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Monday, June 21, 2010

hello summer bento


This Saturday's market was full of signs of summer's arrival and the ripening power of the sun:


 
Local peaches have arrived:
 
 I found perfect zucchinis at this stand:
 
 Hydrangea close up:
 
Our dear pal Cheryl just came back from a wonderful vacation in France and brought us back this sachet of Herbes de Provence:
....which in turn inspired our meal with her on Sunday, along with recipes from The Provence Cookbook by Patricia Wells, and some very fresh finds at the farmer's market. Olives to start:
A highly recommended approach to zucchini, adapted from The Provence Cookbook: saute very fresh zucchini slices and a sliced orange pepper in a wok in which you've just gently sauteed four plump garlic cloves in olive oil and butter.

Add salt, thyme and/or Herbes de Provence to taste, and fresh basil leaves. After the zucchini slices have taken on a golden hue, place in an oiled casserole dish and top with grated gruyere cheese. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about a half hour:
 
Baby potatoes oven roasted with chicken stock and bay leaves:
Roughy fillets with artichoke cream sauce, tomato, basil and Herbes de Provence.
Green salad with roasted pine nuts, fresh basil, avocado and creamy Dijon vinaigrette:
Cheryl brought these lovely homemade angel food cakes with fresh berries for dessert:
Today's bento includes fish from our big meal, baby potatoes, fresh basil and snow pea tops from the farmer's market, a small goat cheese rolled in Herbes de Provence, blackberries, and watermelon:
Happy summer, bento pals!


28 comments:

Lyndsey said...

Yes, this is the longest day of the year! Happy Summer to you too! Beautiful bento love the pink box (I might even have that one). How nice for you to get that wonderful sachet of Herbes de Provence. Sounds like a good cookbook. Thanks again for sharing all the photos!

bentobird said...

Hi Lyndsey, how are you? I think you would like this cookbook--the recipes and elegant, straightforward and full of flavor! I found this box at the FIT online store and it's become a cheerful go-to box! Great prices and fun selections here http://fitjpstore.com/ ! Have a great week, my friend!

susanyuen said...

Happy Summer to you too! Love the new look of your blog and your bento is beautiful as always! :)

bentobird said...

Many thanks, Susan dear!

Jenn @ BentoForKidlet said...

Oh my that zucchini dish looks absolutely amazing!! Farmers market is so much fun!

Anncoo said...

Lovely pics! Too bad we have only "Summer" and Rainy season throughout the year.

Token (Bento-Lunch-Blog) said...

Happy Summer!! :D Great photos from all the fresh and healthy food! Bautiful bento, too! I love the nasturtium <3

tofugirl said...

Happy summer! That looks like a wonderful meal (isn't it great to have friends who bring you food-related souvenirs?). And man, those eggplants are screaming my name!

bentobird said...

Hi Jenn! Please give it a try...I was neutral about zukes before this recipe, now I can't wait for the Saturday market to get more!

bentobird said...

Hi there Anncoo, always nice to "see" you here, and thanks very much!

bentobird said...

Hi and Happy Summer Token! Hope you are having a really good week...with fun cooking :)

bentobird said...

Hi tofugirl! Me too--love it when friends bring me back a taste of their travels...especially to Provence, hehe. Yep, eggplant looked so great, plan to buy some this weekend :D

Lyndsey said...

Jenn, thanks for the info. I will check that out FIT (and the cookbook.) Mine has a white bottom with the lid being pink. I like the way the food looks in yours.

bentobird said...

Hi Lyndsey, very cool...I look forward to hearing more :)

Margot said...

What a beautiful bento!
I'm so jealous, my nasturtium leaves got eaten by some nasty little insects and I had to spray it with chemicals so now definitely we are not going to eat the leaves and I heard they are nice in salads... well, at least my daughter strawberry plant is still intact and has even 2 flowers :)

bentobird said...

Many thanks, Margot! Sorry about your nasturtium leaves! Some little critter had been nibbling on the orange bloom I picked for this bento...guess these flowers taste great to them, too! Your strawberry plant sounds adorable :)

Kuusou said...

Great looking vegetables! Bento looks delicious. :)

KidsDreamWork said...

Hey, love the new look of your blog! So refreshing together with all the nice photos!
By the way, Happy Summer to you!

bentobird said...

Hi Kuusou, thanks so much, have a wonderful day :)

bentobird said...

Many thanks KidsDreamWork, refreshing was the feeling I sought, I'm glad it looks that way to you! And Happy Summer, looking forward to your new bentos this season :D

Katy Crayon said...

That zuccini recipe sounds divine! And the bento is very sweet. Perfect for a warm summer day!

bentobird said...

Hi Katy, thanks for your sweet comments and happy to see you back to bento blogging!

Debra said...

Hi Jenn, Thanks for the lovely visit to the market! Inspirational bento post as always.

bentobird said...

Hi Debra, thanks for coming along to the market and have a lovely day!

Sonoma Bento said...

I like the new blog design bentobird! It's really beautiful. Those eggplants look devine. I just bought a little basket of the season's first cherry tomatoes and I think an italian-themed bento is in the works!

bentobird said...

Hi Sonoma Bento and happy Friday! Glad you like the new design :) I'm so looking forward to buying eggplants like these at the market in the morning. Mmmm, cherry tomatoes! They make the best insta-pasta sauce sauteed with a bit of garlic--they taste to me like sweet orbs of summer sun :)

megan said...

wow, what a spectacular feast! the zucchini and gruyere dish is something i will have to try ASAP!! love your beautiful produce shots -- what are the translucent-ish green/pink orbs above the peaches (gooseberries maybe)?

bentobird said...

hi megan! I think of gruyere as a magic cheese, elevating veggies, especially, with its special, nutty, rich flavor! They made the zukes here better than a dessert :) Yep, those are gooseberries, did not buy them but am curious to try! Ah, maybe next visit...