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seasonal eating

Sweet Corn, Sungold, & Cilantro Salad

TIME: 15 MINUTES; SERVES: 4

In the dog days of Summer, heat can make it difficult to grow tasty salad greens. This can be bothersome because we oftentimes crave a refreshing, crunchy, raw salad when it’s so dang hot out.

Cue the “Summer Salad!” This is one of my favorites because it epitomizes everything about the season, and takes just a few minutes to prep. For a more savory spin, substitute regular ol’ red cherry tomatoes or chopped plum tomatoes for the super sweet Sungolds. If you don’t like cilantro, use basil! Parsley! Dill! I love to add a little feta in there, but this can also be 100% vegan.

INGREDIENTS

3 ears very fresh sweet corn, kernels shaved off (save cobs for stock)
1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped, or herb(s) of choice
1 pint Sungold cherry tomatoes or red cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbls. red onion or shallot, minced
1 oz. feta cheese (opt.)
Vinaigrette
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, grated
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

METHOD

  1. Mix together the vinaigrette ingredients.

  2. Gently toss together the salad ingredients.

  3. Dress with half the vinaigrette. Taste, and add more if necessary.

  4. Serve alongside grilled fish, chicken, or a couple hard boiled eggs. Or try half an avocado spritzed with lime if it’s just too dang hot.

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The Joy of Roasted & Grilled Veggies

The grill is a great option when it’s too hot inside to imagine turning on the oven. But in the Fall, I typically have the oven on for several hours a day, roasting loads of veggies to nosh on throughout the week. Whenever I have an excess of root vegetables, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplants, sweet potatoes, apples,—anything—I chop ‘em up and throw them in the oven.

Generally, I stick to 4 rules:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Coat the veggies in high-heat oil & season generously with salt & pepper (include other herbs and spices depending on the veggie).

  3. Spread out in a single layer. Use more pans if necessary to avoid overcrowding.

  4. Rotate the pan halfway through; wait until they’ve browned on one side before flipping.

Roasting time varies on the vegetables & how they’ve been chopped, but also on the type of pan, the specific oven, etc.. For more delicate items, I check after 15 - 20 minutes. For starchier, sturdier veggies, I’ll check after 30 - 45 minutes. Oftentimes I’ll mix a variety of similar veggies together, like carrots and turnips, fennel & onions, or peppers and eggplants.

Veggies prepped for grilling

Veggies prepped for grilling

Grilled Tatsoi

Grilled Tatsoi

Roasted beets & sweet potatoes over micro greens

Roasted beets & sweet potatoes over micro greens

Okra skewers

Okra skewers

Spring Strawberry & Pea Shoot Salad

TIME: 15 MINUTES; SERVES: 4

This salad is the embodiment of Spring—it may as well be called “The Persephone”. The grassy taste & hearty texture of the pea shoots off-set the sweetness of strawberries, and the radishes add a spicy kick. Like Spring, it’s particularly delicious because the ingredients are so fleeting. Make sure you use the tender micro green version of pea shoots, rather than the tougher, stir-fry greens you often see in Asian markets.

INGREDIENTS

A few handfuls pea shoot micro greens
A few large handfuls tender lettuce greens or arugula
1/2 - 1 pint strawberries, sliced
A few radishes, thinly sliced on a mandolin
Toasted seeds or nuts (opt.): sliced almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
Goat cheese (opt.)
Balsamic vinegar & extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. If you are using seeds or nuts, toast them in a small skillet on medium-low heat for a couple minutes until fragrant, stirring often to avoid burning. Remove from heat and set aside.

  2. Assemble salad ingredients in a shallow serving bowl: place the tender greens at the bottom, with the pea shoots over top. Sprinkle on the strawberry & radish slices, along with the optional seeds and goat cheese. Drizzle with oil & vinegar, and season with salt & pepper.

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Spring Quiche with Peas & Green Garlic

TIME: 1 HOUR; SERVES: 6 - 8
Crust recipe adapted from ‘Dishing up the Dirt’

I make variations of this quiche every Sunday after market, so I have a grab-n-go lunch or breakfast prepped for the week. This is my all-time favorite “Spring Edition”, since peas and green garlic are so fleeting, yet so delicious together. Pea shoot micro greens in addition to shelling peas are used, which infuses the quiche with a grassy, fresh flavor. There is a bit of prep required, (especially if you like to make your own crème fraîche—recipe in Pantry Staples & Other Goodies). Double the crust and keep sealed in the fridge for the following week.

INGREDIENTS

Crust
2 cups almond meal or flour
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbls. fresh thyme, minced, or 1 tsp. dried
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
~1 1/2 tbls. water

Quiche 
1 tbls. ghee, butter, or olive oil
2 - 3 green garlic bulbs & tender stalks, minced (~1/3 cup)
2 cups pea shoot micro greens, roughly chopped
1/2 - 1 cup fresh shelling peas, shelled
1/4 cup parsley and/or mint, chopped
A splash dry white wine or chicken/veggie stock
1/2 cup whole milk, half & half, or heavy cream
4 large eggs
A few generous dollops of crème fraîche, sour cream, or ricotta
Sprinkle of Parmesan cheese (opt.)
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Grease a 10-inch tart pan, cast iron skillet or 9-inch pie pan with oil or butter.

  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the almond meal/flour, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and stir until thoroughly combined. Add the water, a little at a time until the dough holds together.

  4. Press the dough into your prepared pan to evenly cover bottom and at least 1 inch up the sides. Bake until the crust is slightly golden and firm to the touch, about 15 minutes.

  5. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the ghee/butter/oil to coat the pan. Cook the green garlic & peas with a dash of salt, stirring often, until fragrant and bright green. If dry, add the white wine or stock. Toss in the pea shoots and herbs of choice, and let wilt while stirring, about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a plate to cool.

  6. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk/cream, salt and pepper.

  7. Once the crust has finished baking, spread the veggie mixture over top. Pour in the egg mixture, and add the dollops of crème fraîche or sour cream. Sprinkle with Parmesan if using, and bake for 30 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch and cooked through.

  8. Let the quiche cool for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing with a sharp knife. Serve warm or cold.

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