Friday, June 1, 2012

Farmer's Market Dinner

We found a (non-edible) succulent, lettuce, spicy radishes, ugly tomatoes, parsley, kohlrabi (which also functions as a scalp massager) asparagus and garlic scapes. Scapes? I was looking for ramps!

 At the co-op we bought arborio rice and some diced prosciutto. I followed the Joy of Cooking's risotto instructions incorrectly, but it turned out GREAT. Oh, and I had the expert guidance of close personal friend Julia, with whom I shared the formative years of my culinary independence—college. This recipe says 8-10 servings, which is probably correct but four of us ate 8 servings, leaving me with dinner and lunch leftovers.

Joy of Cooking says:
"This dish needs fairly constant watching for about 20 minutes and must be served at once to prevent gumminess." (Agree with watching, disagree about texture—or maybe I just enjoy a gummy dish.)

From here on I will adapt the recipe with all my errors; each error could also be interpreted as laziness, so follow my directions for a simpler risotto.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in your risotto pot.
Brown 1 small minced onion in the butter.
Add 2 cups arborio rice and stir.
Add 8 cups of heated chicken stock and 1/2 a cup of warm white wine (heat this up first). If you only have one carton of chicken stock (or beef or veggie) then you can add water to make up the last.
(The recipe calls for adding the liquid gradually. I did not do that by accident. It was fine.)
Now you may add a pinch of saffron, fennel seed, or a sprig of thyme. We did none of those things because obviously I consulted this recipe after grocery shopping.)

Let the rice absorb the liquid until it looks like risotto (see above)—probably about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, flash-saute your asparagus, scapes, ramps, anything! I will give the credit to Julia for pre-heating our prosciutto. Stir these in. Just before serving, add 1 cup of parmesan cheese and also a heavy handful of chopped parsley.

Our apertif was sliced tomato with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and caper drizzle.

We also made an interesting chopped kohlrabi and raisin salad with our greens, in a basic dijon balsamic vinaigrette. I served those radishes on the side because they were too spicy for some guest's palates.

For dessert, Julia made a gluten-free poundcake using Bob's Red Mill Flour and this Land O Lakes recipe that I googled rapidly on my phone in the gluten-free section of the grocery store. I definitely do not recommend Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour blend because it tastes of garbanzo beans, but it will do in a pinch. We also made whipped cream—without sugar because somebody may or many not have accidentally lost track and put extra sugar in the cake. Not pictured: whipped cream, because I had to eat the dessert immediately and this is a photo of my tea-time snack the following day.

To summer!

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