A nearly-bare fridge never stops us from eating well, especially if there are any eggs in there. Thank goodness we had a carton of “farm-fresh” beauties on hand. So today’s lunch, reductive but delicious, is soft-boiled eggs with lots of snipped parsley and tarragon from the garden, seasoned with sea salt and black pepper.
First day back in the studio after a week away. We found a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer, a lemon in the crisper, and we always have a jar of mayonnaise in the fridge. So, it was fried shrimp and tartar sauce for lunch today. Felt kind of beachy and fun, and it tasted like summertime as we crunched through the crisp crust into the soft sweet flesh. But we are really in our studio with the air conditioner cranking on this hot June day. Stay cool.
Every spring, CH’s sweet neighbor, Bill Cahill, makes several drops at her front door: gardener’s gifts, bags of tender lettuces from his garden. These young leaves—rocket, oak leaf, butter, and Little Gem—have so much flavor that they only need the lightest touch of the subtlest vinaigrette. We splurged, paired our salad with two confit of duck legs, and ended the week with great panache. Cook something delicious for yourselves, dear friends.
Asparagus season at our local farm market came to a close last week. Sigh. We nearly had our fill. But we’re not complaining (trying not to, anyway). Now the market’s bins are full of the sweetest strawberries, fat unblemished English peas, bunches of radishes, and spring bulb onions. So we made ourselves a quintessential spring lunch today: radishes with butter and sea salt, sucky peas (thank you Niloufer Ichiporia King!), dill-roasted salmon with our Canal House lemon-butter sauce, and poached onions. Strawberries for dessert. And glasses of rosé to wash everything down.
Our lunch is vegetarian today, not that we have anything against meat, it’s just that the vegetables are beginning to come on strong. We poached succulent spring onions then marinated some in agrodolce sauce, made a two bean salad—green beans and cannellini—with a parsley vinaigrette, and added a soft-cooked egg with lemon. Eat yer vegetables, kids!
We had a hankering for Wolfgang Puck’s great chicken salad from his Santa Monica restaurant, Chinois on Main. But it was too far to go for lunch. So we made it from memory, with shredded poached chicken, lots of crunchy greens like Napa cabbage, romaine, chopped fennel, scallions, and aromatic cilantro, all tossed in a rice vinegar and sesame-flavored dressing, then garnished it with strips of fried wonton skins. As we munched and crunched through the salad, the sun broke through the clouds—California dreaming.
A wonderful cool rainy day. The perfect rain to restore our parched gardens. And for us, we are treating ourselves to a lunch of Paula Wolfert’s Chicken Tagine with Prunes and Almonds from The Food of Morocco (HarperCollins Publishers, 2011). The deep rich flavors of cinnamon-steeped prunes and chicken and onions braised in cumin, turmeric, and ginger—with fried almonds for crunch—have us sending Paula our love and gratitude.
We both had a delicious weekend and now on this rainy Monday we are going all “caloric” on you. Lunch is a diet-plate-special turkey burger made with lots and lots of chopped cilantro and green onions, and splashes of shoyu and sesame oil. We tossed crisp little lettuces, from Blue Moon Acres, in a mustardy vinaigrette. What a righteous way to start the week.