I. H. V. Monday: Simplicity
Today's lunch... too much fuss?
Years ago a friend's boyfriend agreed to let me interview him for a piece in the local newspaper's food section. He learned to cook from his Thai mother, and we spent an afternoon together shopping for and cooking his Americanized spin on Thai flavors. His manner in and out of the kitchen was relaxed and authentic, and that summer meal of coconut curry salmon over basmati rice paired perfectly with the least fussy and most tasteful salad I'd ever had: beautiful dark green almost purple lettuce tossed with balsamic and olive oil, salt and pepper. There was an avocado somewhere on the plate as well, but that acted as a buffer to the heat of the curry.
In my quest to find and consume happy vegetables I often forget that simplicity is best. At brunch with friends yesterday I revisited that flawlessly uncomplicated salad as our host served gorgeous mixed greens in balsamic and olive oil alongside quiche Lorraine, roasted new potatoes, cinnamon rolls, fruit, and cumquat mohitos and sparkling wine. The experience had me dreaming all night of the coming season... baby greens, aforementioned new potatoes, the first shoots of asparagus, mild herbs, radishes, and of course peas.
Next week let's talk peas, especially mashed or mixed with mint and dill. Those flavors scream to me, "March, March, March is here! March is the snowiest month of the year!" Which means April is around the corner and it is nearly time to pull out your rain boots and umbrella.