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Posts Tagged ‘scallions’

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Leave it to me to milk a season for all it’s worth, but I can’t help it this time around; I just discovered zucchini flowers. I torched them last time (and ate them anyway and regret NOTHING because they were insanely good). This time I did two things: I took a reader’s advice and sauteed them so I could taste them alone, without a filling of any kind, and learned they taste like very delicate zucchini. And I tried the below, another reader’s recipe, as part of my cooking project.

The recipe is second only to a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats in its simplicity. Here’s the dish as it cooks…

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And here’s Lou:

I picked up the recipe from a chef talking to a patron from the same area, presumably back East at a breakfast hangout where I live. I believe it’s a classic regional possibly ethnic dish from somewhere and there is a story behind the origin as per their discussion. I reconstructed the ingredients from memory back home.

Eggs Daffodil

A very soft scramble of butter with eggs, zucchini blossoms, scallions and Comte (Gruyere) cheese

Louis Rousseau

Santa Cruz, CA

USA

I snooped around a little online to find other recipes with this title, and found quite a bit, including a vomitizing one that calls for 3/4 of a pound of Velveeta. I did not find one as luxurious as this.

For Lou’s recipe, I picked the blossoms at the organic farm and made this dish for lunch when I got home. Since I have to watch my cholesterol (ugh and whimper)*, I used organic egg whites. But I wasn’t going to exclude the Gruyere; I found an applewood variety and shaved a bit into it here and there. The flowers I rinsed gently under cold water, took out the stamens, and then with kitchen scissors snipped them into julienned strips. Snipped the scallions with scissors, too. Browned the bottom of the eggs a smidge, then added the rest of the ingredients and turned it all over just once.

This dish is ELEGANT. It’s champagne and toast points for the VP of marketing, it’s brunch for Kate and Will, it’s a cheering lunch after you’ve driven an hour out and back to the farm. The cheese lends a smoky richness, and the scallions give crunch and fragrance. Zucchini flowers really do look like daffodils here, as bright and sunny as the summer left behind.

Thanks for this, Lou!

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That’s Gelbstein’s pumpernickel with sesame seeds downstage right. Wonderful and earthy with this.

*Aren’t you impressed? I’ve never had a problem with cholesterol in my life, but now that I do, I summed it up with a simple ugh and whimper and didn’t mourn as loudly and as extensively as I could have, certainly, like going on about it for miles and miles in a footnote that nobody wants to see and has nothing to do with the recipe at hand and in fact distracts from the point.

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this is a great time of year for cooks and appreciative eaters, late spring. a few teasing scallions, the first strawberries. you can feel the swell in the warming air. we’re on the verge of everything.

winter’s nice with its slow-cooked stews and cindy lou who roast beast. I even have a fruitcake recipe that doesn’t inspire comparisons to an anvil. but when I shed the winter sweaters and heavy socks, I want to shed the winter kitchen and heavy food, too.

bring on lemon anything, pale green anything. I don’t even want to cook it if I don’t have to. tonight for dinner I ate vanilla yogurt and raw, local, organic sugar snap peas that I washed and sprinkled with kosher salt. cold-weather food soothes; warm-weather food enlivens. you feel lighter and refreshed, ready to get back outside.

last week I spoke with the chef of tre amici in long branch, nj, a young guy who’s always itching to do something fresh and different. consequently, he either goes out of his way to get beautiful produce or he simply grows it himself. when fall comes, his climbing concord grape vine and little black mission fig tree will be loaded with fruit that he can use with roast game, desserts, whatever. talk about anticipation.

A still-green fig, waiting for its moment in the sun.

there is so much to look forward to. let’s get our feet wet with the best the season has now. like strawberries. the best way I can think of to enjoy them is in an old, old recipe, from a long-gone farmer’s wife, for strawberry shortcake. it’s not a vanilla layer cake with whipped cream and chilean strawberries that you get at perkins. it might have its own redeeming qualities, but it is not strawberry shortcake. this is.

wash, then hull, a big bunch of strawberries. please get them from a farmers’ market if you want them to have any flavor at all. get little ones, because as with most produce, bigger means the flavor is diluted with too much water. smaller is sweeter. dump them in a big bowl, add some granulated sugar, and mash them up with a potato masher or a fork. put the bowl in the fridge.

next, make some biscuits. hit your standard cookbook or google for a recipe. finding one will not be a problem. (note: the kind from the freezer section will taste of the chemicals they contain, and do you really want to insult your strawberries? have a heart. a biscuit batch takes ten minutes to mix up, and you probably have all of the ingredients in the house right now. no joke.) make sure the biscuit is hot out of the oven or, if you baked it earlier, that it’s thoroughly reheated through.

split that guy open and butter lavishly. close it back up and set it in the bottom of a bowl. plop a pile of your sugared macerated strawberries on top of it. now pour heavy cream on top of everything, and oh man, if you’re lucky enough to live near a farm that produces its own cream, use that. just don’t tell me about it or I’ll cry with envy. now grab a spoon and get down to it.

later you can dream about what else is to come. for now…this strawberry dream is as good as any.

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