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Entries in recipes that don't need a recipe (4)


Summer Greenmarket Brunch, with jam

Temptation meets hostility at the Union Square market; this scared me off those peaches, good as they looked.I've discovered that with the Citibikes, I can haul more stuff back from the greenmarket. Here's some of what I very carefully rode back with today, and how we used it.


Pullet eggs from Violet Hill Farms



The eggs -- from pullets, which I learned are chickens that have just started to lay eggs, basically the sixteen-and-pregnant gals of the barnyard -- became a tarragon-heavy egg salad, served with tomatoes, lettuce and challah, and a fruit salad of blueberries, plums and mint.

Then, this:

It's SOUR CHERRY season.My friend Ellen Shapiro, who was the excellent fact-checker on SMART CHEFS, stopped by my office yesterday all excited about sour cherries coming into their very short season.  So when I saw them at the market this morning I grabbed a bunch, tasted them, and decided they would be jam.

Here's the recipe:

Use 3/4 the amount of sugar to the amount of cherries. My bag of cherries weighed (after pitting) 9 oz, so: 6.75 oz of sugar.  (You can eyeball this with measuring cups too, if you don't have a scale.)

Put in a heavy pot over medium-high heat with juice of one lemon, a cinnamon stick, and Why I save jam jars from the store.a couple whole cloves. Stir until the heat and the juices released from the cherries dissolves the sugar. Simmer for 30-45 minutes or so, until the fruit is broken down (help it along with a fork if you don't like big pieces in your jam) and the liquid is starting to gel.  Cool, and store in the fridge. Enjoy.


Recipes That Don't Need a Recipe: Saturday lunch for Spring

I don't often cook and sit down with the family for lunch, but I had some shad in the fridge that needed to be cooked -- and we are going out tonight.

So: Fish simmered in water and lemon until opaque -- less than 5 minutes, dressed with olive oil and dill (which has been living in my window box for a week), with sliced tomatoes and radishes (olive oil + Maldon salt), and at my son's request, a side of pasta with butter and (window box survivor) parsley.  The most effort here was waiting for pasta water to boil.Dill, Parsley, Chives thriving for a week so far...

Shad has a pretty short season. If you can find it boned, I recommend grabbing it up.  Also recommended: slowing down on a weekend long enough to cook a little and eat together, rather than our usual practice of three people grazing solo throughout the day.




Recipes that don't need a recipe: Tomato + lentil salad

Okay, this one barely needs a recipe if you start with some leftover lentils, as we did tonight.  The lentils were prepared a day earlier with only a clove of garlic thrown in while cooking to season them. Remove the spent garlic before composing the salad.  Serves 4

Hello, yellow.


2 cups cooked lentils, chilled or at room temperature

handful (about a cup once they are cut into 1" pieces) wax beans or green beans, ends snipped off

1 very large or two to three small seriously ripe tomatoes, preferably heirloom varieties

a small bunch (10-12 leaves) fresh basil, chopped

a smaller bunch of fresh oregano (optional), chopped

big handful of mixed lettuces

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

juice of 1/2 a lime

salt and pepper to taste

1.Put a small pot of salted water on high heat; when it boils add the beans and cook until just tender (a few minutes -- check them with a fork), drain, cool, and cut into 1" pieces

2. Roughly chop the tomato and place in a bowl over the lentils.

3. Add the beans, herbs, and lettuce and dress with olive oil and lime juice.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste, toss gently and serve.





Recipes that don't need a recipe: Confetti salad

It's hot here, and I've been buying vegetables and fruits like they are going out of style (which, I guess some of them are). Inevitably, there are a few odds and ends by Sunday night: One cob of corn, a quarter of a giant red onion, more apricots than we can consume before they turn to mush. So tonight: confetti salad, which doesn't follow a strict recipe. Quinoa confetti salad, recipe by Allison Adato

Start with a base of a cooked, cooled grain or cous cous. I used quinoa, which cooks in just 15 minutes and is a good source of protein. But you could use bulgar wheat or barley or wild rice or even cold leftover rice from a take-out dinner.  Here's what went in to my most recent version, but feel free to vary at will with different raw vegetables, fruits, nuts and herbs.


serves 4

2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa. (to cook: use 3:1 water/quinoa. bring water to boil, add quinoa, cover, lower heat, cook for 15 minutes until water is absorbed but before the grain goes mushy. drain and run under water to cool, or chill in the fridge if you have time).

kernels stripped from 1 ear of corn

1/3 of a large red onion, finely chopped

small orange pepper, chopped into small pieces

1/3 cup shelled pistachios

2 apricots, pitted and chopped

handful each of chopped fresh mint and basil leaves

juice of half a lime

two tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

In a big bowl, combine the grain, vegetables, fruits, nuts and herbs.

Dress with the olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Toss gently and serve.