So I’ve had Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors cookbook for about two years – around the time that we got really invested in buying and eating local – but in that time have only made ONE recipe from it. I’ve been trying to be better about buying cookbooks, but this seemed like one I’d really use, you know? Unlike Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes and The Farm to Table Cookbook, both of which were lovely but didn’t reflect our eating habits or the foods actually available to us locally in Virginia.
I suppose I can only spuriously say that I used the Local Flavors recipe for tonight’s dinner – a platter salad – for a variety of reasons. First, I only followed about half of the instructions. I didn’t boil or blanch in the right order, and owing to a moped emergency in the middle of prep, I also didn’t make Madison’s dressing. Also a recipe? For a very deconstructed salad? Helpful, but kind of overkill. In fact, the recipe was primarily useful for the gorgeous photo that I used to convince Shane that this was enough for dinner. Our own salad didn’t look much like Madison’s, but it was pretty spectacular if I do say so myself.
Moving clockwise, we have brand new red potatoes from the market, boiled in salted water for about 20 minutes or until soft. Green beans from the market, safely kept away from Head Bean Eater Mina and blanched for about 7 minutes. Carrots, long lingering in our crisper, peeled and boiled for about 10 minutes. A sweet market onion, sliced into rounds and lightly pickled in red wine vinegar. Line-caught Bonito tuna, tossed with a bit of the red wine vinegar. And French breakfast radishes from our garden, all atop romaine lettuce from the market.
And we ate all of it, well, except some of the lettuce.
NB: Zingerman’s is having a crazy summer sale on a handful of excellent items. We’re REALLY irritated that we missed out on discounted fancy tuna, as we’ve just exhausted our stash. If you’re local, you can save yourself some extra dough by ordering over the phone and picking up your goodies in person at the warehouse south of town.