If you’re having a dinner party, it’s easy once the cool weather sets in. you braise something. It’s cooking for dummies, and you can even do it the day before if you have stage fright (hi). But what do you have next to those short ribs or that pork shoulder? Romanesco looks fancy and exotic but it’s basically the beautiful, mellow version of cauliflower, with pointy, dense, alien-like flowers that don’t fall apart when you sauté or steam them. You’re welcome.
Also at the market right now are Concord grapes, squash galore, all kinds of peppers, potatoes, a surprising number of heirloom tomatoes hanging on for dear life, and of course apples. This fall I am going to make an effort to branch out in this department. Samascott Orchards has an alarming variety. I started with an Ida Red, my kind of apple. It was big and picture perfect, super crunchy, and a tad tart. I can’t abide by mealy, people.
Tomato season, of course, peaked last month, but we could be positive and say we have just entered green tomato season. They are slightly tangy and crunchy, and if you can get my mom to make you some green tomato chutney, you’ll really love it. Well, you could also make it yourself. Her’s is a version of a Michael Romano recipe (from Second Helpings), which has lime, red onion, mustard seeds, cardamom, and curry leaves.