Nourishing Midwinter Inspiration from a Local Icon

During the winter it becomes more challenging to eat local. My stock of frozen tomatoes, garlic scapes, peppers and berries from the summer is dwindling. I’ve got a couple of Restoration Farm cheese pumpkins left, 30 garlic bulbs peeping up through the frozen earth in the backyard and a lot of good intentions for canning next summer and growing more kale and chard into the late fall.

sun dried tomato dip in a bowl

In the meantime, however, I am diving into local cuisine the bookworm way, by exploring a new-for-me cookbook, Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (Clarkson Potter/Publishers 1999). A Christmas gift from my godson, it reveals the secrets to many favorites from her iconic East Hampton specialty food store. The instructions are quite simple, the ingredients are not (in general) outlandish and the photos by Melanie Acevedo are mouth-watering. All in all, it reminds me of how easy-breezy Long Island entertaining can and should b; I will be keeping it close at hand as I prepare for the Super Bowl and a few other events coming up before spring lettuces.

cover of the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

For my lightened adaptation of Ina Garten’s top-selling Sun-Dried Tomato Dip visit Hot, Cheap & Easy.