Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Green Scene

Asparagus with Lemon, Sage, and Sea Salt

So I have this friend--let's call him Antonio (because, you know, that's his name)--who really, really hates vegetables. Antonio's a really good guy, so please don't hold this against him. But he does loathe legumes. He abhors argula, has contempt for cukes, and despises daikon. He victimizes...veggies...you know, he makes them feel bad and victimized...maybe that one's a stretch worthy of an industrial strength rubberband, but you get the idea. While he'll eat the occasional carrot, pretty much every other vegetable holds a place in neither his heart nor his diet. Especially the green stuff. With that in mind, let's take a look at some delicious veggie-centric dishes that might hopefully cause Antonio to reconsider his anti-veggie stance.

Cast Iron Chicken Salad

Personally, I love green vegetables. Eating a salad can sometimes get a little redundant, but when you have a really delicious one, a single bite can carry a diverse range of flavors that intermingle satisfyingly. This salad, composed of boston bibb lettuce, chicken, mandarin oranges, cranberries, and gorgonzola, is another Home Plate contender, because it's really just an at-home adaptation of the Breugger's chain's Mandarin Salad. We managed to find fresh mandarin oranges at the grocery store for this salad--something I've rarely seen, but is far more delicious than the canned variety. For the chicken, I just did a very simple kosher salt/fresh ground black pepper seasoning, and then cooked it up in the cast iron skillet, that most trusty of stovetop cooking devices.

Salad Lyonnaise


A couple more salads. First, a Salad Lyonnaise, the recipe for which came from a post by Blake Royer at Serious Eats. This salad is decidedly less healthy, but super-delish--the bacon and eggs go great together, as bacon and eggs tend to do, and the lettuce helps to soak up the egg yolk. The second picture is actually one of my favorite salads, based on a clone recipe from TGI Friday's of all places, for their Strawberry Fields salad. The balsamic-marinated strawberries in this salad go perfectly with the freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.


Asparagus with Lemon, Sage, and Sea Salt

On the other hand, sometimes the best thing is to let the flavor of the vegetables come out naturally. Here, asparagus is prepared as simply as possible, with kosher salt, lemon, and sage. The acidic, salty, and herbaceous qualities of those ingredients compliment the flavor of the asparagus but still give it center stage. And with that, our vegetable tour concludes for today. Please leave your monitor in the upright position.


Thanks for stopping by Beach City Cooking, and I'll see you all very soon for another Japanese food-centric post! Thanks for stopping by, and have a great night!

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