September 2011 COTM, Slater/Tender: Asparagus through Cauliflower
Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the chapters from asparagus to cauliflower.
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Beetroot seed cake, p77 English edition
A bit of a faff, because you have to beat egg whites separately and fold them in, but worth it. The beetroot gives you a hit of earthy sweetness, and the cake as a whole isn't overly sugary, which is a good thing in my book. Really liked the seeds as well (I used pumpkin, sunflower and linseed), as it makes the cake seem almost healthy! This stayed moist too for a few days - took the leftovers to work and they were demolished. I didn't make the icing, but might next time.
I thought this cake was really good as well - I'm still amazed at all the relatively unusual things that went into it! I made it with the thin layer of simple icing (just icing sugar, lemon juice and some scattered poppy seeds) and the tartness of the lemon really lifted the flavours without making everything too sweet.
Goat Cheese and Beet Salad with (Toasted Hemp and Poppy Seeds), Pg. 48, USA Ed.
To begin with, I had to improvise the salad greens although NS does say, "any bitter salad green would work," and I eliminated both types of seeds. Also, I didn't have the chalky ash-coated goat cheese, darn, but used a really fine tangy Vermont goat cheese. The beets were small and sweet which added to the tremendous flavor provided by the dressing.
Make the dressing: Red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, (hemp seed oil), olive oil, chopped parsley, S & P.
The beets were roasted the night before and refrigerated so I could dive right into the preparation. After peeling slice each beet in wedges then toss gently in some of the dressing. [Chicory leaves are separated, tossed with dressing then plated. Add goat cheese slices, mustard greens and cress leaves, beets then everything is strewn with toasted hemp and poppy seeds.] Here's what I did: In a serving bowl I placed the sliced beets, a handful of chopped celery leaves along with a few inner stalks - chopped, and parsley. Tossed all with the dressing, added the cheese slices and called it done.
Wonderful contrast between the sweet beets, tangy cheese, bitter greens and pungent dressing. We love beets and serve them as soon as they appear at either the local farm or farmers' market. and this recipe brings out the best of that earthy but silky taste.
One quick thought. I believe the "chicory" referred to is actually what we call Belgian or Witlof endive...not the curly bitter escarole, although that would be good here as well.
Roast Asparagus, page 36
I had planned to roast asparaus last night, using lemon zest and garlic, but ran across this recipe and thought I might as well do one from the COTM.
Nothing much to it; Thin spears of aspargus go into an aluminum foil packet along with olive oil, lemon juice and a bit of salt. They are roasted at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes. Mine took a scant 15, as they were very skinny. The asparagus seemed to enjoy their lemony sauna. The flavor was fresh and bright. It's a different feel than my usual roasted asparagus, which ends up with more toasty spears and crispy bits of garlic, but I liked it for a change. And, clean-up? Nothing to it. Always a welcome trait in a dish.
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A Salad of Carrot Thinnings, Pg. 124
While I didn't exactly have "carrot thinnings", I did have beautiful dark purplish-black tiny carrots the size of my little finger, the size Nigel has in mind. Carrots that were larger I sliced in sizes roughly the same as the tiny ones. Beets are included in this salad but I omitted them and substituted arugular for the cress.
The dressing was made first: put a pinch of salt in a small bowl and pour in 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar. Dissolve the salt then whisk in chopped garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Add black pepper and set aside. The directions say to wipe the carrots but since my carrots still had soil on them I put them into a bowl of cold water and gently washed them. Steam the carrots till barely tender then add them to the dressing and toss. Next add the cress (arugular) and toss again.
This was a very nice way to use lovely fresh baby carrots. These purple-ish ones had bright orange flesh and the outer skin didn't lose too much color so the look of them on the plate was appealing. G said the steaming water turned a pinky beet color, though. We liked this salad and I have every good intention of making it again with tiny beets. I served the salad on the same plate as the main which was Slow Cooked Chicken, Kitchen Dairies, page, 336.
A salad of Carrot Thinnings, page 124
Finally made this salad last night. I did not have carrot thinnings, had a bunch from the CSA, of wildly different sizes and shapes. Some were teeny, as you can see, most were finger sized. Many were spirals, probably from trying to grow around rocks in the soil. I put them all in to steam, but pulled out the smaller ones as they became tender. I did use beets, but large ones cut into finger sized wedges (as evidenced by my stubbornly red hand).
I realized as I was cooking that I was out of the lemon called for, so I used lemon agrumato in place of olive oil. Added the red wine vinegar, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper as directed. My cilantro had bolted, so I had to use some of the feathery leaves to make up a full handful.
We were very happy with this dish, which we ate at room temperature. I served it with New Season's Potatoes, also from Tender, and Seared Beef with Mint and Mustard Dressing from KD.