Monday, June 30, 2008

No Meat Monday

I spent many happy hours cooking yesterday within the terms of food writer Michael Pollan's recommendation, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants." My market bounty was turned into a variety of dishes (all except the strawberries which were gone). Here we go.

Mark Bittman's Radish Salad. Thumbs up! Spicey, crunchy a great summery alternative to a green salad. It doesn't require a mandoline, but having one certainly helps.

Radish Salad

Yield 4 servings

Time 20 minutes

Mark Bittman


The trick is to slice the radishes thinly. For this, a mandoline is best. I love the inexpensive Japanese versions, which work as well as French models costing 10 times as much.

  • About 12 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • Ground Urfa or other mild chilies to taste (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint or cilantro
  • 1. Combine radishes with salt, and cover with water in a bowl. Let sit 15 minutes. Drain, and rinse. Meanwhile, stir together the pepper and fruit juices.
  • 2. Toss radishes with dressing and chilies. Taste. Add more salt, pepper or lime juice as needed. Garnish with herb, and serve.

Melissa Clarke's Garlic Scape Dip. Another success. I didn't have a can of cannelini beans so substituted black eyed peas which taste great, though yielded a brownish color that some might find not so appetizing.

White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip

Time: 15 minutes

1/3 cup sliced garlic scapes (3 to 4)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, more to taste

Ground black pepper to taste

1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling.

1. In a food processor, process garlic scapes with lemon juice, salt and pepper until finely chopped. Add cannellini beans and process to a rough purée.

2. With motor running, slowly drizzle olive oil through feed tube and process until fairly smooth. Pulse in 2 or 3 tablespoons water, or more, until mixture is the consistency of a dip. Add more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice, if desired.

3. Spread out dip on a plate, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with more salt.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups.

Lastly, I had clipped fresh tarragon from my parent's garden last week and was dying to use it. This potato 'salad' from Gourmet seemed the perfect vehicle. It turned out to be my favorite recipe of the bunch. Easy bbq side dish!

Fingerling Potatoes with Chives and Tarragon

Gourmet July 2008

We can't get enough of this method for braising potatoes. In this variation, their tenderness is emphasized by an unctuous olive-oil glaze punctuated with fresh chives and tarragon.

Makes 4 servings

by Maggie Ruggiero

1 1/2 pound fingerling potatoes such as Russian Banana
1 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

Peel potatoes and halve lengthwise.

Bring potatoes, water, oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to a simmer in a 10-inch nonstick skillet, then cover and briskly simmer, shaking skillet occasionally, until potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove lid and cook, stirring gently, until most of water has evaporated and potatoes are glazed, 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in herbs.

Happy plant eating everyone!

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