Ingredients beckon. Sometimes I just gobble them up rather than combine and create. In spring, ingredients are signposts. During days when I am falling through the rabbit hole, they appear and say, "Eat me." And I oblige.
Brown Rice - serving for four
6 sprigs of oregano - leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 head radicchio - thinly sliced
1/2 English cucumber - peeled if you wish and thinly sliced
4 radishes - thinly sliced
1/4 cup oil (or less)
white balsamic vinegar to taste (I did about 3 tablespoons)
salt and pepper to taste
Italian Brown Rice Salad Preparation
Cook rice acording to package directions. Cool. Combine with vegetables and herbs. Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, dress rice salad with oil and vinegar. Season to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Daikon has appeared locally. In another few weeks, the Farmer's Market will be laden with them. 3 ounces provides 34% of your vitamin C RDA requirements. At 18 calories for 3 ounces, it is a nutrional bargain. And it has special enzymes which aids digestion. I feel virtuous using it.
And when peeled, it is a spring-snowy-white.
Paired with shredded carrots, it's an ode to spring. It's a root vegetable - a radish (Dai - large; Kon - root) used a lot in Japanese cooking. Much mellower than it's red-radish cousin, it can be braised, sauteed, eaten raw and fried. Is carrot salad Italian? Grandma would have used red radishes - but otherwise - it is something she would have considered in late summer. When fresh carrots and red peppers were at the market. Grandma was seasonal in a time when everyone was - the markets did not truck from Mexico and beyond.
1 daikon - peeled and shaved
4 carrots - peeled and shaved
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
4 scallions, chopped coarsely
4 tablespoons of canola oil
2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
Daikon-Carrot Salad Preparation
Combine ingredients. Dress just before serving. Can be served cold or at room temperature.
Growing up, I always said "Never did the apple fall further from the tree" when I thought about my chemist-father. When I was a serious little tyke, he would take me to his lab on Saturday mornings. The other young chemists would "play" for my benefit - pouring two clear liquids together that combined would turn a deep purple. They were magicians. I was enthralled. It would be many years before I figured out that I was indeed my father's daughter - only my chemistry was played out in the kitchen and on paper.
I shelled peas as a kid. Spring peas were spooned into risotto. Last night, my aunt and uncle added it into some pasta I prepared. I prepare a very simple pea salad. Proud Italian Cook has one that elevates it to new heights. Do check it out - her site is a golden ring of Italian sunshine.
1 package organic frozen peas
1 package organic frozen peas
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
3 radishes, thinly sliced
3 scallions, coarsely chopped
6 sprigs of mint, leaves chopped, 1 saced for garnish
6 taplesoons olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Pea Salad Preparation
Defrost peas. Add feta, radishes, scallions and mint. Toss. Just before serving, dress with oil and vinegar. Can be served cold or at room temperature.
National Public Radio has often mentioned driveway moments. When you return home a bit too early in an interview or piece of music that you are compelled to listen to through the end. I have had my husband come out to fetch me as I sat in the car for fifteen minutes. Intrigued, my family wonders, "What is she doing out there?" And so it was last week, when an interview with Colum McCann (author of prize-winning novel Let the Great World Spin.) was aired. I was spellbound. Writing down titles, listening to the nuances of his words, his insight into creating. And I thought, "I must get this for my father." And of course remembered as quickly as I had forgotten. The days of book exchanges were now memories.
And needed something sweet.
And found it on Girlichef's blog (click her link for recipe). Lemon-Mascarpone blondies. A wee bit sour, a little tang, a dash of sweet and a entire fortune of creamy goodness. I added more lemon and reduced the sugar. When I thought about it, it was the taste of my days in April. When the blondies were gone, people did battle over the crumbs.