Purslane is a very strange food. A succulent with tiny leaves, it is almost never cultivated but grows in between rows of crops. Even at Eatwell Farm, which is where ours came from. While I'm glad that it doesn't grow in my yard, I now know that this tenacious weed can make a tasty dinner.
This is my family's new favorite noodle recipe, from Vegetable Literacy. It is supposed to be made with kale, but tonight I only had a few leaves of usable kale, a handful of beet greens and a small cabbage. So I washed all the leaves, greens and half of the cabbage, rolled them up, sliced them thin, crumpled them up with salt and oil like the recipe says and proceeded with dinner.
Padrecito has some of the best salsas in town. Tonight for dinner I shared a bowl of tomato soup that was smooth and spicy, yet still retained the goodness of summer tomatoes that comes across in a more textured soup. The arctic char tacos are reliably delicious here, and the crispy chicken tacos are tasty bites of summertime, a California-ized version of the taco salad of yesteryear.
Steamed young potatoes simply dressed with butter, tarragon, parsley and salt are really delicious. This is the way to prepare them when they are fresh dug out of dark, damp spring earth and still retain the dewiness of youth that later, larger potatoes lose as they age.
This is one of those recipes that sounds too simple to be good. But, it is actually incredibly delicious. Any type of mustard greens works: red, green, curly, flat. Or a mix. Simply sauté some sliced garlic in a little peanut oil, them add the mustard greens. Cook for a few minutes until they are as wilted as you like them to be and sprinkle chopped peanuts on top.
Egg salad is kid stuff. To me it has always been part of sweaty picnics, messy faces and squashed sandwiches at the bottom of my locker. But this one rises above, especially when served open-faced on toast. Tarragon and parsley give it a grown up flavor that can take the heat. For easy-peel eggs: add them to already boiling water, simmer 11 minutes, then cool in ice water for 30.
Favas and asparagus make a delicious combination that tastes like spring. This recipe, p. 275, is a template for a lettuce-less salad that can highlight almost any vegetables from this season. The magic here is in the dressing: lemon, olive oil, capers and lots of herbs. Makes a great dinner with a roast chicken and Madison's Toasted Millet "Polenta".