Via Lucky Peach
Via Lucky Peach
What’s the term for a group of vegetables? We have a herd of cows, a flock of sheep, a murder of crows… but what do you call a bunch of vegetables? A bunch?
Either way, we got a lot of leeks this week in the CSA. I tried to chop and freeze them a few years ago, but I just didn’t get back to using them and they got freezer burn. I think I will put them into a quiche. Sound good. Maybe with bacon?
3 cups Mixed greens
1/2 cup Blueberries
Small Fennel bulb
Parmesan, shaved with a veggie peeler
1 tbsp blueberry jam
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp mustard
4 tbsp olive oil
Wash greens. Slice fennel and if it’s dirty, wash it too. Rinse the blueberries.
Whisk jam, vinegar and mustard. Add salt to taste. Drizzle in oil while whisking vigorously.
Mix greens and fennel. Toss with 1 tbsp vinaigrette. Plate. Top with berries, Parmesan, and remaining dressing.
We got a healthy load of cucumbers this week. I’m completely OK with that. First, I’m at my fermenting workshop this week learning all about lactic acid fermentation and making old-fashioned “sour” pickles. Second, there’s nothing to beat the heat like an ice-cold cucumber. We’ll see what happens.
I’m also happy to see an influx of full-sized onions. We’ve been running low on aromatics over the past week. Spring onions are past, green garlic is scarce, and there’s not a ginger root or shallot to be had.
Cooks Illustrated suggests massaging kale. “Kneading and squeezing” will break down cell walls. They recommend 5 minutes for standard kale and 1-2 minutes for lacinato and red Russian kale.
Here’s the thing… the Japanese technique of sunomono also uses massage to break down cell walls and make vegetables softer and more tender. The difference is the Japanese method includes salt, which helps break down cell walls and extract moisture, but then rinses the vegetables to remove the excess saltiness.
I think this calls for Sunomono, or Japanese cucumber salad! This dish is great on a hot summer day, served with cold soba noodles and iced dipping sauce.
Serves 2 generously.
Two of my favorite summer vegetables are cucumbers and cantaloupe. They are a fleeting addition to my diet. I tried canning spiced melon balls and they were mushy and disgusting. Each year, I will make one jar of refrigerator cucumber pickles, but I don’t like the texture of home-canned pickles. From July through late August, I probably eat half a cucumber and a few slices of cantaloupe every day. By September, they’re not a part of my diet, and in June, I crave a cucumber on the first hot, sunny day of the summer.
This salad comes together quickly and can get soggy if let to sit. After cutting the fruits (Yes, cucumbers are fruits…), I assemble this salad in a colander set in a bowl, and use some of the juices to toss with a simple dressing.
Afterthought: All this time, I was misspelling it “cantelope.”