Ahhhhh, it has arrived! Officially today. Spring has sprung. The air starts feeling different. You hear the birds singing. You even sometimes hear folks let out a little song in Spring glee.
Shelling peas, also called English or garden peas, are abundant this time of year. We have been getting some really great ones out on the island and I have taken to serving them fresh out of the pod, uncooked, in a variety of things. I added the fresh raw peas to a salad Nicoise for a fresh hit a few weeks ago. They were a winner with a peppery arugula salad last week, adding just the right amount of sweetness to the salad. Not cooking them or even quickly blanching them keeps them incredibly sweet. They also stay such beautiful shades of vibrant green, which you know rates high in my book. They are like candy, so good you can eat them straight out of the pod for a quick snack.
For the salad I just mixed up a quick vinaigrette of fresh squeezed lemon juice, a dollop of Dijon mustard, salt & pepper and then slowly whisked in extra virgin olive oil. Mix that all together and pour over the arugula and toss. Sprinkle the fresh peas about, and top the whole lot with shavings of fresh Parmesan. Summer in a bowl!
My fab organic grower friend Margaret has been bringing me the most awesome baggies of greens each week. I thought I would share some of the images as they are just so pretty to look at. If I painted, I would be painting up a storm with all this natural beauty.
What I find so interesting is how much the visual appeal of food contributes to wanting to eat it. That saying of we eat with our eyes first before ever taking a bite is so very true. The above arugula and spinach were just incredible. Truly, the best spinach I have ever eaten. The last image is of curly cress, which neither of us have had before. Margaret said it would be lovely added to an egg salad sandwich. Which sounds amazing. We had it mixed in with the other two for a pretty out of this world mixed greens salad.
A happy, happy Saturday and week-end to you all!
One of the fun aspects of writing this daily blog, is folks recommend other people to me who write blogs that they think I should read or meet. I was not a big blog reader before I started writing mine a little over a year ago, but have really enjoyed perusing more and more. I love a mixture of blogs–design, food, art, lifestyle–and will share with you in the coming months some of my favorites. The above salad combination was from a post by the talented interior designer in San Francisco, Grant K. Gibson. He writes a lovely blog about the things that inspire him at www.grantkgibson.blogspot.com. He also is an exceptional photographer, whose work will be showing up shortly on the walls at Watson Kennedy any day now. More on that once it arrives. Now onto that fab salad.
I have made this salad 3 times, each time doing a little something different. The first time I did it with the baked chèvre as Grant had shown. I also made it for a large dinner party and instead crumbled feta into the salad in place of the goat cheese and it rocked, as well. The feta was just an easier option since it was such a large salad for a big group. We have also had it without any cheese added, and it is sublime. That is what I love about recipes, that you can add or delete and still make something wonderful. This is super easy, and could not be tastier and representative of Summer.
Take the corn off of the cob after you have boiled it and it has cooled. Pit or slice cherries, you just don’t want the pit involved. Make a simple vinaigrette of 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1/4 of a cup of balsamic vinegar, 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of both salt and pepper and whisk all together. Combine the corn and cherries with the arugula and dress with the balsamic vinaigrette. You will be very happy you made this salad. Try any of the cheese options or not. Enjoy!