Reprise: Something autumnal I whipped up one blazing hot 4th of July

on the kitchen sillSun-dried tomato tapenade and Crostini

Tossed green Salad

Black bean and bell pepper and corn Salad


Slow roasted, spice rubbed, garlic stuffed pork Shoulder

Mango Salsa

Olive oil cake with caramelized figs and Peaches

monkey on the kitchen sillOkay. If you’re looking closely at the background of the monkey picture you’ll see my hand reflected holding the iPhone – the shrub is not giving you the finger.

Recipes will be my typical a handful of this and cook until… but here goes.

Sun-dried tomato tapenade: so easy… Take a jar of olive oil packed sun-dried tomatoes and dump in blender with a handful of fresh basil and a peeled garlic clove, salt and pepper. Whiz it around – tapenade! The classic way to make this is to smear the crostini with goat cheese and put a dollop of tapenade on top. However, I have a friend coming over that equates the taste of goat cheese to “hooves”, so I’ll be serving the tapenade straight up. Instead of crostini you can use tortilla chips, or batons of sliced fennel (delicious).

Tossed green salad: you know how to make this.

Black bean, etc: blanch four to six ears of corn and cut the kernels off the cob with a very sharp knife and place in bowl with two cans of drained black beans, half a finely diced red onion, two chopped bell peppers, one garlic clove minced to a paste (do that by sprinkling the garlic clove with salt as you mince – it’ll kind of start to disintegrate). Toss with olive oil and the juice of one or two limes, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with whole toasted (technique: swirl around in cast iron frying pan for about thirty seconds) cumin seeds.

Roast Pork: the way to go – roast it low and slow – when it’s done you won’t be able to slice it because it’ll be falling apart – just whack it into chunks and serve with a bowl of lime wedges and salsa. Start with a 4-5 pound pork shoulder (serves 10-12). These usually come rolled. Unroll that sucker. Spread with a paste, inside and out, of cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil, and vinegar. Place as many garlic cloves (sliced) inside as you like, roll the roast back up and tie with kitchen twine. Place in a preheated 300 degree oven and cover the bottom of the roasting pan with water or orange juice. Roast 3-4 hours turning every hour and adding more liquid as it evaporates. You’ll know when it’s done because when you poke it, it will start to shred.

Mango salsa: Chop 4-6 mangoes. Dice the other half of your red onion. Chop up a handful of cilantro, or basil, or whatever fresh herb you like. Mince a roasted chipolte pepper (don’t bother roasting it yourself, it’s too hot out, just pick up one of those tiny cans at the grocery store) and add to taste – I usually go with one half of the pepper seeded, but if you like it spicy-hot leave in the seeds and use the whole thing. Squeeze in the juice of a lemon, stir all the ingredients together, let sit for half an hour in the refrigerator, you’re done!

I saw the recipe for dessert in Sunset Magazine:

Olive Oil Cake with Summer Fruit Recipe |

Campfire-Glazed Peaches and Figs Recipe |

Happy firecrackers and 4th of July!

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  1. George Kaplan
    July 3, 2013

    The recipe sounds lovely but the greatest thing is the fabulously strange green monkey with his cute pink head!
    The Fourth of July? What’s that? 😉 Bwahahahaha!
    Seriously, have a great one o colonial wonder! (winks)

    • July 3, 2013

      The green monkey… shall we call him George (?) is a lighter!

  2. Heather in Arles
    July 3, 2013

    Holy cow, Vickie! I have never enjoyed the 4th and it is the only holiday (meloves holidays) that I was happy to leave behind…howeverrrr, if I was invited to partake in such finery, I would be all smiles. Promise. 🙂 See? Like that.

    PS. If you want to get all Frenchie, you can do like we do here in Provence and call the tapenade “caviar des tomates”!

    • July 3, 2013

      I’m ALWAYS up for caviar!

  3. July 3, 2013

    Sounds delish! I’ll be right over 🙂

    • July 3, 2013

      I’ll set two more places at the table 🙂

  4. July 3, 2013

    Dearest V
    Thanks fo the recipe… do you do delivery?
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • July 3, 2013

      Too bad there is no more Concorde!

  5. July 3, 2013

    and here I am stuck up north with hot dogs for the 4th!

    • July 4, 2013

      High of 91 today… Slow roast pork… What was I thinking?!?

  6. July 6, 2013

    Oh. Yum. I wish I could snap my fingers and be there to pull up a seat at that lovely feast. One day, Vickie… One day.

  7. November 23, 2014

    V, it’s so like you to cover for the obnoxious shrub who is obviously giving us the finger…

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