"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dandelion Salad with Warm Pecan Vinaigrette

Yesterday was organic produce box day! It's very exciting to open--I never know what's going to be in it and have to resist the temptation to call Bobby to ask ahead of time so I can plan. I'm trying to cultivate mushin, and while someday it might hold me in good stead if I ever have to engage in mortal combat, for now it's allowing me to remain open and flexible to whatever comes my way in the vegetable department.

Hey, you have to start somewhere.

So this is what was in my box this week:

* dandelion greens
* garlic (I now have four heads of organic garlic)
* 3 plums
* baby brocolini
* delicata squash
* fennel
* lettuce
* triple creme cheese (yes!)

Kevin, Adam, Teena, I can see the little wheels turning in your brains, and maybe you're even flipping through your book right now.

And if you're like me, Dandelion Greens with Warm Pecan Vinaigrette is the immediate no-brainer.

First of all, dandelions are seasonal. Second, who wants to pick the darn things out of your lawn? (Well, probably your neighbors, but let's leave them out of the equation, shall we?) Third, it's one of those slightly exotic recipes that you just have to jump on immediately if you get the right opportunity--and here it was, handed to me in a sturdy produce box.

So here are my chopped dandelions:

And here they are after pouring the hot dressing on them. By the way, the dressing couldn't be easier. You'll note that the epicurious link asks for hazelnuts--either nut would be just fine.

Not very wilted. The recipe says that the hot dressing doesn't wilt them (just "tames" them), but when I tasted it, I thought they needed more wilting or taming--whatever. So I microwaved them for 30 seconds.

Here's the salad:

And while it was pretty good, I have to make a full disclosure and tell you (if I haven't already), that bitter greens are not my favorites. They scare me a little bit, actually. So I made it more friendly:

...by adding goat cheese. Hey, isn't it about time for goat cheese to make its retro comeback? Where are the goat cheese and sun-dried tomato pizzas of yesteryear?

And this I gladly ate for lunch. My husband LOVED it--he adores bitter greens and would eat them every day if I weren't so not in love with them.

Now--what am I going to do with all that garlic?


Adam said...

Have you made Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic? The epicurious recipe (which calls for three to four heads of garlic, perfect!) is at http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/CHICKEN-WITH-40-CLOVES-OF-GARLIC-105502 I think that I saw it in The Book, too. Can't check now, though. I'm at work.

Liz C said...

I heart goat cheese. What wouldn't be better with goat cheese on top?