Fregola is an Italian rolled pasta similar to Israeli couscous, and it’s wonderfully toothsome in this summer salad. Think of it as a new twist on old-school pasta salad. If you can’t find fregola (or wanted to go gluten free), millet would be a great substitute. Top with a few chunks of good quality tuna packed in olive oil (unless you want to keep it vegan) and you’ve got a nice, hearty, nourishing meal.
I love these fudgy, black bean brownies, which I originally found here on Minimalist Baker, for many reasons. For one, all you do is blam a few ingredients in the food processor, spoon the batter into a mini muffin tin and bake (now that’s my kind of baking recipe). For another, the whole baking-brownies-in-a-mini-muffin pan thing is genius–no breakage, no muss, no fuss, and they’re cute to boot. And yet another, they’re made with black beans in lieu of flour. There’s all kinds of fiber and goodness in this gluten-free brownie recipe, and yet all you’re going to hear on the receiving end is “man, these are AWESOME.”
The combo of strawberry and rhubarb always makes me think of my Mom. Her strawberry-rhubarb pie would grace the table each spring as surely as tulips would burst from the ground. When I was a child, I turned my nose up at it for being so tart. By the time I grew up and learned to actually like it, it had become to me like a painting that’s hung on the same wall in the same place for twenty years–I didn’t pay it much attention.
I first made this crostata four years ago as my own spin on mom’s traditional pie. A year and a half later, in the dead of winter, mom had a massive stroke. There were no pies on the table that spring, and there never will be by her hand again. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t kicking myself just a little now, wishing I’d appreciated her version more while it lasted.
But those if-only’s only sour the present moment, which is quite sweet when I choose to see it as such. Whereas in the past, Mother’s Day meant a card and a gift exchanged across the country, now Mom–and Dad–live right here in Healdsburg. For the second year in a row, we get to celebrate with three generations of mothers and daughters in my family, and I can finally ask mom for her recipe … while serving her my Strawberry-Rhubarb Crostata.
At the risk of sounding a whole lot like Forrest Gump, life is like rhubarb and strawberry. A little bit sour, a little bit sweet, each one intensifying the properties of the other. There’s balance there, and both need to be tasted in order to embrace the full pleasure of the whole.