Thursday, July 23, 2015

Salmon Niçoise adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Month after month, Martha Stewart Living takes us into the spectacularly photogenic homes of equally photogenic families. They share Martha’s passion for the domestic arts in their wonderfully curated and art directed living spaces.   And there is always a prominently featured menu item that is just as beautiful as its creators and their settings.   So it was with this dish: a riff on the French classic Salade Niçoise, a spectacle of tuna, haricots verts, tiny potatoes and hard cooked eggs.   Here, in her Shelter Island kitchen, a woman named Harriet Maxwell Macdonald Corrie came up with what was described as ‘a reliable crowd pleaser’.  It certainly pleased us, even if the crowd was all of four people enjoying a Sunday lunch together.  I didn’t follow Ms. Corrie’s recipe to the absolute letter but in spirit this is her wonderful salad.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Potato Salad with Garlic Scapes, Snap Peas and Scallions

Garlic Scapes make
their appearance once
a year. 
There are cooks who wait all year to work with Garlic Scapes, the flower bud of the garlic plant.  The bud is removed about this time every year to encourage the underground bulb to thicken up.  They taste like garlic and can be used in any recipe calling for the ‘stinking rose’.  That is what garlic has been called since Greek and Roman times.  The reason for the ‘stinking’ part is all too obvious.  But why the rose?  The plant is actually an allium which is part of the Liliaceae or lily family.  So where does the name come from?  One possibility is that if you look at garlic from underneath, the bulb does have a slight resemblance to a white rose with the large ends of the cloves forming its petals.   It seems to me that that’s a bit of stretch, but it doesn’t take away garlic’s unique contribution to cooking.  And this potato salad is a tribute to the relatively mild garlic flavor of the scapes and how they enhance the sweetness of the other key ingredients: potatoes and snow peas.