Saturday, June 27, 2009

garden to table

though I don't really like hot days, I do love summer evenings. Soft light, comfortable temps, and the garden starts to pay for itself and forms the basis for a little frugal experimentation in the kitchen.

witness: peas and purple chard (the latter doggedly overwintered our snowstorms this year. good plants! good garden!)

I added some things we had knocking around in the pantry and fridge and this is what we came up with:

The rice pilaf is just some arborio (2 c.) I cooked up with the last of the black olive tapenade (Trader Joes), about 3-4 Tbl; the last half of a preserved lemon (Sur La Table), chopped; all of the chard, roughly chopped; a few scraps of roasted red pepper (Trader Joe's), chopped; and about 15-20 dried Turkish apricots (PCC), quickly sliced into strips. I tossed everything in with the water at the beginning, and aside from stirring periodically and adding more water about halfway through, it cooked up like normal rice. We topped it with a bit of goat cheese (Trader Joe's) that I have on hand for stuffing roasted peppers tomorrow. The apricots we found to be a particularly good mix with the olive and preserved lemon.

For the peas, I thinly sliced the last two good onions in the pantry and tossed them in a saute pan with some olive oil (too much, really). We caramellized them over med-low heat while the arborio was cooking away. When they started to really get good and brown, we added the peas and began stirring, adding a couple pinches of sel gris, about 2 tsp. brown sugar, and a liberal dusting of freshly ground pepper as they cooked. When crisp-tender (and just before the peas lost their brilliant green colour), we turned off the heat and let them sit until the rice was done.

voila! We served this up with a drink also made from leftovers: a bit of simple syrup infused with juniper berries that I made for the solstice, the last cup of pear nectar, some sparkling mineral water (long since gone flat), a couple shots of gin (Tanqueray's brilliant Rangpur Lime offering), and some ginger ale for bubbles. Delish.

Finshed the book on Havel. Working away at cleaning my closet, the shibori dress, and reading Annie Dunne, and perhaps tomorrow I'll have more to show and say.