On the heels of the nose-to-tail movement, there is now a root-to-stalk one. Use the whole vegetable; for example, save your peels for stock. As the daughter of an avid gardener, I am accustomed to eating beet greens with beets and tender pods with fresh beans, but I have to say some waste is inevitable. I find that trying to stretch the veg is in good taste, as long as it tastes good.
Just what you want to see in the summer sun: sweat dripping down an excellent label from Burgundy… The first fine and affordable Bourgogne we have had since returning from the region is this 2010 Domaine Meo-Camuzet, Hautes-Cotes-de-Nuits, Clos Saint-Philibert Monopole. It averages $33 and is worth a stop at your local wine shop!
You might see pickled mushrooms popping up on restaurant menus; these are milder and less aggressive in a flavorful vinaigrette for a satisfying salad. They can be served as an appetizer or side and are vegetarian and vegan friendly…
Simmer four peeled garlic cloves and stems of thyme in a cup of olive oil until fragrant—about ten minutes. Remove from heat and add four cups of halved or quartered mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster, morel, and chanterelle, and stir to coat and cool. Pour in a few tablespoons of sherry vinegar and a pinch or two of salt and pepper at a time, and taste until just right. Top with chopped parsley.
Never a dull moment with a Negroni in your hand… I have to admit I am not much of a cocktail drinker, with the exception of a few French aperitifs like the kir with Aligote wine and cassis liqueur and the periodic Pernod. Gin and tonic has also made an appearance in my repertoire. The Negroni with its one part each of gin and bitter Campari and slightly sweet red vermouth seems a natural progression. Balance is the key, which is true in everything.
After the Easter bunny visits, and you have eaten all of the chocolates, you probably have extra boiled eggs… Now what you need is an asparagus salad! It’s the beginning of the season, and you should be able to find the freshest. Just blanch them to taste and drizzle on any vinaigrette (see my post “A Simple Vinaigrette”). Hop into spring!
Truc (Tip): Peel the ends of your spears for a finer presentation that leaves them more tender.