The first one, admittedly, is a bit of a cheat – it involved a recipe…! But, as the photo shows, it made up for that by sheer colourfulness :) And, to go full confessional – these two things were not done for the same meal but just fitted nicely together under the “experiment” headline.
What it is – is red beets, raw, peeled, very thinly sliced on the mandoline. Bathe them liberally in lemon juice and set aside for an hor or so (we didn’t have that time – I imagine they’d cured a bit and become softer if we had in fact let them).
- Communards, Don’t Leave Me This Way
The green stuff is a ramsons / buckrams / wild garlic / whateveryoucallit dressing:
Take a couple of handfuls of ramsons leaves, rinse them and very briefly blanch them in really boiling water, dumping them into cold water at once they get out of the hot water. My kitchen tweezers were ideal for the job: grab one or two leaves, dip them in the boiling water without letting them go, transfer them to the cold bath and leave them there.
- Ray Parker Jr., Ghost Busters
Pat the water off the leaves and put them in the blender. Add a decent olive oil in rather copious amounts. Blend until the whole thing is smooth and very green. Add quite some lemon juice and adjust taste with salt and pepper and blend into a smooth paste. Arrange on the plates as you find it most elegant.
- Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, I Love Rock and Roll
The other experiment was today. Came home late from the office – I was picking up 12-14 kg of fresh lamb from a farm in the countryside on the way. Leg, shoulder, some HUGE lamb chops (just saying this: we can fit max 2 on the big frying pan…!) etc. Yummy. All now neatly packed and in the freezer.
For some odd reason we hadn’t planned for lamb for dinner – doh! But we had two very nice pork chops – on the frying pan with sage, lemon thyme (both fresh from the pots in the front garden), salt & pepper.
- Matt Bianco, Whose Side Are You On
Very apt song – next up: sides! Some pasta on the boil for carbohydrates. A tomato salad: sliced tomato, chopped red onion, olive oil & balsamico dressing, And then the experiment – a warm side salad:
We had a pointed cabbage (sweetheart cabbage? sounds better!). Took the outer leaves away – they’re always a bit soft and yucky. Took the next three-four layers and rinsed them and then sliced them 1/4 inch or so wide, maybe an inch or inch and a half long.
- Katy Perry, I Kissed A Girl (Rock Mix)
And basically stir fried that in oil with maybe 6-8 green asparagus cut in similar lengths and a good handful of almonds and justa touch of salt. On good but not excessive heat until the cabbage turns really nicely green but still has bite.
- Kim Wilde, You Keep Me Hanging On
Turned out very nice – and looked good on the plate along with the red tomato salad. Freshly grated parmesan for the pasta – and then an organic apple/elderberry flower cider we’d had as a present along with it. The quiet acidity of the cider made it a very good companion for the food.
And by the way, just now when I went out into the garden, the scent of the elderberry flower was wafting nicely around out there. With that happy thought –
Photo by me.