- to relish, to taste, to savor.
I distinctly remember the first issue of Saveur magazine I ever received. It came in the mail sometime during the winter of 2010 – the subscription a gift from my “fairy” godmother – and I plucked it from the pile immediately, making my way to the couch on which I remained firmly planted until I’d fully digested each and every page. Little Women might very well be the only other thing I’ve done that with. I drank up that magazine’s contents from first page to last before it even had time to lose its new smell.
If you look to the right of this post, or maybe scroll to the very bottom of the page if you are reading this on your phone, you will see that I am a finalist in the 2016 Saveur Blog Awards in the category of “Best New Voice,” a fact around which I am still trying to wrap my head. To food bloggers, this is a wonderfully exciting honor and an incredible opportunity for our sites to grow and expand in myriad ways. If you click on it, the image will take you to a voting page where you can cast your vote(s) for bloggers around the world who have been selected as finalists in a variety of categories, chosen by the editors of Saveur magazine. Me and five other wonderfully talented bloggers are in the running for the award that goes to “the best new food blog of 2015 and 2016,” (there will be a reader’s choice winner and an editor’s choice winner), and if you have a minute, I’d very much appreciate your vote! Also, if you nominated Harvest and Honey during the nomination phase last month, then I am so, so very grateful. Thank you! My little blog has been slowly but steadily growing over the past (almost) two years and to be selected as a finalist is beyond amazing to me. Cheezy and canned as it may sound, I sort of feel like I’ve already won.
And so, I will fly to New York City late next month – Brooklyn to be exact – and join all of the other finalists, people whose work I have admired for years coming from all over the world to celebrate together. To say I’m excited is an understatement and, win or lose, you can be sure that I will report back here with stories and the full lowdown on the event.
I feel like a kid at Christmas.
It has been quite the summer for me, to say the least. My family and I packed up and moved from our home outside Washington D.C. back into our house in Indianapolis and have been adjusting to yet another transition. We’ve moved a lot over the past ten years and, while exciting in many ways, it’s also a little grueling in others. I love Indy though, and am looking forward to the years we have ahead of us in this wonderfully friendly city. The Saveur nomination came about a month ago, blowing new life into my sails in a way that I didn’t even know I needed, but am so grateful for. So, in a break from my regularly scheduled storytelling, I wanted to update you guys on the Saveur nomination and explain just a little bit about what it means. It doesn’t mean, however, that I’m going to leave you without a recipe – three this time, actually. These recipes are simple, easy ways to get great use out of some of summer’s finest produce. The black-eyed pea hummus and summer squash butter are healthy, fresh accompaniments to a summer crudite’ platter, and the salty coconut cream grilled corn is completely wonderful – I’ve been making it every day, I kid you not. It’s sort of a non-recipe though; so simple you could practically do it in your sleep.
Golden Summer Squash and Caramelized Onion Butter
1/2 Vidalia onion, sliced (any sweet onion will work)
1 tablespoon butter, plus extra if needed
1 zucchini or yellow squash, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ rounds (use two squash if they’re smaller, one if you get a really big one)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the sliced onion in the butter until very golden brown and caramelized, adding more butter if things start to dry out (takes about 20 – 25 minutes). Transfer to a food processor. Add the sliced squash to the same pan in which you cooked the onions, and add the olive oil and turmeric. Sauté the squash until soft and cooked through, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper (takes about 8 – 10 minutes).
Transfer the squash to the food processor along with the onions and blend until totally smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed. If necessary, you can add a little extra olive oil to thin out the mixture (or coconut oil, coconut milk, water, almond milk, stock … whatever you like), but it usually reaches a great, smooth yet thick consistency with no extra help. Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy.
Smokey Black-Eyed Pea Hummus
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup tahini
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 (15.8-oz) cans black-eyed peas, drained
Olive oil and sweet paprika for garnish (optional)
Process the garlic in the food processor until it is finely minced, about 3 – 5 seconds. Add the lemon juice and the next 6 ingredients and process until completely smooth and creamy. Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl and drizzle on some extra olive oil and a sprinkling of sweet paprika (all optional). Serve with pita chips/wedges or fresh veggies for dipping.
Salty Coconut Cream Grilled Corn
This corn. This is an idea that I plucked right from the menu of the popular Portland, OR (and beyond) Thai restaurant, Pok Pok. The sweet/salty coconut cream is incredibly delicious on the charred corn, the smoky charred flavors of the corn complimenting the sweetness of the coconut cream so, so nicely. A sprinkling of cilantro and a squeeze of lime, and you’re good to go. I could eat this every day, and probably will until corn season is no longer upon us.
INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
4 ears fresh corn, shucked and cleaned
7 oz coconut cream (such as Coco Lopez)
1 heaping tsp Kosher salt
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
Heat a grill pan to medium heat (or you can heat your gas grill and cook the corn outdoors, alternatively). Grill the corn on all sides, rotating after each side achieves lovely char marks (about 3 – 5 minutes per side).
Meanwhile, combine the coconut cream with the salt and taste for flavor. You want it to taste salty, as opposed to salted, so don’t be shy – you’re flavoring all of the corn with this.
Transfer the corn to a serving platter and brush liberally on all sides with the salty coconut cream. Top with cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice and serve right away.