19 June 2008


The CSA has brought many wonderful things this far into the season: komatsuna (a wholly new green to me), tatsoi (ditto), mizuna, turnips, bok choy... Thinking about it, I wonder if that actually counts as any diversity in my diet as all five of those plants are the same plant: Brassica rapa. (It's amazing that we've managed to get so much out of one species in a few thousand years). There has also been lettuce, radishes (pictured at left with baby turnips and salt as a crudité — the calendula and other flowers also from the CSA), arugula, kale, kolrahbi and broccoli. (Those last three are one plant—Brassica oleracea—, and close relatives of that first group).

This simple salad was actually quite good, I was extremely happy with it. It's mizuna and argula, chopped, with thinly sliced young turnips. These turnips are sweet and pair very well with the spice of the arugula and the bite of mizuna. A little sprinkle of salt, some mild olive oil and some (raw) red wine vinegar (not much!) made it perfection.

Here's to a summer of eating food grown less than two miles from home!

(Oh... and there were six quarts of strawberries for picking. Looks like I have to make jam!)

14 June 2008


This is another recipe from the people at Tartine, a strawberry bavarian. I used a génoise as the base (this is the second I've made and I prefer it to the chiffon as a base cake. No leavening, just flour, sugar, eggs, salt — and a little butter). It's really wonderful. So then the cake layers get split, soaked in strawberry purée, and covered with a thin of layer bavarian cream (pastry cream, whipped cream and a little bit of gelatin to stabilize it all).

You then cover that in fresh strawberries, turning halves out on the edge for the final cake's presentation. More pastry cream is added, then the second cake layer and more purée and then that sets for a while. I like to finish it with whipped cream at my final destination as that's the easy part and — I fear — the first part that'd get messed up or melts in a car. Strawberries and calendula (picked from the CSA) finish this one off.

09 June 2008

turnips, heat.

Fresh young white turnips are wonderful. I ate a whole bunch (5-6) upon my return from work today. They're crisp and sweet and, on a day like today, as refreshing as (if not more than) a popsicle. A little salt was all they needed.

The bakery varied from 95º - 115ºF, and even at its most extreme felt comfortable, whereas the still, humid heat of home is just oppressive. Sleeping won't be easy.

04 June 2008

csa begins

The CSA began today. Radishes -- and lots of greens. I am very excited about this CSA.

Radishes, butter, bread. It starts here. They were perfect.

01 June 2008

spring soup

"Spring Soup" : Adapted from Jane Grigson's Fruit Book.

Grigson's recipe is essentially a rhubarb soup, which she suggests needs sugar and in which cayenne is "important." I added asparagus and omitted the two aforementioned additions. It has a nice bite, like a sorrel soup. The bite from the rhubarb goes wonderfully with the asparagus, which was a bit of a gamble.

knob of butter
a tablepoon or two olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
1 ½ carrots, sliced
½ bunch rhubarb, sliced
½ bunch asparagus, sliced
3 small cloves garlic
1 quart vegetable stock

Sauté the carrots and onions in the butter/oil. Season. Add rhubarb, asparagus and garlic (whole). Lower heat, cook for 5 mins., then cover. Cook until soft, then add stock. Cook 20-30 minutes. Pass through a food mill or purée and strain.

This was tart and thick (does rhubarb have pectin in it?). A surprisingly great combination. The garnish is a raw asparagus tip and some fresh lovage.