Eat Your Veggies

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.

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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.

Quick Springtime Lunch

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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.