Scenes From Dinner In The Field At Volante Farms, Needham, Mass.

Dinner in the Field at Volante Farms, Needham, Mass.

On July 10, guests gathered at Volante Farms for their first Dinner in the Field of 2014. Below are scenes from the dinner, with dishes prepared by chef Todd Heberlein and staff using farm-grown produce.


Pasta With Summer Squash, Garlic, And Basil

Pasta with summer squash, garlic, and basil

I am in full-on summer vegetable mode now. I run over to my tomato garden every day after work to see if my assortment of cherry and pear tomatoes are ripe enough to pick. I spy on my cubanelle peppers, hoping that they'll finally be big enough to pick and grill. I imagine stockpiling corn on the cob, giving it a quick dip in some boiling water, and slathering it with butter. And I crave summer squash, as much summer squash as I can get my hands on.


Orzo Salad With Chicken Sausage, Spinach, And Feta

Orzo salad with chicken sausage, spinach, and feta

It's hot out these days! When it's so hot outside, turning on the oven isn't high on anyone's priority list. That's where this simple orzo salad comes in. After boiling some pasta and browning a couple of chicken sausages, you can turn off the stove, stir in the other components, and sit down to a cool summer meal.


Dinner At La Brasa, Somerville, Mass.

Bar at La Brasa, Somerville, Mass.

I've been making some great progress on my must-try restaurant list lately -- with visits to Sycamore, Parla, Bronwyn, Sarma, and Bondir, among others -- which is a good thing because I seem to keep adding to the list faster than I can check things off. One restaurant to recently hit the list that I have already made my way over to is La Brasa. From former L'Espalier chef Daniel Bojorquez and L'Espalier chef and owner Frank McClelland, La Brasa is a stunning new restaurant in an unexpected location -- on Broadway in Somerville.

The space has an industrial feel to it, with lots of metal and wood and exposed duct work. An open bar and kitchen sit side by side and provide plenty of activity to watch throughout dinner.

Some friends and I recently got together there for drinks and food.


Israeli Couscous With Roasted Squash And Eggplant

Israeli couscous with roasted squash and eggplant and Parmesan

Summer is finally here! Can you feel it? I've been enjoying the long days and warm rays and trying to get outside as much as possible. I'm sure you've noticed that I haven't been blogging as much -- I just haven't really wanted to spend my time sitting in front of the computer (after sitting in front of one for 8 hours at work every day) when I could be outside taking Gunner for a walk, tending to my tomatoes, or just sitting on the deck listening to Pandora and sipping coffee with Jeff (usually while we stare at our tiny backyard and think how amazing it could be if money were no object).

Israeli couscous with roasted squash and eggplant and ricotta salata

My heart also hasn't really been into blogging, and there's nothing worse than trying to write something when you just don't feel like writing it. You guys would see right through that. So the posts I have been sharing with you -- though they're few and far between -- are the ones that make me feel that spending some time at the computer (albeit in the late evening) is worth it. These are the posts I really care about and hope you do too! I'm not writing just to write; I'm writing to share things with you, like this Israeli couscous dish that's chock-full of summer vegetables.