Well, summer is finally over. Here in SoCal, you wouldn't know it by the heat, but officially, it's over. This brings on a bag of mixed emotions for me. You see, I love summer. Long days, longer nights, great stuff flooding the farmers markets, a veritable wonderland for those of us who love to cook. However... with the throws of fall right around the corner, I am giddy with anticipation at the thought of breaking out the old Dutch oven, cranking up the oven and doing some of my favorite cooking. Fall and winter for me are the most creative times for me when it comes to cooking. Bring on the roasts, shanks, and heavy soups!
So, in saying goodbye to summer I leave you with a last summer salad.
This lovely salad is an array of wild mixed greens, heirloom cherry tomatoes, some beautiful edible flowers and some tangy...creamy blue cheese. Simple, yet delightfully delicious.
Well, another summer has come and "gone" so to speak, as it seems labor day officially signals the end of summer. Here in SoCal... it still feels like summer, you know, HOT, but maybe that's because where I live it's still on fire. Literally.
But that's not the focus of this post.
Nor is the wonderful steak that I grilled on Monday. You see, Monday, the steak was absolutely fucking perfect, thankyouverymuch, However, turns out that using a microwave to reheat it for your new blog post when the cell rings... not so much. So, please, try to pretend that the steak is a perfect specimen, and let's talk about the salad above it. OK?
OK... disclaimer said... I love this salad. I wanted to call it a slaw, but that usually conotates a mayonnaise based something or other that I usually can't stand. (mayonnaise that is, that's right, some people don't like cilantro, I don't like mayo... period. deal.)
So... Here it is.
Damn it kills me to look at that once beautifully cooked spencer steak. But, I digress. Back to the Salad... or slaw... how about naked slaw? Can we do that... call something a naked slaw? Fuck it, it's my blog, my food, I'll call it what I want!
What I did was, took a veggie peeler, and peeled long strips from the Carrots and yellow zuchini that I bought at the farmers market. The fresher the better people! And thinly sliced a half of a red onion. The thinner the better. Chopped up fresh parsley, and some thyme together. I tossed this with a nice mixture of 1 part really good sherry vinegar, and two parts nice olive oil. S & P to taste... toss it all together and let it marinate for an hour or so. sublime.
Mind you... this is just what I did. Do whatever you want to it. Use different herbs, cilantro, basil, whatever you like. Different Oil... shit yeah man! Just try to use ingredients that are the freshest and easiest you can possibly get. You don't have to break the bank here, just go for fresh.
One note before i shove off... The more red onion you add...the stronger it will be in subsequent hours/days. To offset that you could probably soak them in cold water for awhile before dressing the naked slaw... I'll try that next time, as it was a bit strong.
Go forth my friends... and cook! Or slaw! Just don't use a microwave to do it...
Just a little Public Service Announcement for all of you out there that cook. For the love of knives, cutting boards, fingers and food out there everywhere, Sharpen your knives! A dull knife is a dangerous knife. Really, it's not that hard. Find a knife sharpening place. Go to a local butcher and ask them if they will do it for you. My local farmers market has a little stall that sharpens them for you. And it's usually reasonably priced. If you are intent on doing it yourself... Have at it! Just do it!
Oh... and that thing in your knife block or the drawer to the left/right of the sink, the thing that looks like a blunt screwdriver with a handle on it? That's called a steel. Slide your blade on it a few times, Every time you use your knife! It really does work... it keeps you knife sharper, longer.
Well, this is the test isn't it?! New blog format... new ID.... let's get it on shall we?
For those of you who are reading this, I will assume certain things are a given. Like, sweating shallots and garlic for instance... you don't need a picture for that... BUT...If you do, go watch the food network for that. For those of you who don't... read on.
This is my mise...It's fairly simple... as is the soup... I would like to add right now, that I should have doubled my carrot intake, but hey, it's a recipe right? I wanted more punch from the carrot, and I didn't get it... but it was still REALLY good... so here goes.
I sweated the shallots and garlic until fragrant, meaning I could smell them, Then I added the carrots... and gave them a good once over on the flame. stirring a lot, to make sure that they had there day in the pan.
Then I deglazed it with the WATER... yes, you could use stock... but hey.. I'm trying to keep it real here! Add your herbs and simmer until the carrot doesn't give you any grief to the tooth...
Then, pull out your handy dandy immersion blender, (or a regular blender) and give it a good whirl.. a good whirl...
At this point you could strain it if you wish... I didn't and was quite happy with the result. I garnished with a basil leaf and slurped it right down. Really good on a hot(aren't' they all) southern California day! So go forth kids... make some soup! Cheers!