Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cranky's Mache Pit

Let the tyranny begin.
The garden is beginning to flood out edibles, and it's our job to do something about that.
One thing we're doing is picking things while they're young and small (though it doesn't doesn't work for tomatoes, darn).
However, the mache plants are already sprouting blossoms. Hell, instead of nipping them off and throwing them away, we're nipping them off and throwing them into the salad. More edible flowers; nothing wrong with that.
Last year I tried hard to dream up thoughtful, imaginative uses for my produce. This year, I'm happy just salting and eating. Last year, a novel recipe might require me to buy ingredients not already in the house. This year, I'm thinking: I have oils. I have home-made pear vinegar. I have ground hot pepper from chiles I grew last summer. I have a bin of accumulated salts that is in all probability embarrassing.
So that's how this salad happened. Simply.
Which is not to say that's all there is to life.


peter said...

I'm actually down to only 5 kinds of salt, I think. Maybe 7. Time to go shopping...

kudzu said...

Remember that for every bitty young firm cucumber or zucchini or whatever you eat, the fewer monstro hangers-on you will have, later. We don't need Alaskan harvest-sized yields to prove our gardening gifts. Also: this way you can taste everything in all their different phases, no small miracle.

el said...

oh yeah I so know what you mean about "next year I'll..." and when the rubber hits the road, it's the simpler the better. Bon appetit you two!

Zoomie said...

Love your title, you clever girl!

Kevin said...

You do know about fried green tomatoes, don't you?

Stacie said...

gotta love a mache pit! was there kicking? my guess is that it was the Ramones? I love the way that the eat local thing starts as this job and turns into the way life is. It seems to get easier and easier, until, I am guessing, it is no effort at all... ah!

The Spiteful Chef said...

Am I the total weasel-queen of processed food, apparently, as I had to google "mache." Speaking of salt, though, the smoked stuff I got at C.M. here in crappy San Antonio was ridonkulous. I almost wept.

cookiecrumb said...

Peter: I probably won't have to buy any more salt for the rest of my years.

Kudzu: Well, I remember when "baby vegetables" were all the rage, and we PAID for them. So, yep. Eat 'em small.

El: I actually think I learned this lesson from your story about your first harvest of peas this year, shelling them, each of you, at the table and eating them raw. xx

Zoomie: Cranky thought it up!! He still rocks.

Kevin: Well, yes, I do know about fried green tomatoes. But my rule in summer is to eat the first ones ripe. I'll do green later, when it seems as if the days are too short to turn them red anymore.

Stacie: Yes, it was the Ramones. And there was crowd-surfing! (Cranky and I laughed at your remark on your blog today about "lettuce coming out of your lettuce." I dig.)

S Chef: In California, we can get mache in plastic bags at Whole Foods!
Don't go dissin' on yourself; hell, you make your own bread. Now and then. :)

Nikki Miller-Ka said...

I have a bunch of salt from when I went to California in the spring. Truffle salt was my secret ingredient in EVERYTHING last month. Smoked, gray, Hawaiian are all I have left over.

I wish I had room for a garden. We've got parsley and oregano and that's as exotic as it gets. The only mache I get is in a lettuce mix from Whole Foods.

namastenancy said...

I found this on Epicurious - now, I'm off to the Farmer's Market to buy some and try it out. One of the commentators said that she also added a squeeze of lemon; since I like things tart, I would suggest trying that. The recipe got Four Forks!

Mâche is so delicate that tossing it with vinegar would not only wilt it instantly but would completely mask its subtle flavor.

Active time: 5 min Start to finish: 5 min

Makes 4 servings.

Gourmet Entertains
3 oz mâche (lamb's lettuce), trimmed (12 cups)
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Gently toss together mâche, sea salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon oil. Mound salad on plates and drizzle with remaining oil (to taste).

Heather said...

A simple is not all there is to life?

I'm going to do the canning thing this year, instead of just saucing and freezing (I doubled the size of the garden). Maybe I'll can some sauce, just for giggles.

Chilebrown said...

I have Sunday off.*sortof*. Have you been to Jack London Square's Sunday's market? There is a vendor that has the killer Apple Cidor Vineagor. If he is there, I want to buy a gallon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cookiecrumb said...

Nikki: Truffle salt... sigh! I've never indulged, though I do have other suppliers of the coveted flavor.
I sympathize that you don't have gardening space; when I didn't, herbs was definitely the thing to grow.

NNancy: I've found mache to be sort of succulent, and perfectly willing to stand up to vinegar... Even so, thanks for the recipe.

Heather: Oh, jeez, you're going to do canning? I keep chickening out. My problem is I don't follow recipes, so there's no reliable formula for the canning method, PH, all that. (You're a scientist; am I full of BS here?)

ChileBrown: I hear ya. I don't think we'll make it over the bridge, but -- I make my own cider vinegar, and it rawks!

Anita said...

If Cranky ever decides to spin off from IMaIE (you know, posting those alternate photos he likes), this has to be the name of his food-blog.

cookiecrumb said...

Anita: I proposed your idea to Cranky and he got a faraway look in his eyes... After all, he *does* most of the cooking around here. In fact, he was the one who came up with "mache pit."
That's it. I quit.

tammy said...

Mache pit. Love it. I'm having fun catching up on all your posts!