Ginger in the Kitchen [Week of 3/4/2012]


Liz Clements| Lifestyles Editor

Last week Vin went out of town for a few days, so I was left cooking for one. Cooking for yourself, I learned, is a drag; the fun and excitement sort of falls flat when you don’t have anyone to serve the food to and see their expression when they taste it. So I decided to do some cook-less cooking.

I went out and bought some fresh ingredients and made myself a batch of hummus and a tomato salad. That alongside some greens, cheese, and a baguette, kept me full and happy for two days. I only had to dirty the food processor and a few dishes; to be honest, while I missed Vin to death, my house has never stayed so clean. Anyway, I made the hummus in a traditional fashion, adding a little hot sauce to spice it up and a little chicken stock to give it substance. I made my tomato salad with cherry tomatoes, onion and basil, dressing it lightly. I sat down with some nice, crusty Italian bread and Gorgonzola cheese and munched away. The next day I made a sandwich with the cheese, leftover tomatoes and some mixed greens. It was lovely.

A nice sweet Riesling would pair perfectly with this myriad of cook-less cooking items I’ve been munching on. These wines are super sweet and silky, and slide right down like juice. Pacific Rim has a really nice Riesling that tastes exactly like white grape juice. I’ll never forget the first time I took a sip of this wine, my face lit up; it was sweet like no other wine I had ever tasted. That bottle went real quick and no, I wasn’t drinking alone. The crisp coldness of the wine will complement beautifully with all the textures in this somewhat room temperature meal. The sweetness will also combat the spiciness of the humus and the acid in the tomatoes. It all comes together rather harmoniously.

If you are looking for something nonalcoholic, I can’t help but to suggest milk, despite how old fashioned it is. When I was little I remember so many nights of pizza, tomato soup or grilled sandwiches with tomato all served with milk. My grandma loved the pairing of an ice-cold glass of milk and tomatoes. So while I might be a bit nostalgic about this pairing, I can still assure you that it works. The creaminess of the milk cuts the acidity in the tomatoes and complements the sweetness. But this is indeed peasant eating, so whatever you choose will be fine.


Hummus ingredients


1 can drained chickpeas

1/3 cup Tahini

½ large lemon, juiced

4 garlic cloves, grated

1tablespoon salt

10 dashes hot sauce

3 tablespoons chicken or vegetable stock



Blend in food processor until smooth


Tomato salad ingredients


1 carton cherry tomatoes, halved

½ large onion, diced

2-3 garlic cloves, grated

Kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

Extra Virgin Olive Oil to coat

Red Wine Vinegar to coat

Mix together


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