Archives for posts with tag: lemon

IMG_5227

I went into work one day this past week and overheard one colleague squeal to another, “Did you see? Asparagus at the Greenmarket today!” Truth be told, I hadn’t realized that was a new thing. I, somewhat obliviously, picked up a bunch for $4 at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket last weekend. Asparagus was everywhere, at nearly every stand; I just figured it’d been around for a couple of weeks at least.

I wanted to eat it raw and crunchy, although I do also love it roasted with garlic and dressed with lemon and parmesan. Also check out my friend Valerie’s recent post on green asparagus salad with parmesan. At the market, the radishes were calling to me too so I grabbed a bunch of those for $2 and a 1/4 pound of bright green tatsoi for $3 and headed home to make lunch.

Take advantage of the season, carpe diem, get to your local farmer’s market and see what calls to you. It may be tatsoi, it may be ramps, it may be an apple cider donut. Speaking of ramps, you can check out my recipes from past years for an omelette with ramps and feta, and ramp butter.

Asparagus & Radish Salad
Serves 2

1/2 bunch of asparagus (approx. 8–10 spears), washed
4 radishes, washed
bunch of greens like tatsoi, baby kale, lettuces, rinsed and dried
fresh lemon juice and approx. 1 tsp lemon zest
olive oil
salt and pepper

Cut off the tough bottoms of the asparagus spears and discard (usually the bottom one inch or so). Chop the top part of the spear and slice in half or thirds, setting aside. Using a vegetable peeler slice the remaining asparagus spears lengthwise.

Slice the radishes very thinly. You can either do this with a paring knife or the vegetable peeler. Combine in a bowl with the asparagus tops and sliced spears.

In a small mason jar or measuring cup, combine the lemon juice, zest, olive oil, salt, and pepper, adjusting proportions to your liking. I would use something like 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice, a big pinch of salt and a few cranks of freshly ground pepper. Shake (or whisk with a fork).

Toss the dressing with the asparagus and radishes, then add your greens, combining a little more. Plate the salad, adding a few more thin slices of radish on top, and maybe a little more salt and pepper. Serve.

IMG_5221

IMG_5220

IMG_5206

farro-2

Happy Monday! I’m very pleased to introduce Lauren Salkeld, guest blogger for this week’s post. As a senior editor at Epicurious.com, Lauren develops, tests, and edits recipes, and writes about various cooking techniques, from making homemade marshmallows to deep-frying a turkey. You can follow her on Instagram (laurensalkeld79) and Twitter (@laurensalkeld). I’m thrilled she’s contributed this delicious yet easy-to-make recipe, combining some of my favorite ingredients. 

This farro and kale salad came about when I was creating a menu for a friend’s baby shower. I love grain salads because they can be made in advance—some even taste better on the second day—and can be served at room temperature, which are two really important things when you’re the only person cooking for a party, which for me is often the case.

Grain salads are also really flexible, so you can add in whatever ingredients you picked up at the farmers’ market, or the ones you happen to be really into at the moment. I’ve developed a bit of formula for mine, which goes something like this: grain + green + veggie or fruit + cheese + nut or seed. And I typically add some kind of homemade pesto or a shallot, olive oil, and lemon juice dressing like the one used here. This version is great as leftovers, and I bring it to work for lunch all the time, but you may want to leave the crispy shallots and walnuts on the side until you’re ready to eat, because otherwise they can get a little soggy.

farro-11

Farro and Kale Salad with Roasted Grapes, Crispy Shallots, and Ricotta Salata

Makes 4 servings

1 ½ cups red seedless grapes
6 tablespoons olive oil
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 extra-large shallot
Juice of 1 lemon
1 bunch Lacinato kale, ribs removed and cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups cooked farro, at room temperature
About 5 ounces crumbled ricotta salata or feta
½ cup walnuts, toasted (optional)
Preheat the oven to 250°F.

In a baking dish, combine the grapes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until slightly shriveled, about 1 hour. Let cool.

Peel the shallot and slice it crosswise into rounds. Remove the first 2 or 3 large outer rings of each round and set them aside. Mince the rest of the shallot (the smaller inner rings).

In a small sauté pan over medium heat, warm 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the minced shallot and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Once cool, add the lemon juice and whisk to combine.

Place the kale in a large serving bowl, add the lemon juice-shallot-olive oil mixture and use your hands to massage it into the kale.

Place the flour in a small bowl. Add the reserved shallot rings and toss to coat the shallot rings in flour. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Working in batches, shake any excess flour off the shallot rings then fry them in the hot oil, flipping once, until just crispy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer as fried to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Fluff the farro with a fork then add it, along with the grapes and ricotta salata or feta, to the kale and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top the salad with the crispy shallots and toasted walnuts, if using, and serve.


farro-3

While roasting chicken is a fairly simple endeavor—at least it can be; like anything I suppose it can be made as complicated as you want—I can count on one hand how many times I’ve made it during the week. For me it’s all about the weekend, Sundays in particular. The leftovers can be used in numerous ways all week and it’s just the thing to cap off a leisurely weekend. It must run in the family because my mom also tends to make roast chicken on Sundays down in Raleigh.

This past week I was perusing Cook’s Illustrated, one of the best food publications in a very crowded market. (I’d also add a plug for the Art of Eating, Edward Behr’s quarterly from Vermont.) The website featured a dish called Weeknight Roast Chicken, and it caught my attention because, as the weather turns cooler, I turn on the oven. And I have a bit of a thing for roast chicken recipes. It’s such a simple dish yet each cook has quite a personal, specific method for how to make it just so. So when a chef I like, or in this case a magazine, shares a recipe for the dish, I pay attention, curious to see if I’ll learn any new tricks. A personal favorite is Simon Hopkinson’s from his book Roast Chicken and Other Stories.

Cook’s Illustrated never fails to disappoint. With an army of testers they publish only airtight recipes. This method calls for preheating the skillet in a 450-degree oven then turning off the heat halfway through. This makes for a nicely browned bird that retains its juices. The pre-heated skillet gives the thighs a jumpstart on cooking. The seasoning is merely salt and pepper sprinkled over the bird that has been coated with a tablespoon of olive oil. I inserted half a lemon and a half a bulb of garlic to the bird’s cavity. You don’t want to crowd the bird too much with stuffing, which slows the cooking. To the skillet I added chopped carrots, shallots, and garlic cloves, sprinkled with just a little salt and olive oil. Next time I’d add a little smoked paprika to the chicken’s skin before cooking.

I served the bird with a pear-endive-blue cheese salad, dressed with a lemon-mustard vinaigrette, and a shiitake mushroom rice pilaf.

Roast Chicken, easy enough for a weeknight, proper enough for a Sunday
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Kosher salt
Black pepper
1 (3 1/2 to 4 lb) whole chicken
1 tbsp olive oil or softened butter
1/2 lemon
1/2 to 1 clove of garlic
optional: a few sprigs of rosemary or thyme

1. Adjust the oven rack to its middle position and place a 12-inch ovenproof skillet (like cast iron) on the rack. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Clean the chicken and pat dry thoroughly with a towel. Rub the entire surface with the oil or butter. Sprinkle evenly with about 1 tbsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper. Place the lemon, garlic, and herbs if using into the bird’s cavity. Tie the legs together with twine and tuck the wings behind back.

2. Transfer the chicken breast-side up to the pre-heated skillet. Careful when handling the hot skillet. Roast the chicken at 450 until the breasts are 120 degrees and the thighs 135 degrees, 25 to 35 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the chicken in for another 25 to 35 minutes, until the breasts register 160 degrees and the thighs 175.

3. Transfer to a serving dish and let the chicken rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes if you’re starving and 20 minutes if you can stand it.

%d bloggers like this: