Dana Slatkin

Roasted Salmon with Pickled Lemon Green Olive Relish

Pickled Lemons

The Farmgirl Kitchen has been humming this month, with a birthday party for 25, a party for NBC Universal execs, and lots of new recipe testing every day. It’s just how I like my kitchen -- warmed with delicious aromas and filled with good company. I love when my students share with me what they’ve been craving, inspiring me with fresh ideas and surprise tastes. To celebrate her birthday, one of my favorite Farmgirl regulars suggested I teach her friends how to make preserved lemons. I bought a couple different jars at a neighborhood gourmet shop and got to tasting. But the store-bought lemons had an off flavor to me, and I couldn’t find a way around the overpowering salt. So I flipped through some of my cookbooks for a homemade version, … [Read more...]

Basil Vinaigrette

Instead of planning a big trip this summer or sending our kids off to camp, my husband and I decided not to have any plans. We wanted each day to unfold organically. Expectations would be low. Our priorities were simply to be more spontaneous, enjoy each day to its fullest, and maximize our time together. I decided to take a similar approach in the kitchen. After all, we were lucky to be spending the summer in a small town, where the market was a ten-minute walk away and the farmers market spilled across our street every Saturday. There was no excuse not to improvise. At first, we alI drew blanks. The kids binged on TV; I came home with eight bags of groceries and had no idea what to make for dinner. All that freedom was intimidating. But … [Read more...]

Spice Rubbed Barbequed Tofu


During summer, if you’re not firing up your grill, you’re missing the party. It’s all happening where the heat is…the inviting smoke, the sweet and spicy aromas, the camaraderie around the barbeque. But if you don’t do meat — or are trying to minimize your animal consumption — there’s no reason to feel left out. A simple hunk of tofu is a protein-packed (approximately 20 grams per 8 ounces) meatless alternative for any cookout. My summer addiction to Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives inspired a classic down-home take on tofu. Choose the firm kind of tofu and make it organic (we don’t trust you, GMO’s). Slice the tofu into “steaks,” then raid your spice drawer and mix … [Read more...]

20 Ways to Love Your Chutney

Chutney 1

Every cuisine has its cherished sauces. But in Indian cooking, there are chutneys. The term refers to any condiment made of fresh herbs, fruits or vegetables, vinegar or citrus, and spices. Bright, sassy, and completely individual, chutneys can inspire even the sauciest of dishes. But, until last week, I didn’t realize how many ways there were to enjoy them.   Using two recipes my friend Supriya demonstrated in my Easy Indian class, I cooked up this list. The chutneys that follow require neither a stove nor excessive dishwashing. But you will need to procure a box of chat masala, a wonderfully tangy spice mixture that is essential for the unique complexity of each chutney. Roasting whole cumin seeds and grinding them yourself … [Read more...]

Spicy Tomato Chutney

Tomato Chutney

On a recent steamy evening, the kids and I decided to get out of the house for a quintessentially suburban cool down, or as my kids would call it, a mall crawl. After hitting every air-conditioned store that was still open, we headed to … [Read more...]

Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Oven-Dried Tomato

Last week, I received a wonderful care package from a friend of mine who lives in New Jersey — a gigantic box of tomatoes and peaches from her local farmers market. As women tend to do, my thoughtful friend had somehow read my mind and sent me just the answer to my cravings. As school and the ensuing frenzy begin, fresh juicy tomatoes and peaches are what I’ll miss when summer is behind us. But since I had just made a batch of gardeny gazpacho and festive Caprese Towers the night before, I pulled out this recipe from The Summertime Anytime Cookbook, one that I employ whenever there’s a surplus of tomatoes to keep from going to waste. Requiring just a few minutes to prepare and plenty of unmonitored oven time to spend … [Read more...]

Fresh Pumpkin Purée and Butter

Homemade Pumpkin Butter

One of my proudest farmgirl moments came a few weeks ago when I harvested sixteen robust, flaming-orange pumpkins from my front yard. Every Halloween, I would save a handful of pumpkin seeds from one of my children’s jack-o-lanterns, store them in a box, and plant them in the spring with high hopes. But I never managed to grow more than one lonely pumpkin until this year (thank you, global warming). Once my little trick-or-treaters have hung up their costumes this weekend, my pumpkins will beckon for another purpose. But this time, I am emotionally attached. I simply cannot just toss them into the bin of yard waste. So, in the days to come, I will be making fresh purée, destined for a spiced-up slather on toast, or Heidi Swanson’s … [Read more...]

Nectarine and Apricot Chutney

Nectarine and Apricot Chutney

Ahhh…the stone fruits of summer. Blushing nectarines, luscious peaches, fleshy apricots, jewel-hued plums — they are irresistible this time of year. So when the first August breeze signals fall’s imminent arrival, I start getting wistful at the thought of soon not seeing them on farmers market stands. Here’s a tasty way to preserve the fruits of summer, if you can manage to set aside enough for a jar or two. As a condiment, this chutney is sweet and tangy, bright and aromatic. The other night, I rubbed it right onto a side of wild salmon, forming a perfect bronzer when placed under the broiler. The fish charred up beautifully, the chutney adding fruity depth and a colorful accompaniment to the dish. This recipe … [Read more...]