Authors: nytimes Diners Journal
To Shop: Another Salumeria for the Upper East Side
Fabio Casella (right), who comes from Salerno, Italy, shares a surname but no relatives with the better-known chef Cesare Casella, from Tuscany. Though Fabio Casella’s career path is more modest, like Cesare he now has a salumeria on the Upper East Side. Il Salumaio, his compact new storefront a few doors south of his pizzeria, San Matteo, specializes in hams, salamis, cheeses, condiments and groceries imported from Italy. “I can sell my 18-month-old San Pietro prosciutto di Parma for $16.99 a pound and still make a profit,” he said. “This is a neighborhood place and I don’t have to charge more.” A few pasta dishes are made fresh, along with sandwiches layered on magically delicate focaccia baked in the pizzeria’s wood-burning oven: Il Salumaio, 1731 Second Avenue (90th Street), (646) 852-6876, ilsalumaiony.com.
To Shred: An Unusual Vegetable in a Quick Summer Slaw
How often have you actually gone shopping for kohlrabi, those weird, cabbagelike spheres sprouting stems and leaves? If you belong to a community-supported agriculture group, you may have acquired some without even asking. Otherwise, consider buying some for a quick summer slaw. Take large kohlrabi, four to six ounces each, remove the stems, peel them and shred them in your food processor. Then toss with about a half-cup each of yogurt and mayonnaise sharpened with a splash of rice vinegar, salt and pepper. Letting the slaw sit for several hours improves it; the finishing touches are a few tablespoons of minced dill and a bunch of scallions, finely chopped.
To Quench: A Wheat Beer Lavished With Belgian Undertones
To beer lovers, summer often means lip-smackingly refreshing wheat beer. The Brooklyn Brewery’s version, created in collaboration with GrowNYC, which runs the Greenmarkets, is a pale amber brew that conveys hints of orange zest and coriander, flavorings that are typical in Belgium. It is made from upstate wheat and Massachusetts barley malt, uses Belgian yeast and undergoes a natural second fermentation, like Champagne, in the bottle. The alcohol level is 5.5 percent: Brooklyn Greenmarket Wheat is $10 for 750 milliliters at the Union Square Greenmarket on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
To Fill: Ice Cream Cones for All Manner of Goodies
These ice cream cones in white ceramic — brightly rimmed in aqua, vermilion or yellow — are ideal for serving not just gelato, sorbet, ice cream or other frozen confections, but also berries and cream, puddings and even iced espresso. They’re dishwasher safe and house-gift perfect: Anthropologie stores, $6 each, and anthropologie.com.
To Flavor: Concentrated Shiitake in a Bottle
Call it liquid shiitake mushrooms. This dark, rich concentrate imported from Japan is ready to add to sauces or brush on meat, fish or vegetables, contributing a deep, mushroomy finish to the flavor. It’s also excellent to add to pasta, like a toss of cool soba with sautéed shiitakes. Use it sparingly; a little goes a long way: Mitoku Concentrated Shiitake Broth is $15 for 10 ounces at Bklyn Larder, 228 Flatbush Avenue (Bergen Street), Park Slope, Brooklyn; (718) 783-1250, bklynlarder.com.
To Read: From a Group of Chefs That Wastes Not
Twenty years ago in Hawaii, a handful of American chefs formed the Chefs Collaborative, a group that advocates for sustainable seafood, improving the quality of school lunches and preserving local farmland. As you might imagine, the group’s first cookbook is more than a collection of recipes. Beautifully photographed dishes like zucchini and Vidalia onion fritters, clams with sorrel and cream, and almond ricotta cake with roasted apricots are interspersed with pages of valuable information. Learn the labeling rules for eggs, poultry and meat; why organic ingredients cost more; and chefs’ tips on wasting nothing, like pumpkin stems in a recipe for pumpkin curry with potatoes, which I cannot wait to try come fall: “The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook” by the Chefs Collaborative and Ellen Jackson (Taunton Press, $40).
To Indulge: One More Spot to Give In to Temptation
Lady M Confections is expanding its New York footprint, and with it, your waistline. A new patisserie and cafe, done in the company’s signature white minimalist style, features the elegant layered mille crepe cake, seasonal tarte aux fruits (above), Mont Blanc, strawberry shortcake and other alluring choices sold by the slice or the whole cake in two sizes. For the new store, which also offers some breakfast pastries, sandwiches and salads, there is a green tea éclair iced in white chocolate and matcha, and shimmering with sparkle dust: Cakes are $40 to $80, 36 West 40th Street, (212) 452-2222, ladym.com.
Correction: July 16, 2013A report last Wednesday in the Front Burner column about the patisserie Lady M misstated the address. It is at 36 West 40th Street, not East 40th Street.