Over the past month I’ve made 2 new food discoveries: savory (the herb) and kimchee (Korea’s national dish). I’m in love with both…and though they may seem like strange bedfellows, I’ve put them together in this recipe.
Savory, the winter variety, was introduced to me through my CSA; one of the many awesome benefits of being a member is experimenting with new foods and flavors. To me, it tastes like a cross between thyme and flat-leaf parsley; it resembles the woodsy flavor of thyme, but also has a clean, bright quality similar to parsley. It’s a beautiful in-between seasons kind of herb. I’ve been using it in everything, including these potato kale cakes.
This is weird, but every time I see eggplant I think of that old 1980’s Nintendo game Kid Icarus. My siblings and I used to play that for hours. There’s a part in that game where you’re in a dungeon and you come across an eggplant-throwing monster. You have to dodge the flying purple eggplants as you pass through the room and if you get hit by one you turn into a giant eggplant with feet. I think that game was actually where I first found out about eggplants. Strange, I know. A little sad? Perhaps.
This Tuscan bread and tomato salad is exactly why summer was invented. It brings together the lovely veg that’s simultaneously in season; a harmony of ingredients and flavor. Historically, this dish spanned all classes of 16th century Italy. Though namely a peasant dish — it was a way to use up stale bread, which back then was only baked once a week — it was also adored by nobility. Poets even wrote about it. The stale bread was soaked in water and vinegar to soften then tossed with whatever vegetables came out of the garden, most commonly onions and cucumbers. Tomatoes weren’t introduced to the salad until the 1800’s.
While strolling through the farmers market I spotted this mix of heirloom cherry and grape tomatoes. The farmer was describing them to another customer so I stopped to listen along. He said the tiny yellow ones — yellow currant tomatoes — were nearly as sweet as grapes and offered them up for us to taste. I happily obliged. He was not kidding; they’re super sweet and delightfully juicy…and so darn cute!
This simple salad highlights the incredible flavor of these gorgeous tomatoes. With just a few other salad ingredients (avocados, onions, crumbly cheese, and herbs) along with a spicy limey vinaigrette, this quick and easy salad makes for a delicious, healthy, and colorful summertime side dish. Or, add it to any taco, sandwich or pita pocket for a complete meal. A veggie rainbow of flavor!
Summer’s here! My CSA is kicking serious booty and the produce at my local farmers market is bangin! Summer is my favorite season of the year. My anniversary, birthday, and husband’s birthday all occur over the next few steamy months, but most importantly [wink]…the veggies are KILLER. And, hello!, tomatoes are just around the corner! That means my love affair with fresh bloody marys will soon begin again. Swoon.
My CSA box last week was abound with summer squash and basil (along with kale, cilantro, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, cucumbers, kohlrabi, and salad mix!). I’ve also got loads of garlic scapes from the CSA and market which I’ve been using for a lot of pestos, sauces and veggie sautees. I knew the summer squash was destined for the grill – grilled squash is superb! – but I wanted to jazz it up a bit and use up some of the basil and garlic scapes, but not in the usual pesto. I happened to have mint and lemons hanging around in the fridge, so I decided to make a gremolata to top the grilled squash.
Summer is nearing and we need to make room for the hot-weather veg about to grace our tables. This is a fantastic way to use up any spring veggies you have on hand.
This pasta takes advantage of the spicier spring produce available: peppery arugula and piquant radishes. The cilantro pesto — made with garlic scapes, toasted almonds, red pepper flakes, lime juice and avocado oil — compliments those flavors and steers us in the direction of the Southwest. Fiber-rich black beans and fresh, milky mozzarella round out the dish for a hearty, healthy meal. To add an additional kick of spice and flavor, drizzle on some sriracha! Let’s get the party started!
The beauty of cooking asparagus is that it’s best when left to humble methods with few ingredients. Simply grilled with a little olive oil, salt & pepper is divine. Steamed with a squeeze of lemon and garlic salt is incredible. Asparagus doesn’t need much to be an amazing side dish.
This recipe follows suit: few ingredients and a simple preparation. I stumbled upon this recipe while reading Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy (a phenomenal book/cookbook). It called for braising the asparagus. I was curious; I haven’t done a lot of braising — it’s a technique I tend to shy away from because in my head it’s synonymous with “it takes a really long time.” Well, apparently it doesn’t. This dish is ready in 20 minutes. It’s fantastically simple and enormously flavorful. The veg is cooked just past al dente and you’re left with a light buttery sauce you can soak bread in. It makes for a nice, light meal or a hearty companion.
Often the best snacks or party appetizers are the simplest ones that highlight fresh, raw ingredients. With spring in full force and my local farmers market having just opened up, I wanted to taste the season. Literally. I found three kinds of radishes from one vendor and tarragon and garlic chives from another. These had to join forces somehow…but with minimal manipulation.
Pea shoots, pea tendrils, pea sprouts…what’s the difference? Pea sprouts are the first thin stems that sprout after planting, are light green, and may or may not have leaves. Pea tendrils are the delicate, curly vines at the top of the stem. Pea shoots are the more mature stems with leaves and tendrils attached. Pea shoots are sometimes called pea tendrils, pea greens or pea tips.
We’re just about to officially enter summer. But I don’t really think of seasons as fall, winter, spring or summer; I think of them in terms of food…tomato season is my fav! But right now, it’s salad season! I’ve been making salads almost everyday with the drop-dead gorgeous veg from my CSA box and from the local farmers markets. I posted the recipe for this Orange Sesame Noodle Salad over at the Laughing Stalk Farmstead Blog, but thought I’d share it here as well. It uses a ton of veggies and the beets color the noodles a lovely shade of pink. Tres girlie!
Next is a simple salad of lettuce greens, radishes, turnips, kohlrabi and pecans with a chimichurri vinaigrette. I used the leftover chimichurri sauce from the spinach quesadillas post and turned it into salad dressing by adding more olive oil and red wine vinegar to thin it out. Uh-dic-ting! I stood at the counter and ate the whole bowl!