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Cucumber SaladCucumber SaladCucumber SaladCucumber SaladCucumber Salad

It’s hard to believe that in less than a week I leave for Alaska. A few months ago, I was approached by the Copper River salmon fishery to join them on a trip to Cordova, Alaska. The idea of being on a boat with fishermen, to watch them catch salmon and then eat it fresh… well, there’s nothing that could bring me more joy.  I envision myself on the deck of this vessel, hands open, awaiting a slice of sashimi. Ok, maybe I’m getting carried away. It most likely won’t go exactly as I imagine (a boy can dream, though, right?), but I’m fairly certain that I’ll eat the freshest fish I’ve ever consumed.

I’m also thrilled to be away from the 90+ degree weather we’ve had here. I swore I wouldn’t complain about the heat, but, what can I say, this is what us Bostonians do. We can’t help but talk about the temperature, except between April and May (when we whine about the rain) and September and October. Right now it looks to be in the 60s while I’m in Cordova. Which sounds perfect to me!

I refuse to turn on the oven when it’s above 80 degrees and, therefore, we’ve been eating a lot of salads. Not lettuce-laden salads, but hearty salads loaded with grilled fish and hard-boiled eggs and cheese.  This pickled cucumber salad often makes its way onto the plate. It does the trick in cooling things down: the combination of thinly sliced cucumbers, fresh herbs and vinegar helps cut the heat and humidity in just a few bites.

Cucumber Salad

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  • TieghanJuly 9, 2014 - 8:55 am

    This looks so refreshing and is perfect for these hot July days!ReplyCancel

  • ToddJuly 9, 2014 - 12:14 pm

    That Alaska trip sounds like a dream. I can’t wait to hear all about it!! A refreshing cucumber salad has always been one of my favorites. Cheers Brian!!ReplyCancel

  • EileenJuly 9, 2014 - 3:05 pm

    This salad sounds so refreshing! Definitely perfect for the first summer cucumbers. :)ReplyCancel

  • Anne Thurman-TateJuly 9, 2014 - 7:52 pm

    Brian, your photography always showcases the food so beautifully, no matter what it is.
    A version of this salad has been gracing my family’s summer table for at least three generations. But no one else I know seems to make it, so I loved seeing this post! Ours has white onions added (sometimes my mom also adds green pepper) and an alternate version includes sour cream (this is the recipe we make most often). We love it so much that we make big batches and plan for leftovers because it tastes so much better the next day. I’ve never thought of putting it on green salad, but now it’s all I can think about. I’m definitely going to try it!ReplyCancel

  • Thalia @ butter and briocheJuly 9, 2014 - 10:16 pm

    what a great recipe… so refreshing and light. definitely will be recreating it. thanks for the inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • Sylvie | Gourmande in the KitchenJuly 9, 2014 - 10:17 pm

    I’m the same way when it gets hot, I just want to eat fresh salads all summer long.ReplyCancel

  • MonetJuly 10, 2014 - 12:09 am

    Gorgeous. Only you could make cucumber salad look so sexy! I have also been complaining about the heat (which really isn’t fair since I live in Colorado). We’ll be trying this cool pickled salad soon.ReplyCancel

  • TidyMomJuly 10, 2014 - 7:51 am

    oh this looks and sounds fabulous! I’m a huge fan of cucumber salads!ReplyCancel

  • MarciaJuly 10, 2014 - 4:57 pm

    I am so stopping for cucumbers on my way home tonight! That looks so perfect for these hot NYC nights! And beautiful photographs.
    Enjoy your trip – sounds amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Copper River SalmonJuly 11, 2014 - 12:38 am

    That cucumber salad looks delicious and so refreshing. We are very much looking forward to having you here soon in Cordova! ReplyCancel

  • JoanneJuly 11, 2014 - 7:22 am

    Oh my gosh, ALASKA?! That is awesome! You are going to have so much fun! I can’t wait to see tons of photos.

    And how did you know I have about 5,000 cukes in my fridge? This salad is HAPPENING.ReplyCancel

  • Jen @ My KItchen AddictionJuly 11, 2014 - 3:07 pm

    I just decided to make a cucumber salad for dinner tonight and was looking for a recipe when I remembered you had just posted this a few days ago. Perfect! I’m taking dinner over to a friend’s house, and I think this will be perfectly refreshing. I might sub in some basil for the dill since we’re having it with roasted veggie pizza.ReplyCancel

  • Marnely Rodriguez-MurrayJuly 12, 2014 - 11:16 pm

    Oh Alaska sounds amazing right about now…and the salad looks gorgeous, but I have yet to start liking cucumbers. Maybe when I turn 40 I’ll love them, but for now – more for you! ;)ReplyCancel

  • DeniseJuly 13, 2014 - 10:59 pm

    We have totally been digging on cucumber salads this summer as well. Aren’t they the best? I haven’t tried pickling my cucumber salads as of yet but now am intrigued, especially with a little mint added in. Have fun in Alaska – sounds like an amazing trip. Even though I am a girl, I’d love to be on that boat hauling in salmon!ReplyCancel

  • BethJuly 14, 2014 - 12:47 am

    This was delicious and refreshing! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful and easy-to-make recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Brandon @ Kitchen KonfidenceJuly 16, 2014 - 4:14 pm

    Beautiful photography here! Makes me want to dive right in to this salad.ReplyCancel

  • ShainaJuly 24, 2014 - 11:51 am

    We do this, but without the mint. Clearly that is a mistake, as the mint sounds delightful. Your Alaska photos on Instagram were amazing. I can’t wait to see more.ReplyCancel

Blackened Scallops with Grilled Romaine + Citrus SaladBlackened Scallops with Grilled Romaine + Citrus Salad

One of the major differences between our old place and the new house is that we no longer have central A/C. So far, we’ve done pretty well… making sure to open all the windows at the end of the day as the temp cools and then closing them first thing in the morning. At this point, we do our best to avoid cooking indoors. It’s hard to fathom turning on the oven when you’re already sweating buckets.

Eric is usually the grill-master in our house, but once in a while, usually when I have a project that necessitates it, I’ll get the thing going. Earlier this year, I was contacted by Frontier Natural Products Co-op to do some recipe development and photography for their “Grill the Goodness” campaign featuring their line of organic seafood seasonings. Since we’re fully into grilling season, I hope you all enjoy these recipes. I’m fond of all of them, but these scallops, paired with a bright citrus, grilled romaine and avocado salad, is something I could eat every day and never get tired of it.

Once you make this, be sure to check out the other two recipes, Ginger and Honey Glazed Salmon and Grilled Blackened Shrimp, over at the Frontier website.

Blackened Scallops with Grilled Romaine + Citrus Salad

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  • FoodNerdJuly 2, 2014 - 4:57 am

    Those scallops look incredible. I love Summer with all the fresh fish on offer. I must give this a go!

    FoodNerd x


  • Liz @ The Lemon BowlJuly 2, 2014 - 8:51 am

    Even though there isn’t a drop of lemon juice in this recipe, I want to lick the plate. ;-)ReplyCancel

  • TieghanJuly 2, 2014 - 9:20 am

    I love blackened anything and this look so awesome!ReplyCancel

  • MonetJuly 2, 2014 - 11:59 pm

    So lovely and fresh. Scallops are just meant for summer and the grill. And of course, they’re also meant for a talented photographer like you. So pretty to capture! So delicious to eat! Thank you for sharing Brian!ReplyCancel

  • JoanneJuly 3, 2014 - 8:37 am

    We have been turning on the A/C nonstop and I’m not sure how I could live without it! However, I never seemed to need it when I lived in Boston. I am pining a bit for a grill and these gorgeous scallops are not helping! :PReplyCancel

  • francescaJuly 3, 2014 - 10:54 am

    The first thing I did when I read you have no central AC is checked to see WHERE YOU ARE. But doesn’t Boston get terribly humid!? We don’t have it either but it basically rains 300 days a year in Holland :)
    Love that you guys incorporated tart citrus here. CheersReplyCancel

  • […] blackened scallops with grilled romaine. […]ReplyCancel

  • Averie @ Averie CooksJuly 5, 2014 - 1:30 pm

    Brian your images are always just drop dead stunning, crisp, clear, gorgeous! Pinned!ReplyCancel

  • Millie l Add A LittleJuly 6, 2014 - 3:25 am

    This looks seriously amazing! That salad looks so perfect for summer too!

  • Nancy LongJuly 6, 2014 - 1:19 pm

    yum, love scallops!ReplyCancel

  • MarciaJuly 7, 2014 - 11:43 am

    Brian, that looks so fresh & delicious! I have to make that very soon….
    The other grilled recipes too. Just gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - A Cookie Named DesireJuly 8, 2014 - 10:49 am

    Blackened scallops are the best. They really are. And the salad is a wonderful accompaniment This plate looks like absolute perfection.ReplyCancel

  • […] and some other spice I was all like “sold.”  I also cannot stop thinking about these Blackened Scallops from one of my favorite bloggers.  It makes me want to make scallops which I literally have made […]ReplyCancel

  • DeniseJuly 16, 2014 - 9:55 am

    Brian, these scallops are perfect. Just the way I like them, golden brown on the outside. I am not a fan of scallops usually unless they are larger, and cooked this way. Great recipe!!ReplyCancel

  • LirenJuly 31, 2014 - 5:19 pm

    Brian, this is so enticing on so many levels. First off, how beautiful! Secondly, I adore scallops, especially since it cooks so very quickly. And lastly, those bright flavors from the citrus salad makes so much sense. I would love this for dinner any night.ReplyCancel

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  • KristenJune 29, 2014 - 1:29 pm

    I cannot wait to head to your neck of the woods in a few weeks. Your Silent Sunday posts make me especially excited! Love this.ReplyCancel

  • LirenJuly 1, 2014 - 2:00 pm

    I love your Silent Sundays, Brian. You always manage to capture the essence of time and place (and taste) so eloquently. Now I want a lobster roll :)ReplyCancel

  • Ami@NaiveCookCooksJuly 1, 2014 - 3:37 pm

    Thanks for writing such a wonderful and interesting post!ReplyCancel

Radish, Cherry + Goat Cheese Salad

We went back and forth on what we wanted to do for our fifth wedding anniversary. At one point we had talked about taking a little weekend trip somewhere within driving distance.  As we discussed it further, the more it seemed like the wrong time for us to be going away and that it’d be so much more enjoyable to stay local. That’s when we decided to instead make reservations at Oleana. We’ve been to most of the big dining establishments here, but Oleana was still one that we hadn’t been to. Based on the reaction I got when I mentioned this to my food-loving friends, the fact that we hadn’t dined there was a real shame. Going in, our expectations were exceedingly high and because of that there was a very strong possibility that we’d leave disappointed. “Well, the food was decent, but the service was terrible” or “I can’t believe they would pair that with that! Gross!” Nope. None of that. The service was friendly and attentive and the patio area of the restaurant was the most romantic environment to celebrate an anniversary. The food was all executed beautifully: Buratta and fried eggplant. Octopus shish, Egyptian garlic sauce, sprouted lentils & fresh chickpeas. Spinach falafel, tahini sauce, beet yogurt & cress. Baby farm greens, pistachio freekah, cherries, homemade string cheese. Ok, I’ll stop.

It was a special treat to go out for a few meals this weekend after doing a lot of cooking these last couple of weeks. I’ve been so inspired by all the produce that’s graced the markets. I often just go to the store with no idea what I want (which can sometimes be a dangerous thing). I’ll grab three or four items, developing a dish on the spot. And that’s how this salad came to be. Certainly not traditional, but it works. A bit of a bite from the radish, sweetness from cherries, and a little tang from the goat cheese make this a lunch I plan on coming back to.

Radish, Cherry + Goat Cheese SaladRadish, Cherry + Goat Cheese SaladRadish, Cherry + Goat Cheese SaladRadish, Cherry + Goat Cheese Salad

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  • brandiJune 25, 2014 - 8:26 am

    1. Happy anniversary!!

    2. This salad looks perfect. And I think I have everything at home! It will probably be dinner tonight :)ReplyCancel

  • Liz @ The Lemon BowlJune 25, 2014 - 9:43 am

    I love cooking this time of year too. It’s so easy and so inspiring. Beautiful photographs as always.ReplyCancel

  • TieghanJune 25, 2014 - 11:09 am

    I agree! Cooking this time of year is so awesome. Love the salad and happy anniversary!ReplyCancel

  • naomiJune 25, 2014 - 1:40 pm

    Happy anniversary! Glad your dinner turned out well. As for the salad – delicious. And Im with you if I go to the market without a plan –it’s a dangerous thing, not to mention expensive :)ReplyCancel

  • EileenJune 25, 2014 - 7:19 pm

    Such a beautiful seasonal salad! Now all I have to do is not eat all the cherries before dinnertime… :)ReplyCancel

  • FrancescaJune 26, 2014 - 3:04 am

    I love all the flavor combinations you have here, from radish to red cherry. Oh yea, and happy 5 year anniversary!!ReplyCancel

  • bev @ bevcooksJune 26, 2014 - 1:11 pm

    I can’t even stand how much I LOVETHIS.ReplyCancel

  • Joshua HamptonJune 26, 2014 - 9:51 pm

    Happy anniversary. This salad looks wonderful. Love the colors.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - A Cookie Named DesireJuly 1, 2014 - 2:36 pm

    This looks great. I usually have trouble eating goat cheese… I mean, I can eat it in some things, but other times, I can’t go near it!

    Happy anniversary!ReplyCancel

Photos from Improper Bostonian Summer Dining Article - A Thought For Food

Summer is most certainly here. No doubt about it. All I’m craving right now are things that don’t involve the stove.

I recently photographed this spread of raw dishes from local restaurants for our alternative magazine, the Improper Bostonian. I wish I could take credit for the beauty of these images, but all of that goes to the talented chefs who prepared them: Will Gilson of Puritan (vegetable crudités), Rachel Klein of Liquid Art House (hamachi), Robert Sisca of Bistro du Midi (lamb tartar), Todd Winer of Pastoral (albacore crudo), Cassie Piuma of Sarma (Tunisian steak tartar), Leo Asaro of Tico (razor clam ceviche).

Click here to read the full article, “Raw Beauty”.

Photos from Improper Bostonian Summer Dining Article - A Thought For Food

Photos from Improper Bostonian Summer Dining Article - A Thought For FoodPhotos from Improper Bostonian Summer Dining Article - A Thought For Food

Photos from Improper Bostonian Summer Dining Article - A Thought For Food

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  • Millie l Add A LittleJune 20, 2014 - 3:35 am

    Such a beautiful selection of photos, seriously all that food looks delicious!

  • NaomiJune 20, 2014 - 8:21 am

    This dishes are incredible looking! Of course they are so beautifully shot as well. Not to mention they look utterly devour-able!ReplyCancel

  • MonetJune 21, 2014 - 12:14 am

    Your outtakes are beautiful. Serious skills in this kitchen…and behind this camera :-)ReplyCancel

  • Alessandra // the foodie teenJune 24, 2014 - 2:22 pm

    Absolutely stunning photography as always! Everything looks delicious!ReplyCancel

  • amberJune 25, 2014 - 8:54 am

    Wow. These are so amazing! I’ve never looked at the Improper Bostonian, but what a beautiful selection of photographs! I love the little details. Such beautiful aesthetic. Thank you for sharing these with us!

    Lovely blog, as well :)ReplyCancel