28 May 2010

Mixed Season Salad

The weather is finally getting warmer (even if yesterday I did get drenched to the bone in a thunderstorm after waiting two hours just to pick up my renewed visa), and that means summer food. The only problem is that my CSA doesn't seem to be coorperating. Sure, we have been getting strawberries (mmm, with a little sugar and homemade whipped cream with grand-marnier...), but we've also been getting potatoes, carrots, turnips, radishes and other winter-y roots.

Still, there are more or less winter-y ways to eat root vegetables and I've been doing my best to fade out soups and bring in the salads! The added advantage to salads is that they make a good quick lunch in between babysitting, rehearsing, acting, running the Memory Motel blog (the trailer for the show is up now and there are no actual words, so all you non-French speakers have no excuse not to watch it!), and a host of other things that keep me from having any social life at the moment.

This salad can be modified depending on what you have in the fridge. Feel free to experiment and let me know how it goes!

Look at all that sun coming in my window!

(For one person)

1 potato
a small handful of frozen peas
a small handful of radishes, sliced
1 tomato, diced
a pinch of fresh parsley
2 slices of bacon (optional), cooked to a crisp and crumbled
a few black olives
your favorite vinaigrette

Fill a small saucepan with water; add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Peel and dice the potato and add to the boiling water. Boil 10 minutes. Add the peas and boil 5 more minutes. Drain the water and let cool while you prepare the rest.

Mix together the radishes, tomato, parsley, bacon and olives. Add the potatoes and peas and drizzle with vinaigrette. Mix together and eat!

18 May 2010

Delicate Radish Leaf Soup

Je m'excuse d'avance auprès de mes lecteurs français : pour l'instant je n'ai pas le temps de traduire mes entrées en français. J'ai décidé de continuer à poster mais uniquement en anglais. J'espère reprendre le format bilingue à la rentrée (au plus tard). D'ici là, vous pouvez en profiter pour pratiquer votre anglais ! Et vous pouvez bien sûr continuer à poster des commentaires ou des questions en français.

My mom and sister tell a funny story about trying to order a dish with snow peas in a Chinese restaurant. The waitress kept saying "peas leaves, peas leaves" and they finally decided that must be how she called them. It turns out she brought them a dish of actual sautéd peas leaves, not at all what they expected. They tried to send it back, but she kept insisting they would like it. So they gave it a try, to the apparent delight of their taste buds!

I had a bit of the same sceptical reaction when a friend of mine excitedly gave me his recipe for radish leaf soup. Really? Radish leaves? Those tiny, prickly, unappetizing things? He insisted I should try it and put the recipe on my blog. It certainly makes me the conservationist in me happy not to throw out the leaves of the organic radishes I've been getting weeks in a row in my CSA, so I gave it a try.

Well it turns out that radish leaves have a very nice, rather delicate flavor and make a perfect spring soup for an appetizer or light meal. I think this would be particularly nice with some garlic bread or homemade croutons. Hmmm...

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
leaves from 1 bunch of radishes
1 pinch cumin
1 pinch sage
4 cups vegetable/chicken stock
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook the onion a few minutes until translucent. Wash the radish leaves and add to the pot. Cook 2-3 minutes until leaves are wilted. Add the cumin and sage and stir. Add the stock. Bring to a boil and add the potatoes. Simmer about 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Blend with an immersion blender or in a mixer. Serve hot.