This seems like a salad, but is it? I'm not really sure. It acts like more of a starchy side, with vegetables and fruit. Either way, it has been a hit at potlucks this winter and helped use up the butternut squash that have been cluttering up my kitchen counter since last September.
Summer is in its final days and there are still some tomatoes and basil coming in our CSA boxes. This means we'll be able to celebrate the end of the season, even though the tomatoes in my garden are long gone and the basil plants still look like seedlings. Perhaps this summer was too dry and too cold, as it is every year in this part of the world, for such warm weather bounty.
This is a very easy and delicious way to eat up all those mid to late summer squashes that just keep coming from the garden, whether it is your own, a neighbor's, your CSA or even the grocery store. All you really need is an onion, some squash and a little crème fraiche or sour cream to dollop on top. You can use whatever type of broth you happen to have on hand - chicken stock, vegetable stock or just plain water with salt. At my house I serve it with really good sourdough bread from the local bakery and our favorite cheese, Cowgirl Creamery's Mt Tam. That seems to keep everyone happy at the dinner table.
This July, as usual, we finished up the arugula growing in our garden. It is always gone by mid-summer. Arugula is a remarkably easy crop to grow - as long as it doesn't get too hot or too dry. I try to start it at the beginning of each new year, out in the garden under a cold frame. A cold frame is like a miniature greenhouse and is great for starting plants early, when the weather is still too cold for seeds to sprout on their own.
I am certain that the super-powered seeds Jack’s mother threw out her kitchen window were favas. While some might question the wisdom of trading an entire cow for a handful of beans, there is real truth to this tale beyond the giants, gold, magic hens and beanstalks of unusual size: legumes can be a delicious source of protein and some varieties are really easy to grow, in the right location.
Chicken soup has long been recognized as a balm for troubled tummies, a warm and healthful food for cold, turbulent times and a delicious way to stretch one last meal out of nothing more than the leftovers from a roasted chicken and a few kitchen staples. My kids have loved it unquestioningly since they were babies and I still enjoy it myself.
Tonight's chicken tacos were the best dinner ever. In addition to both kids eating it, my daughter ate five radishes. Five! I've been putting beautiful little radishes - in red, pink, purple - on the table and eating them with great relish around my family for years now, but I I've never seen her eat more than one tiny nibble, until tonight. Truth be told, I don't even like radishes that much. But I eat them anyway.
No eggs for egg salad today, after yesterday's debacle.
I love fava beans, they are one of the first harbingers of spring at my house. Most years they are ready to harvest from my garden and appear at markets around the same time as shelling peas, asparagus and lilacs. Lilacs are my absolute favorite seasonal delight, except for lilies of the valley, both superstars of the northeastern American springtime garden. As much as I love favas, I would gladly trade a year's worth to get either of those to flower in my Californian yard.