Batter Licker

April 8, 2011

asparagus, radish and smoked trout salad with lemon, dijon and balsamic vinaigrette

I remember picking radishes out of my mother’s garden as a child. And I’m almost certain that I did not clean them with as much diligence (and an entire bottle of hand soap) as the first baby carrots I ever pulled out of the ground. Rather, I brushed off the dirt with my shirt, twisted off the ugly root, and dove right in. Crunchy and spicy, I enjoyed the radish in its freshest and rawest state without any adornments. But unfortunately, I never thought to approach asparagus in the same way.

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Fresh asparagus, as I appreciate it now, signals the decline of thick greens and hearty root vegetables, and ushers in the lighter, more uplifting assortment that spring has to offer. However, in my childhood memories, I recall asparagus as a rather sad, drooping and stringy set of spears that were often overcooked, as that is the easiest and most frequent method of preparing a veggie that barely needs any time to cook. Except for eating it raw. (more…)

November 1, 2010

pear tart with gorgonzola-walnut crust

Sweet and salty, refreshing but buttery – this tart takes all the wonderfully complex flavors in a traditional pear, gorgonzola, and walnut salad topped with balsamic vinegar, and turns them into a baked treat appropriate for the warm holiday season and cold weather ahead.

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I always look forward to the end of summer, as it marks the beginning of the season for speckled, golden yellow-skinned, slightly red-flushed Bartlett pears. The creamy, tender white flesh of Bartletts tastes refreshingly sweet when consumed raw in salads or bruschetta, but also holds its shape well in cooked dishes, whether baked in cinnamon butter or poached in red wine.

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