Local asparagus have arrived. Amen. And plump English peas, though not local, are showing up at the farmers’ market as well. As cool early spring eases into warmer weather, we are still on a cooking cusp between two seasons. Today’s lunch for example: we braised sweet asparagus and peas in butter and olive oil with bitter radicchio leaves (our go-to winter lettuce), a little lemon zest, and some salt and pepper. This is our delicious, bitter-sweet story for the day.
We played hooky from the studio today to work from the screened-in summer porch at CH’s house. MH brought a double-smoked kielbasa for lunch and we cooked it with thick slices of sweet onion, some sturdy escarole, and a splash of chicken broth until the onions were soft and “starchy” (that’s how CH describes sweet onions when they release their sugars and thicken the braising juices). We worked, then ate lunch, then went back to work, never leaving the porch. All the while, the sounds of the wind blowing through the trees and the calls of the song birds kept us humming along.
We hit a couple of out-of-town farmers’ markets over the weekend, gathering up staples for the week. So nice to have a hunk of good dark bread, a big wedge of Shropshire Blue, and some sliced prosciutto cotto on hand. We can’t wait to get outside on this gorgeous day to plant our potatoes in the garden. So it’s a quick ploughman’s lunch, Canal House style, then off to dig in our spuds.
There’s hope. We found green-stemmed Vidalia onions and big, fat starchy English peas at the market this morning—harbingers of spring. Joy. So we poached them, then mounted salted Irish butter into the braising juices to make a delicate sauce to spoon over the vernal deliciousness. Cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.
Today we made a big salad in our biggest wooden salad bowl for us then another one in a smaller bowl for our nice neighbor downstairs at Modern Love (just because): velvety spinach leaves with hard-boiled eggs, bacon, blanched haricots verts, scallions, avocados, tomato wedges, house-made croutons, and lots of chives all tossed with a red wine vinaigrette. The sun is shining, a cool breeze is blowing. Our tummies are full. Everything’s all good in the neighborhood.
We had a big bunch of flat-leaf parsley, a handful of arugula, and some nice-looking fat scallions in our fridge’s vegetable bin. Been craving greens. We must be in need of a good old-fashioned spring tonic. A salad?Yes, tossed with a sharp vinaigrette—a perfect foil for Eliza’s lamb merguez sausage from Jamison Farm. We’re feeling better already.
We met at the studio and made this quick, but delicious, bacon and arugula sandwich for today’s lunch. This afternoon we are both off in different directions to accomplish our separate tasks. But of course we needed a little sustenance before heading out. Don’t forget to eat lunch today, dear friends.