Masterchef Australia and saw one of the contestants make a soft boiled egg covered in spices. I instantly wrote the idea down on my to-make list. Why can’t every bite of the egg include a burst of flavour? The possibilities in my mind were endless: crushed nuts, herbs, spices.
As much as I love experimenting in the kitchen, sometimes you just need to eat. Fast. However, more often than not, I still want a nice warm meal that I won’t regret 10 minutes after eating it. The other night was a night just like that one and I went through my mental account of what we had in the fridge. Leeks. Carrots. Cherry Tomatoes. Tofu. I started trying to put together a meal in my mind, when I thought, forget it, a bowl of pasta is all that I want. For some reason, I always feel like pasta is a cop out. Before I took my interest in cooking seriously, pasta was on the menu easily 4 times a week. It is warm, comforting, filling and easy. But, I think I have to get over it, because sometimes pasta is just the right thing.