In Season :: Ramps & Warm Ramp Vinaigrette
You know spring's in full swing when ramps hit the greenmarket and grocery stores. A type of wild garlic/spring onion, ramps are some of the first spring produce to poke their way through the ground as the weather warms. Get them while you can as they're only around for about 4 to 6 weeks. Grilled or sateed they'll add a distinct garlic/scallion/onion flavor to pastas, eggs, pizzas (Mario Batali's king for this one) and more. I had them simply raw last week at Northern Spy paired with beef tartare, seriously unbelievable.
Earlier this week, I chose a less traditional path for these little leafy onions and did up a warm ramp vinaigrette for simple spring lettuces. A lovely and light starter for my family's Passover meal, but it'll make any meal a bit more intriguing.
Ramp Vinaigrette ::
1 small bunch of ramps, minced
1/2 shallot, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
4 to 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly cracked pepper
In a small skillet over moderate-low heat, add all ingredients and bring the vinaigrette to a simmer and lower the heat to stay warm and reduce slightly. Serve over fresh, crisp greens like red and green baby romaine.
image :: pinterest via Laurel Messina
Irene’s Aftermath…Beach Dreaming
With a very ominous, wet and windy weekend behind us, Irene taught me how to successfully ride out a serious storm. I ended up hunkering down at home--steeping some fresh peaches in Tito's vodka (see below) for a cure-all hurricane cocktail, simmering up some fresh tomato sauce (you'll have to wait for the next Rue issue for the recipe!) and escaping the elements by daydreaming about the beach. I figured we've all had enough dark and stormy clouds for a while, so here's a bit of bright, lively color...the lobster salad above is the aftermath of that luscious lobster from my last post while I was out east in the Hamptons a few weeks back. Lobster is certainly not something one lets go to waste and this quick, light lunch screams summer...or at least what's left of it with red and yellow watermelon, crisp lettuce, a touch of feta and a squeeze of lime.
And if you're lucky enough to be spending the final unofficial weekend of the summer out east for Labor Day, consider heading over to the Fish Farm in Amagansett, by far the most off-the-beaten-path, whole-in-the-wall, disco-ball-decorated old school fish shack you'll ever lay your eyes on. But also one of the best lobster sandwiches (sans mayo and made on freshly baked brioche) you'll ever sink your teeth in!
Amagansett’s Fish Farm
fresh peaches in vodka
Lobster Salad :: with Red & Yellow Watermelon
Serves :: 2
leftover cooked lobster meat, about 4 to 6 ounces, or whatever you've got to work with
2 cups diced watermelon, a mix of red and yellow if available
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
3 cups green leaf lettuce or mixed greens
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper together. Toss lobster, watermelon, feta and lettuce together and drizzle in olive oil-lime dressing.
Photos by Nourish
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Refreshed and Refined :: Rue Magazine Jan. 2012 Does Detox
As usual, I am gushing over the gorgeous pages of Rue Magazine's newest issue that just dropped yesterday. Airy, fresh and inspiring all over, this issue brings warmth to the cold winter months. And if you're still reeling from one too many holiday over-indulgences, check out the trusty food column with take-home tips for a quick, cleansing reboot and a refreshing and detoxifying salad recipe by yours truly -- all brought to life by Jen Altman's yummy photos (it's pg. 38-39 if you're looking).
Oh, and a lil side note...the incredible LA-based decor and tabletop rental boutique, Casa de Perrin, blew me away with their dollhouse spread and tasty treats.
Orange, Avocado and Shaved Fennel Salad :: with Toasted Almonds & Lime-Sesame Vinaigrette
Serves :: 2 to 4
1 bunch watercress
2-3 oranges, segments/supremes (or a mix of blood, cara cara and/or navel oranges if you can get them)
1 large avocado, peeled and diced
1 bulb of fennel, halved and finely shaved with a mandolin
2 tablespoons sliced/crushed almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons scallions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Zest of one lime
Red pepper flakes for sprinkling
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
Juice of one lime
1/2 to 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons grapeseed or avocado oil
1/2 teaspoon honey (optional)
Salt to taste
*dressing will make extra
Toss together watercress, oranges, avocado, fennel, almonds and scallions. Whisk together all ingredients for vinaigrette and drizzle lightly over salad. Toss to coat. Garnish salad with cilantro, lime zest and red pepper flakes.