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Pardon my long absence here. Well shoot! There has been a lot going on. Since I have been away I am grateful to read all of your comments and emails. I loved this little post about my last recipe for the peanut butter tarts! Thank you Baking Bird.
Seasonally, who doesn’t love spring?
I dig spring; it’s all about the sweet peas, the mesmerizing shapes of the fiddleheads and aroma of spring onions. I could not imagine a spring pasta dish without peas, tender greens and fiddleheads. Could you?
For this Northerner, I welcome it as soon as fall heads into winter, and looking forward to the first blooms of the season.
Springtime is where the sweeping away of the robust flavors of winter and the attentive nature of the palette gears towards fresh, vibrant things.
All of these and more are delicate in substance needing nothing more than a brisk dive in frantically boiling water and to set their emerald color.
For a few weeks it will be the enjoyment of what spring has to offer. The most vibrantly emerald green soups, tender asparagus, and the most beautiful blossoms.
Until then, have a beautiful spring.
Spring Pasta Recipe [Serves 4]
4 ounces gluten-free spaghetti pasta
3 cups fresh pea shoots –or- baby arugula
1 cups fiddlehead ferns
½ cup freshly shelled peas
½ cup freshly shelled fava beans
¼ cup thinly sliced purple spring onion
¼ cup capers, drained
Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette [recipe follows]
White sesame seeds [for garnishing]
Fresh chervil leaves [for garnishing]
Ground red pepper [for garnishing]
Shaved Parmesan [optional, not pictured]
1. Cook pasta as directed on the package, rinse to cool.
2. Briefly blanch peas, fava beans and fiddleheads in salted water, cool in ice water.
3. Toss pasta with vinaigrette, blanched vegetables and capers.
4. Place half of the pea shoots on a platter.
4. Place dressed pasta on a serving platter and garnish with Parmesan shavings, remaining pea shoots, chervil, sesame seeds and ground red pepper.
Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette [for recipe above]
3 Tablespoons toasted hazelnut oil
2 Tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 – 1 ½ teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
1 ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cane sugar
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
1. Whisk together all ingredients except the oil until smooth.
2. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified.
Eating what’s fresh and in season is one of life’s simple pleasures.
Now finding the time to cook them all is another thing.
Weekdays food is always center of home life, but the weekends are special, no need to rush home to prepare dinner. I get a chance to browse the markets, assemble ingredients and plan how everything will come together.
Last weekend I had planned on another special meal, but J. insisted I take the day off to avoid overheating the house. The expected highs were that of July. Instead, after visiting the farmer’s market early that day, I got right into the kitchen to prepare lunch, a simple one that didn’t seem to recreate the outside temperatures.
I quickly blanched the fava beans, green beans and peas in salted, boiling water and finished them in a skillet to create a brilliantly-vibrant mélange for the scallops. All dressed simply with tarragon butter and toasted walnut oil.
I love the action that happens in the kitchen. I love the slicing, chopping, sautéing, and everything else involved in the process of making meals. I can’t help it. Sometimes I think I am crazy always wanting to be in the kitchen, heat wave or not. So many things to try, combinations to make, lots of food to be had and shared.
Where to start and when to stop and enjoy it!
A trip to the Polar Hill Farm was scheduled to see the goats, get away from the city and to see how they make thier award winning cheeses.
After the heat of Sunday and a late severe thunderstorm in the evening, the air cooled. Next morning the skies were clear and it was time to see some goats.
The tour was pleasant and the goats were adorable. Later this week I will share some of that with you!
Sea Scallops [serves 2]
6 large sea scallops
3 Tablespoons gluten-free breadcrumbs [or panko in not going gluten-free]
2 Tablespoons minced parsley
2 Tablespoons toasted walnut oil
Sea salt to taste
1. Place scallops on a sheet pan lined with parchment.
2. Brush scallops with walnut oil and sprinkle them with crumbs & parsley.
3. Bake in a 400°F oven for 15 minutes or until scallops are just firm and slightly opaque.
Farmer’s Market Vegetable Mélange [serves 2-3]
½ cup fresh fava beans
1/3 cup fresh peas
1/3 cup green beans cut into 1” pieces
1/3 cup fresh sweet corn kernels
¼ cup tiny French Breakfast radishes, halved
1 Tablespoon tarragon butter [recipe follows]
1 Tablespoon toasted walnut oil
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper & chives to taste
1 Tablespoon chives, thinly sliced [garnish]
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Blanch fava beans, peas and green beans separately for a few minutes or until just tender.
3. Place vegetables in ice water to cool and stop the cooking process. Drain on towels.
4. Heat tarragon butter in a skillet over medium heat and add all of the vegetables.
5. Gently cook until heated through. Drizzle in walnut oil and season with sea salt.
6. Sprinkle vegetables with chives and serve promptly.
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp.
2 Tablespoons freshly minced tarragon
½ teaspoon sea salt
1. Whip together all ingredients until smooth and blended.