Needed a Little Heat
Oh it is on. It takes a while for vegetables to arrive at market here in DC. It’s a slow start with asparagus, strawberries and garlic scapes. But it’s coming now: I spied four different varieties of plums alone.
This week, however, was different. I came to the market with a specific mission. My friend Katie, who’s blogged here before, is getting married. And with nuptials comes a bachelorette party. The night started with an hors d’oeuvre potluck and then bar hopping in Baltimore.
As a food writer I feel extra pressure to bring something amazing to a special gathering like this. I then freak out because there’s just too many options. What to make! Eek!
I decided to let the newly produce-busting market be my guide. Slices of peppered cucumber and radish encircled chevre. But that wasn’t the star. Neither was my other dish. Some girl shows up with seaweed to roll sushi. FML! (Not to mention the penis cake…)
Zucchini, Sun Gold and Kale Salad
I used my new Calphalon-gifted grill pan for the sliced zucchini (from DAD GANSIE’s garden!), which have been brushed with oil, salt and pepper. When all of the batches of zucchini were finished, and the pan was extremely hot, I plopped on there sun gold tomatoes which had been split in half. The skins started to char immediately and then I tossed in salt, pepper, garlic and spring onions, green parts only. I only left it in the pan for 3 minutes because I wanted the tomatoes to keep their shape.
In fact, I wasn’t planning on cooking with them when I bought the carton. I let Rebbie, the Mt. Pleasant Farmers’ Market manager, taste a tomato. She knows exactly how each vegetable or fruit should taste and how it should be treated. It’s pretty ridiculous. Anyway, the sun golds needed a little heat to awaken them. I obliged.
I placed the zucchini and tomato mixture in a bowl. But it wasn’t right. It needed more. I whisked together oil, mustard and horseradish for a dressing. But it still needed more. It needed more heft. It needed some greens. Some kale.
I used to make penis cakes when I was a cake decorator in college! Being a very popular item, I had at least a few orders every week and sometimes they would have specific requests (ethnicity, size, etc). Hilarious. Once I had an order that didn’t show up for pick-up, so I decided to bring it home for my roommates. “Surprise! Here’s a giant frosting penis!” OMG.
This dish may look simple, but the flavors were amazing. The groom enjoyed what little was leftover the next day! Gansie, where do you get the horseradish? Do they have fresh at the market?
actually, i did steal a real live horseradish from my dad after our passover dinner this spring. but i think i may have tossed it in my mad rush to clean out the fridge pre-japan and korea trip.
i use bottled, prepared horseradish.i forget the brand i used to have but my dad gave me two leftover bottles from passover. one is Gold’s original and one is dyed red from beets. its a gorgeous magenta. and im currently trying to figure out where/how to use the purple horseradish.
horseradish is really fucking great. awesome way to add lots of flavor and tang without any fat/calories (zero calories per tsp serving). im looking at the back of the label right now and all thats in there is: horseradish, passover vinegar and salt. the magenta one is the same, just with beets.
viva la horseradish!
Horseradish is something I always love to eat (when I so rarely have it) but never think of to use. I do use beets more often – but still not often enough. Perhaps that will be my next project – making magenta horseradish? I need more of both ingredients in my life…