I think I’m getting into a groove here, posting a simple salad or soup recipe with the menu on Sunday or Monday, and another recipe mid-week, Wednesday or Thursday. How does that sound to you, my good readers? (So thankful for you, by the way). I have a very bad tendency to overextend myself and spread myself too thin, but I’m slowly improving on that front (I think.) So this should be a reasonable compromise for the time being…
Scroll down for the week’s menu, we had some changes of plans last week, so you will find some of the dishes I didn’t get to try last week. My mom visited the fair city of Seattle and brought back several dozens oysters and clams and a gorgeous fresh Pacific lobster tail. We savored it simply grilled and topped with crème fraîche and fleur de sel… What a feast! The excitement was such I didn’t even think of photographing it! I never want to eat frozen lobster again…
Speaking of inspiration…
A piece of spring
Pierced me with love for this empty place
prairie creek runs
Under its cover of clear ice
And the sound it
Mysterious as a heartbeat,
New as a lamb.
(Excerpt of “In the Late Season”, by Tom Hennen)
I know it’s only March 3rd, but I’m feeling the breath of spring… And a bite of the lovely pea, herb & spring onion salad I’m sharing today, made it even more palpable.
Spring is far from the words above in Southern California… No covers of clear ice here. But that ice breaking to release a rushing creek is a perfect metaphor for the season of renewal. There’s just something in the air right now.
The other day, I noticed our jasmine bush was full of buds, soon to invade the air with its intoxicating scent. And as I looked up, our resident mockingbird was sitting on the line. Not calling for love at all hours of the night quite yet. But thinking about it.
T’is the season of anticipation.
May this crisp salad ease you into it…
Pea, herb & spring onion salad
Adapted from Petit Larousse des Recettes aux Légumes du Potager by Valérie Lhomme
Prep time: 10 mn
Cook time: 3 mn
Age for babies: 8-10 months, omitting the dressing. Peas are a great first finger food. If used as finger food, only give the peas, as the spring onions & herbs would be too hard to chew. You could also finely mix peas/chives together with a drizzle of olive oil as a cold puree.
3 cups frozen peas (fresh peas are hard to come by here, if you can find them, all the better, use about 2 pounds unshelled)
1 handful of chives
5 sprigs of Italian parsley
3 spring onions (or scallions)*
1 handful of micro broccoli (or microgreens of choice) (optional)
*Note: Spring onions definitely have a kick to them, you can make them milder and more tender by soaking them (once chopped) in cold water for 1 hour (up to 24 hours in the fridge). Otherwise, go for scallions, shallots, or omit entirely.
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
Drizzle of honey (optional)
Salt & pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Put the frozen peas in and let cook 3-4 minutes (from the time you put them in, not when it starts boiling again.)
(If you’re using fresh peas, cook them 4-5 minutes).
Drain them and pour them in a large bowl of cold water and ice cubes.
Wash the herbs and microgreens. Chop the chives and parsley with scissors. Cut off the dark green ends of the spring onions, keeping only the bulb and light green stem. Wash and chop the onions (*see note above on soaking).
Prepare the dressing by combining all the ingredients.
Drain the peas, mix with onions and herbs.
Just before serving, add in dressing and mix well.
Onto the week’s menu… Wishing you a crisp, flavorful week.
Cheeses of the week: Following French tradition, I always offer a little bit of cheese at the end of every meal, between the main course and dessert. Rotation this week: Goat gouda, Comté (type of Swiss), Enoteki (sheep’s milk).
If you would like a particular recipe on the menu, feel free to contact me! (I marked with a * the recipes that will be the topic of upcoming posts).
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Pea, herb & spring onion salad above!
Main course: Smoked salmon, dill, endive tartine
Goûter (4pm snack) – Homemade chocolate pudding*
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Oysters on the half shell
Main course: Roasted chicken thighs with clementines from Sassy Radish (we didn’t get to make it last week, had lobster brought back from Seattle instead!) + leftover sunchoke gratin dauphinois*
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Avocado
Main course: Trying this leek feta lemon quiche from London Bakes
Goûter – Apple compote
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Turnip and turnip greens velouté*
Main course: Lamb chops, creamy carrots & rosemary baked in a parcel
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Authentic Greek salad
Main course: Duck breasts with braised pink radishes*
Goûter – Homemade chocolate pudding*
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Cauliflower, green beans salad
Main course: Dover sole filets with micro broccoli puree
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Cucumber Feta rolls from Good Life Eats
Main course: Ham, quinoa
Goûter – Banana
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Tomato, heart of palm, purple potato salad
Main course: Mushrooms stuffed with cream of sardines
Appetizer / Finger Foods: White asparagus in creamy tarragon sauce
Main course: Tuna steak baked in parcel with avocado and cilantro*
Goûter – Pear-blueberry compote
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Artichoke soup, a recipe I found here
Main course: Pan fried skirt steak, & the Swiss chards with blood orange dressing from Vanilla Bean
Goûter – Kiwi
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Leftover artichoke soup
Main course: Shrimp & lime over coconut rice
Lunch – OUT
Goûter – Tangerine
Appetizer / Finger Foods: Butternut leek soup
Main course: Oven roasted pork ribs, fingerling potatoes