Monday, June 11, 2007
Simple or complicated? Both!
This weekend, the weather turned more appropriately summerlike, and the fruits and veggies at the Santa Monica farmers market looked more beautiful and tempting in the clear sunshine. What to do? What to do? Everywhere I turned there were lovely things for the FAQ to eat...bing and rainier cherries, spring asparagus, sweet corn, too many choices among all the pretty colors.
I ended up choosing some very sweet Camarosa variety organic strawberries, stringless green beans, creamy yellow potatoes, and Lily's cage-free eggs then meandered home with my treasures. I had to have the strawberries immediately, so did a simple Italian-style dessert. Strawberries sprinkled with a little balsamic vinegar and some ground pepper (yes, really) are a unique and refreshing combination! The vinegar brings out the sweetness and the pepper keeps it interesting. No added sugar, whipped cream or gluten-filled shortcake necessary. (Of course you could whip up some gluten-free waffles if you feel so inclined.)
For the complicated dish, get this -- I made a Russian salad (Ensaladilla Rusa) from a Spanish cookbook, from a Russian author brought to you by Chinese girl! (It really DOES take a village, doesn't it?) From the fabulous The New Spanish Table, by Anya von Bremzen, this is AUTHENTIC Spanish food (unlike the pretty poser posted previously). The cookbook is charming, informative, and fun to look at too! This salad was not difficult, but took a lot of assembly...it's the Spanish answer to the French Salad Nicoise, but can also be served as a tapas with bread, if you're not allergic to wheat. It had a lovely mellow, but unique flavor because of the Spanish olives and anchovies in the dressing, but I got a chance to show off the fresh potatoes, green beans and my homemade mayo with Lily's eggs. If anyone is interested I'll post the recipe -- it's not difficult, just a lot of little steps. This would be a great light lunch for lazy summer days (I felt REALLY lazy after making this). But happy!