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kitchen diary: may 2 & 3

May 4, 2009

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saturday
the saturday morning market has come alive this week. after a brief warm spell, it seems as if my favorite spring veg have arrived, at last. i pick up fresh eggs, lettuces, pink rhubarb, pungent ramps, herbs, and more asparagus. this weekend, i want to cook simply; these ingredients will be delicious on their own, and don’t need much fiddling with. as i make coffee, i chop up mint to make syrup for mint juleps, which we will drink at our derby party this afternoon.
and then i have to dig in to the ramps. i chop them up and saute them quickly in some butter (tops and all), then pour over a few scrambled eggs. a couple of minutes later, i have a custardy omelet with mild heat from the ramps. what a breakfast!
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sunday
first things first on sunday morning – rhubarb for breakfast. i’ve been waiting to try luisa’s recipe for roast rhubarb, and it does not disappoint. her notes about this recipe are spot on — it smells amazing as i pull the sticky rhubarb from the oven. i do not have an orange or vanilla bean around, so like luisa, i substitute lemon zest/juice, more sugar, and vanilla extract. after it cools (it’s nearly impossible to wait, but i do), i pour it over greek yogurt and drizzle some honey over the whole thing. mmm.

and later, i am feeling lazy so i pull together a mish-mash dinner.  first, roasted asparagus with lemon, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan, sea salt and pepper.  this is always better when eaten with your fingers, which we happily do.  i’ve made this a few times recently and it is even better with crusty bread, to mop up the plate.  i also toast some of that bread, and smear it with fresh ricotta and cracked pepper.  finally, i use up the spinach i bought at the market by dressing it with a simple dressing.  this vinaigrette is delicious on everything; when the weather gets warmer, i make batches of it each week to pour over grilled veg and salads.  it goes like this: finely dice a shallot, add the juice of a lemon, 3 tablespoons cider vinegar, chuck in any fresh herbs that you have around (i used thyme this week), some fresh parsley, a tablespoon of dijon mustard, and whisk in some extra virgin olive oil.  add salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasonings.  yes, it’s a simple dressing. but simple is what i’m going for these days, and it hits the spot.

21 Comments
  1. marthasnail permalink
    May 4, 2009 7:56 am

    oh my gosh. it all looks fantastic. beautiful photos. simple is definitely best to highlight flavors. i can’t wait to try the rhubarb compote. also, i looked for that fancy vinegar at our co-op but no such luck. i’m dying to try one of those fizzy drinks.

  2. May 4, 2009 8:00 am

    Amazing food and photography! I have an amazing farmers market nearby, but events conspired to keep me away this weekend. Asparagus and rhubarb are the springiest of foods — can’t wait!

  3. May 4, 2009 8:29 am

    All so gorgeous. Could practically eat the rhubarb page of that book…It is nice, when ingredients appear again and cooking gets easy.

  4. May 4, 2009 8:42 am

    Mish-mash dinners! The best. So glad you liked the roasted rhubarb. You beat me to it: my stalks are still sitting in the fridge. Now, tell me about that book! What is it?

  5. May 4, 2009 8:43 am

    these are gorgeous and inspiring. i can’t wait to try roasting some rhubarb and adding it to my greek yogurt.

  6. May 4, 2009 9:08 am

    Oh, I badly wanted some ramps for my eggs on Sunday. My market doesn’t start until the end of the month. Boo. And the roasted rhubarb! Swoon! Thanks for the tip!

  7. May 4, 2009 9:14 am

    hi guys — it is jamie oliver’s cookbook, “jamie at home” – after sitting on my hands for a while, i finally gave in and purchased it. next to ‘the kitchen diaries’, it might be my favorite cookbook. SO GOOD.

  8. May 4, 2009 9:51 am

    Yeah, but was your yogurt homemade? Hm?

    Man, it all looks so good. So good. I’m coming over immediately.

  9. May 4, 2009 10:33 am

    i can just smell the sour lemon and strong shallots in that dressing picture…

  10. May 4, 2009 10:47 am

    these are the kinds of meals i’ve been dreaming of…something simple and quiet yet amazingly delicious. glad you shared!

  11. May 4, 2009 1:07 pm

    OK…I am walking down the road to the farmer now. I saw a sign for asparagus this morning.

  12. May 4, 2009 3:01 pm

    I’m seriously drooling right now!! any pics of the eggs?? I was sooo envious as you twittered about them…

  13. May 4, 2009 6:23 pm

    Brian–I just made your vinaigrette. So delicious. I can tell already that it will be a staple throughout the summer! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  14. May 5, 2009 10:29 am

    Brian.
    I want your life.*L*
    Your food and photos are always so delicious.
    Thanks for sharing! (Tons of rhubarb here…can’t wait to cook up some.)

  15. May 5, 2009 6:15 pm

    I could have spent my whole weekend in your kitchen, totally!

  16. May 5, 2009 11:01 pm

    your photos are delicious! why didn’t i find this site earlier?! just discovered you on flickr….happy eating & clicking!

  17. May 6, 2009 9:42 am

    These are great shots!

  18. May 18, 2009 5:19 am

    fab photos. and now i’m hungry.

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