Toasted whole wheat flatbread, ricotta cheese, sliced nectarines, grilled and salted scallions, black pepper and a drizzle of honey. For a brief moment, I forgot about the back pain that has me working from home today.
I’ve taken on a full CSA share this year. This is an ambitious quantity of vegetables, even for a serious vegetable lover. My goal is to keep some staples on hand that will allow me to convert pretty much anything into a quick weeknight meal. Whole wheat flatbread and ricotta cheese are on the list.
Tonight I seasoned the ricotta with nutmeg. I used a vegetable peeler to shave thin slices of zucchini and marinated them in lemon juice, fresh basil and a fruity olive oil. I topped it off with a few sliced cherry tomatoes and some scallions that I halved and grilled in the same cast iron pan that I used to toast the flatbread. When making something this simple, it’s important to season each element. I added salt and pepper as I went and then sprinkled a little fleur de sel over the top.
I ate this with some green leaf lettuce dressed with Greek yogurt, white wine vinegar, a minced garlic scape, pepper and a bit of honey. For dessert I polished off some strawberries that were definitely not going to keep through my long weekend in Sonoma. Then I turned a bag of leafy greens over to my appreciative neighbor and dragged out the suitcase.
My local farmers market is really starting to pick up. Mindful of the excessive amount of kale still in my fridge, I limited myself to radishes, scallions, turnips, carrots and thyme. (More on those last three later.) Having hit the gym on the way home, I wanted a quick but virtuous lunch.
I started with half of a whole wheat flatbread. I am a big fan of these because they keep in the refrigerator pretty much forever and can be dolled up an infinite number of ways. I heated up my cast iron skillet and toasted the bread on both sides before applying a layer of ricotta cheese, which is a great source of quick protein that also keeps in the fridge. I added a layer of thinly sliced radishes. In a moment of inspiration, I decided to use the already-hot skillet to grill strips of scallion in a teaspoon or so of olive oil. Freshly ground pepper, fleur de sel and a light drizzle of truffle oil topped my springtime tartine.
It was fresh but lush, and it screamed out for a crisp white wine. Lo and behold, there was an open bottle of Gruner Veltliner on the top shelf of the refrigerator. OK, maybe lunch wasn’t all that virtuous.