On Your Table: Tomatoes are the bright star in your summer salad

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Tomato Salad with Cucumbers and Shiraz Dressing Tomato season is upon us and that means we’re about to see our favorite fruit in a whole plethora of shades, shapes and sizes. Sure, these days you can find tomatoes at the grocery store year round. But those perfectly round, usually bland, tomatoes have been genetically modified over the years to...

On Your Table: Get the most from local farmers’ markets

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times One of the joys of shopping at farmers markets is picking out your own produce. As farmers market season kicks off again I am excited to reconnect with the farmers whose produce graces my summer dinners. A trip to one of these markets can yield nearly all that’s needed to make a spring dinner – fresh vegetables, local meats, tender herbs and...

On Your Table: Celebrate Cinco De Mayo with Mexican and Italian flare

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Mushrooms are the star in these Italian style enchiladas. Cinco de Mayo is a significant Mexican celebration, originating as a commemoration of the defeat of Napoleon III in 1862 when Mexican soldiers, greatly outnumbered and poorly armed, prevailed versus the forces of France.  In honor of that holiday, many folks plan a Cinco de Mayo fiesta with...

On Your Table: Lighten up and deconstruct

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Lightening up familiar favorite dishes is a great way to please the family while serving healthier dishes. If the recent spate of springtime weather (this week’s crazy winter weather notwithstanding) has started you thinking about summertime and bathing suits, now is the time to start lightening up food choices. And, by the way, this doesn’t...

On Your Table: Gumbo is for Mardi Gras

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Mardi Gras, the New Orleans celebration of Fat Tuesday which is marked by eating, drinking and parading. The raucous event preceding the start of Lent will soon be upon us. Let’s face it, Mardi Gras is an excuse to party, or at least host friends over for a festive dinner. And gumbo in its many variations is at the heart of Mardi Gras celebrations. So...

Last-minute Valentine’s Day desserts

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times A little chocolate can go a long way to saying “I love you” to your sweetie on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s day is upon us but don’t stress out. Making the day special can be as easy or as elaborate as you’d like to make it. Simple seems best as the clock is ticking down. And last minute dishes can be just as delightful as...

On Your Table: You carved ’em, now cook those pumpkins

And it’s time to go beyond just pie By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Carved pumpkins from the Chadds Ford October Great Pumpkin Carve donated by H.G. Haskell of SIW Vegetables on Route 100. Pumpkins make for many a sweet treat like pies and other baked goods this time of year considering the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, but they have many other benefits.   They are loaded...

On Your Table: Take corn beyond the cobb

Try pasta with a creamy corn sauce and summer vegetables By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Enjoy corn pureed and used as a sauce over pasta dressed with fresh summer vegetables. The saying goes that corn should be “knee high by the fourth of July”. Well this year’s crop certainly has surpassed that standard here in the midst of August. Today, driving down a rolling country...

On Your Table: Summer produce in its glory

Fresh, local corn, tomatoes, peppers and more are a delight ByCathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times It’s all fresh, local and delicious! This is the peak season for locally grown produce. We’ve been enjoying the summer produce season for weeks already, but it’s right now – when July has melted its way into August that the summer harvest is at its peak. Corn is coming...

On Your Table: It’s Grilling Season

Summer is here, so is delicious flavor By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Grilled fruits combined with vegetables add smokiness and sweetness to summer salsas. In late June it’s already high summer, so get ready to get cooking with fire – grilling that is. Grilling brings out the best in the usual roster of meats, fish and vegetables. After a stint on the grill they emerge flame-licked...