May 18, 2008

Bountiful Spring Salad

Yeah, I spent the weekend in the city with my mom and sister, bonding and navigating the crowds of bay-to-breakers. We did it faster than the last time, 3 years ago, and I was very proud of my mom, who finished 248th in her age-group, an order of magnitude above where I placed my mine...

Upon arrival at home, I was exhausted.

I should have stopped by the office to pick up some diligence. Its review is due tomorrow by noon. But I just couldn't. I'd worked 5 days for more than 12 hours this week and 6 hours on Saturday. I needed a day off. Tomorrow AM is gonna suck, but them's the breaks. I did sign up with full knowledge...

So, trading today for tomorrow, I came straight home, met E at the garden, and we observed the plants with approval, and then, I fell into a deep-sleeping nap on the couch.

When I woke, I found myself facing a small around the house todo list including a fridge full of wilting vegetables from last weekend's spring bounty from the farmer's market.

After evaluation and some thought, I combined the greener portions of what was in the fridge with the first harvest from our garden -- BASIL! You can cut the tops off and encourage it to grow more fully as soon as it's sprouted several new leaves. What a gorgeous, delicious, non-complex, reproduction focused plant!

So, in celebration of the first spring harvest, I present the *greenest* salad ever made in our kitchen:

Spring Bounty Salad

-1 bunch baby asparagus spears, washed, trimmed of tough ends and wilted spear tops (if any), and chopped into 1 inch pieces.
-2 red potatoes, washed, chopped into 1/4 inch by 1/2 inch pieces.
-1 cup fava beans, shelled.
-sea salt.
-extra virgin olive oil.
-rice vinegar.
-1 bunch parsely.
-1/2 bunch dill.
-tops of 6 basil plants (approx, 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped).
-1 T red pepper flakes.

1. Lightly boil chopped potatoes in salted water 'til tender (approx 15-20 minutes). Drain and top with cold water.
2. Lightly boil fava beans until bright green and floating (5 minutes or less). Remove the white skin and place in cold water.
3. Lightly boil asparagus spears until bright green and floating (5 minutes or less). Remove from water and place in cold water.
4. In a cuisinart, combine parsely, basil, dill, several times around the dish of olive oil, a similar amount (if slightly less) of rice vinegar, and pepper flakes. Pulse, clear the edges with a rubber scraper, and continue to blend until a nice evenly chopped pesto.
5. Combine all cold vegetables and pesto in a dish. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
6. Serve cold, with sourdough baguette pieces to soup up the left-over pesto.


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