My friend and neighbor Harriet is a very generous gardener. As well as fresh kale and cucumbers, she recently shared some of her very interesting radishes. Not the round or oval red, pink and white variety, but a bag full of Dragon’s Tail Radishes. I am totally enchanted by their unusual beauty…colors from almost black, to a dark purple and a hint of lime green and their very peppery flavor with long curly “dragon’s tails”. They are a crisp, tender edible roots, with an intense peppery bite. The larger the stem the spicier. Have you ever grown these? I have not, but Harriet says they are easy to grown from seeds, and prolific. Next year. Thanks, Harriet.
Isn’t it fun to try something new? Or to use something you eat all the time in a new way? All of the ingredients in my salad could also be just as delicious quickly stir-fried with some shrimp or tofu. I hear they are great pickled as well.
Dragon’s Tail Radishes (or any radish) chopped up and added to a bowl (is there any reason at all to turn on the stove for meals this very hot summer?) along with a few large cucumbers peeled, seeded and sliced, homegrown sweet golden cherry tomatoes cut in half (from our small garden) with a few of your favorite greens, then drizzled with the ginger-miso dressing…a complete joy to eat.
For the “there-is-no-recipe dressing” you toss into a blender 1 heaping tablespoon freshly grated or chopped ginger, 2 tablespoons white miso, 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil, a splash of orange or apple juice, 1 tablespoon honey and some red pepper flakes to taste. Blend, taste, adjust, pour into a container with a lid and chill. Shake and drizzle on whatever salad you like.
This summer might be a good time to try some new things all around. Wear less clothing to stay cooler? Spend more time in the shade? Sit in a comfy cool indoor space and read, read, read a book or 10? Give and take dinner ideas that are easy, healthy and fun from your friends and neighbors? Take very early morning or late day strolls? Doze in a hammock? Take up cards or board games? What do you like to do to get outside your life-box? Do share.
The so-called “dog days of summer” have gotten to me and when it comes to cooking I am giving in. Salads and variations-on-the-salad will be my mainstay for a bit. Cool foods that I can quickly and easily put together with ingredients that are readily and locally available. I will make foods that do not require breaking a sweat.
This colander of fresh Crowder peas in where we start today. I quickly cooked them in a plastic bag in the microwave…no hot water steaming up the kitchen on this 90+ degree day, then I rinsed them in cold water and let them drain for a bit.
Hmmmm….homegrown tomatoes & cucumbers from the Duren-Kemp garden of earthly delights. (That’s my son-in-law and daughter’s garden.)
A late summer, no oven or stove-top dinner, healthy & fresh, cool as a cucumber meal! Keep it simple, don’t work up a sweat with this “Crowder Pea, Homegrown Tomato & Cucumber Salad”. It’s another “E.A.T. ” (easy as this) meal brought to you from my little Food on Fifth kitchen.
(Almost No Cooking) E.A.T. Late Summer Salad of Crowder Peas, Homegrown Tomatoes and Cucumbers
2-3 cups fresh, shelled Crowder peas, lady peas or any other summer pea
4 medium size home-grown tomatoes cut into bite-size chunks
1-2 fresh smallish size cucumbers, peeled or unpeeled, sliced or cut into chunks
a good balsamic vinegar, as much as you like to coat
lemon salt & freshly ground black pepper (or just regular sea salt)
Rinse & drain peas & put in a zip-lock bag left slightly open. Cook in microwave for about 8 minutes on high. Dump into a colander and rinse with cool running water. Leave to drain for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl toss together the cooled peas, tomato chunks & cucumbers.
Season with salt & black pepper. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar to taste. Serve at room temp or chilled. Delicious with a crusty baguette and, of course on a hot day, a glass of chilled white wine. Bon Appetite.