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Here’s another June Long Distance Kitchen recipe – First-of-the-Season Succotash Salad from Sunday Suppers at Lucques. I’d never made a succotash salad before – in fact, when Bronwen assigned it I had no idea what to expect when I read the recipe, vaguely picturing some kind of grain-based salad.  In fact, it’s a vegetable salad.  Visit her blog for pictures, because I spaced out on this one.

You make a little dressing from shallot, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil.  Let it sit, and meanwhile you sauté red onion and thyme in some oil, then add diced summer squash, cooking until it’s tender and has a little color.  She tells you to salt it, but here’s my word of warning: there is WAY too much salt in this recipe.  I added the exact quantities called for, and even as I poured it in I had my doubts.  Instead, salt according to instinct.  You can always add more later.  Lesson learned.

Take the squash out of the pan and let it cool, and use the same pan to cook fresh corn that has been sliced off of the cob, in some olive oil and salt and pepper (the same salt warning applies here).  Cool the corn once it reaches the tender stage.

Halve some cherry tomatoes and season them with salt (or not – at this point, the recipe has called for 3 teaspoons of the stuff for a medium bowl’s worth of veggies).  Throw in the squash and corn along with a cup of cooked fresh lima beans and half the dressing.

I was bringing the recipe to my parents’ house for dinner (4th of July, if memory serves) and when I described it to my mom, she requested that I leave out the lima beans, so I did.  Hmm, maybe they would have absorbed some of that salt, although her recipe for them does include seasoning them with salt already.

Finally, taste and “adjust with more salt and lemon juice if you like.”  Yeah, no.  Then toss in some sliced parsley and basil and minced chives.  Serve on top of watercress and arugula that’s been tossed with the remaining dressing.  Since I wasn’t sure how much would get eaten, I just served the succotash in a bowl by itself, with mixed greens and the dressing handy in case anyone wanted them.

I found that I liked the succotash by itself better than with greens, although unfortunately I could only eat a few bites before becoming overwhelmed by the salt.  It was really overpowering, which was disappointing because I was really enjoying the underlying flavor of the vegetables.  I might try this one again next summer, using more a of a salt, taste, salt method.

Ever since Bronwen gave me a copy of Sunday Suppers at Lucques (by Suzanne Goin), I’d been eying the recipe for Wild Salmon Salad with Beets, Potato, Egg, and Mustard Vinaigrette.  I like to eat every single one of those things, but I’d never eaten them all together – plus the photo made it look delicious.   So I assigned the recipe back in April (cough, cough) and am just now telling you about it.  Here’s Bronwen’s report.

ingredientsHere are all the ingredients.  It sounds time-consuming because there are so many pieces to assemble, but each piece is actually fairly simple, and they can all be done ahead of time since it’s a room temperature dish.

Basically, you roast the beets and potatoes in separate pans with a bit of seasoning on each, and once they’re cool you skin the beets and slice everything up.  The eggs are soft-boiled, and the vinaigrette is prepared with egg yolk, mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt & pepper.

The salmon requires a bit more prep – you create an herby coating from lemon zest, shallots, dill, tarragon, parsley and olive oil, and then smear your salmon with it.  You cook it in a low oven with a pan of water on a lower rack until it just flakes.  (By the way, this would be a delicious way to prepare salmon, even if you weren’t making the whole salad).

The only thing I changed, as far as I can remember, was to serve the salad over leaf lettuce instead of dandelion greens.  You season the sliced beets with some oil and lemon, and pour some of the vinaigrette over the halved potatoes.  You put more dressing over the greens on a platter, then tuck in beets, potatoes, egg halves, and chunks of the salmon, and top with a bit more vinaigrette and lemon juice.

Super tasty – this one lived up to the photo in the cookbook, although mine wasn’t quite as photogenic.  Make it again?  You bet.  It also made pretty good leftovers, although it required many containers to transport it to work without turning everything the color of beets.

wild salmon salad

Now, on to the Meyer Lemon Ice Cream!  I’ve got to say, I love owning an ice cream maker – you can experiment with flavors, and for people like me who prefer their ice cream a little melty, there’s nothing like ice cream fresh from being churned.

Meyer Lemon Ice Cream

(If you have trouble finding Meyer Lemons, any other citrus fruit will probably do)

3 Meyer Lemons (~ 3/4 lb) (juice and zest from)
1 cup sugar
1 cup half and half
6 egg yolks
3 cups whipping cream
vanilla extract to taste.

Steep strips of peel (with no pith) of one lemon in a pan w/the sugar and half and half. Heat to just under boiling, stir to dissolve sugar, then remove from heat and let sit for ~ 15 min.

Make a custard w/the egg yolks and half and half mix. (Temper eggs; then add back into cream mix and cook on stove until you have a thin custard). Strain mixture and add in finely grated zest of the other two lemons. Let steep for 15 min. Add in cream. Add ~ 9 Tbs of lemon juice; taste and adjust w/more if you like. Add a few drops of vanilla. Chill for several hours before making ice cream.

The only thing I would change in making it again (because it was deliciously refreshing and mildly lemony) would be to make sure the zest added towards the end is super, super finely grated – I thought mine was, but I ended up noticing its texture in the finished ice cream.  Otherwise, an excellent way to get my ice cream making going for the summer, although I made this in April and, unlike in California with Bronwen, it was not summery at all here.  And although I wanted to follow her serving suggestion and eat it with fresh strawberries, the strawberries you find in Oregon in April are not up to my standards, so the ice cream was eaten by itself.

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