Photo by Jonathon Moreau
Brunch: Ricotta, lemon and poppy seed pancakes. Dinner: “all appetizers,” per the Nancy’s request. Warm potato salad with radishes, parsley and green onions from the garden, roasted asparagus from the farmer’s market, hummus, and carrot sticks.
The pancake recipe is a special one from Betsy Devine, via my girlfriend Marfa. These are our “special occasion” pancakes, and they’re worth the little bit of extra effort (separating and whipping egg whites, etc.).
I whipped up a batch of hummus using a can of garbanzo beans and the juice from the lemon whose zest I stole for the pancakes. I used to be uptight about cooking from cans, but when you’re in a hurry (and don’t have any beans in the freezer, or don’t have time to thaw them), why not?
one can garbanzo beans
1/2 cup tahini
3 or 4 cloves garlic
Juice of two lemons
a couple glugs of olive oil
salt to taste
dash of cumin
pinch of oregano
paprika to garnish
Dump everything except the paprika into the blender and blend till smooth. Serve garnished with a puddle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika. Great for dipping veggies, bread or crackers. (And complete protein — legume + grain!)
Warm potato salad
The potato salad I winged with what we had on hand and in the garden and a sack of new potatoes from the pantry.
3 lbs. baby red potatoes, quartered
1 small bunch radishes, chopped
3 scallions, sliced< 1 handful parsley, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 tsp. Mustard seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil potatoes until they are al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and let cool a bit. Put potatoes in a large bowl and pour oil and vinegar over them, then mix with salt, pepper and mustard seeds. Add radishes, parsley, celery and scallions. Serve warm; refrigerate leftovers.
Nancy got us started on roasting asparagus years ago, and it’s pretty much the only way we do it now. It’s super easy, and super tasty.
1 bunch slender asparagus (I don’t like it bigger than a pencil)
Preheat oven to 425 (or convection oven to 400). Snap ends off asparagus, and arrange in a single layer on a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt. Roast until the tips are starting to caramelize, turning once or twice. Serve immediately, or put them in the fridge and serve chilled later.
With special thanks to the lovely farmers at Beaverton Farmer’s Market, which just opened yesterday, and, most of all, with great appreciation to a great mom and a real artist.