I've been burning myself and wowing my friends for a very long time, but other than my patented bachelor chow I've spent very little time developing my own ideas in the kitchen. With the first two weeks of produce, my primary challenge is trying to create recipes that are very subtle mediums for the fresh, delicate flavors this time rainy of year. Using, bread, egg, ricotta, pasta, tofu and other mostly neutral bases with hints of spices is my task. Here's my first success, which highlights on of the signature items of this CSA, their mirco greens!
Micro Greens, Eggs and Fried Bread Salad
For the Salad:
2 Thick Slices Good Bread, Cubed
1 C. Peas, Fresh (or Frozen)
2-3 C. Micro Greens (Pea Shoots, etc.)
2 tbs goat cheese
2 tsp olive oil
For the Dressing:
1 Clove Garlic Minced
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp shallot Minced
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp sherry, rice or red wine vinegar
2 tsp chopped fresh herbs like thyme or dill
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil.
1. Hard boil the eggs, which if I've found works best as such: Put eggs in a saucepan with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp vinegar and cover the eggs with water by an inch or two. Bring to a boil. Turn off the burner and place a lid on top. Let sit 11 minutes. Put eggs in fridge to cool. Even if you're peeling them under running water and your neighbors are thinking of calling the cops because you are cursing because the eggs won't peel, I've found that the water in L.A. can be the culprit! Try using water from your Britta filter and it should work fine.
2. Start the bread frying. Heat up a pan with the olive oil on medium. Toss the bread in the pan and mix in with the oil. Cook the bread, tossing and shaking occasionally until all sides of the bread are crunchy and golden, about 10-15 minutes. You're not a TV chef, so it's cool to let the bread sit for a minute or two between tossings.
2.5. If you're using frozen peas, boil them in a small saucepan with water just enough to heat them through. Like, maybe one minute? You can do this with fresh peas too, or use them raw. Strain and set aside to cool.
3. While the bread fries make the dressing by whisking together the everything but the oil. Taste and adjust for your preferred salt and pepper. Then, adding the one drop at a time, whisk in the olive oil. Now, that's at least how the dude from El Bulli says to do it. I can't figure out how to get one drop at the time out of a measure or a bottle, so just as little as you can at a time is fine. Whisk until well emulsified (it should look sticky and glossy).
4. Peel the hard boiled eggs, remembering to check on the bread. Once the bread is pleasantly crunchy on the outside done, just dump the bread in a large bowl.
5. Chop up the peeled hard boiled eggs and the goat cheese (you can put goat cheese in the fridge for 15 minutes in advance to get it firmer to crumble easier).
6. Throw the cheese and the egg, along with the micro greens, the cooled peas and the fried bread in a big bowl. Sprinkle as little or as much of the dressing on as you'd like. I'd try to dress it a bit on the low end so that you don't cover up the flavor of the micro greens. Toss everything and enjoy with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, or other herbal, dry, spring white wine.
Up next, Green Garlic & Ricotta Rolled Lasagna!