Do you really know what a GMO, or Genetically Modified Organism, is? I didn’t. At least not in the way the Non-GMO Project laid it out in a short film I saw last week. Sure, I had been paying attention to the recent protests over the potential and probable introduction of genetically modified salmon into our food system. I knew I didn’t like it, but why specifically?
This is the exact problem that the Non-GMO Project addresses. The biggest issue with fighting genetically modified food is that 1) people don’t really know what it is and what its effects are and 2) even if people are opposed to a GMO, they probably just ate it for breakfast.
I can’t be around sage leaves without manhandling them. Rubbing a few suede-like leaves between my fingers is like my own personal herbal perfume for the day. Fresh basil in the summer; smokey thyme in the fall; piney rosemary in the winter. Fresh herbs make me want to cook, including in the raw, like ripe summer tomatoes with a sprinkling of mint, basil, or chives; a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a splash of vinegar or spritz of lemon, and a little sea salt. Add a tear of crusty bread. Done: perfect summer snack. Here, 20 recipes to inspire you with fresh herbs.
Here I was on a mailing list for the last year for a farm dinner outside of Portland, Oregon, and I had neglected to look in my own backyard (don’t tell the locavore police). It was my Pilates teacher—between administering punishing sets of stretching (I am officially not flexible)—who told me about a farm dinner happening outside San Diego at Sage Mountain Farm, known for its sustainable and organic produce.
It happens to all of us. You’ve been running around all day and suddenly you’re starved. So starved that you could take down a bag of potato chips, eat a frozen pizza, or—say it ain’t so—find yourself rationalizing a fast food drive-thru. There’s no time to cook—you’d eat a dish towel before the food is ready. Drop that towel. Here, 10 of my favorite snacks that can be made in minutes. (Remember: these are best achieved by always keeping certain products on hand in the pantry and refrigerator.)
Everyone I talk to loves Amy Pennington. The Seattle-based urban gardener, author of the new Urban Pantry: Tips & Recipes from a Thrifty, Sustainable & Seasonal Kitchen, was kind enough to meet with me one day in a Seattle pizzeria. Keep in mind I was a total stranger asking her for advice on my next-day meeting with renowned chef, Tom Douglas, who she used to work with and who now features her regularly as a contributor to his weekly radio show.
My interest in Italy was first sparked by the movie The Godfather. Part I, of course. When Mike meets with Salozzo and police commissioner McClusky in an empty Italian trattoria with plans to kill them both, Salozzo turns to the police commissioner and says, “I’m going to talk to Mike in Italian for a moment.” I leaned in at what I thought would be a pivotal moment—the raunchy underbelly of the movie, the secrets among blood brothers. They spoke, and there were no subtitles. No subtitles! I was crestfallen. I had probably missed the most critical part because I lived a squalid English-speaking existence. I resolved to learn the language and see the movie again, only to find out what he said had just been filler. Why I oughta…
So I fell for it. The Olive Press, in Sonoma and Napa, challenged food writers to use four of its extra virgin olive oils in a four-course meal, and there it went: my competitive inner child reared its head. We’re taking this all the way to the end zone. (Sorry, is my football hem showing? Growing up in the Midwest reduces everyday activities to sports clichés, like “That’s gonna leave a mark” and “I’ll have a Leinenkugel’s.”)
This course was inspired by a recent visit to San Francisco’s SPQR restaurant.
I chose the Olive Press Mission extra virgin olive oil (medium fruit) because it lends
a substantial olive flavor without overpowering the delicate fennel; and the apple undertone in the oil marries nicely with the apple slices in the salad.