Saturday, July 14, 2007

Summer = visitor season


Flowering leek

James Beard once said that, without the allium family, there would be food, but no cuisine.

Maybe it's cuisine we "et" around here, because I have been known to put onions in dessert. And I've got aioli on my mind: it's Bastille Day, after all, and I have lots of new garlic and newly laid eggs. But instead I am making a simple soup of flageolet beans and a ton of things I pulled out of the garden. Maybe some corn, maybe a salad.

I honestly admire people who can think ahead and plan out every meal their family eats. It is not something I can do, though. I honestly don't know "what's for dinner" until I go out and see what's edible. Even with people coming! Some folks just left (having brought some lovely bread and pain chocolat from the city) and more are coming tonight, more tomorrow...it's just GREAT!!!!

Hope everyone else is having a great weekend, too.

7 comments:

cookiecrumb said...

You are too casual! And lucky.
At my place, dinner without planning would be arugula. Again.

Stacie said...

that is a great quote, too true! and your week 3 meal looked really great!!! did you make your own vinegar? how?? i wanna do it!

El said...

CC: thanks. It's more that I am fairly confident I can whip up something marginally edible. And your turn will come, m'dear.

Stacie: Like compost, vinegar "happens!" Actually, it is a bit more complicated than that for really good stuff. I had some unconsumed local red wine. I put a wadded-up paper towel in the neck and left it in the pantry for about a month. There are better ways of making it, certainly; this was edible, but aged balsamic it is not.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

El, I aspire to that. "What's for dinner?" "I don't know, let me go outside and see what's ready to eat..."

Beautiful. What a way to live.

meresy_g said...

I've wanted to make aioli as well, ever since I figured out homemade mayonnaise. Do you have a great recipe for it?

El said...

Meredith, my favorite aioli recipe is from Chez Panisse Vegetables. Alice Waters has two recipes in there, and the milder one is the Vegetable Aioli:

4-6 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
2 egg yolks at room temp.
1 lemon
2 1/2 c mild EVOO, or a mixture of a mild oil and olive oil (you don't want to overpower the dish)

Mash the garlic in a mortar with a pinch of salt to create a smooth paste. Set aside half the paste, and to the other half in a bowl add the yolks and juice of half the lemon. Start whisking in the oil slowly, drop by drop at first, until it begins to thicken; then gradually increase the flow. (Note: it helps to have help pouring.) If the mayonnaise becomes too thick to whisk easily, thin it with a few drops of water. Add the rest of the garlic, lemon, and salt to taste, but let the mayonnaise rest for an hour in a cool place before making a final decision.

Toss the aioli with new roasted potatoes, parboiled green and wax beans, carrots, strips of bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and maybe hard-cooked eggs. Use your imagination, and make the dish colorful, plentiful and generous.

meresy_g said...

yummy. Thanks for posting it.