Culino-Heraldry

Yesterday I was out in the garden taking advantage of our recent thaw to dig some burdock and look for stray potatoes (there was one, but it was rotten.) I also thinned the Asian cabbage, because it’s really forming heads now and I want them to have room. I know that all the brassicas are going to bolt in short order, but in the meantime it’s pretty great to have fresh greens right out the door, and the warmer weather means I don’t have to shovel the damn garden any more to get at the food.

Tonight I wanted to keep with the complex single plates we’ve been enjoying lately; it’s a fun way to play with contrasting flavors and presentation, as well as being a handy way of regulating portion size. When there’s a trough of pasta on the stove, it’s easy to go back- but when this is put in front of you and that’s pretty much all there is, it emphasizes the completeness of the meal on the plate. In all three cases, I found myself eating more deliberately and being perfectly full at the end. A variety of strong flavors helps. And wine.

The flavors in question this time around: pan-roasted wild salmon with cranberry tapenade, the cabbage sautéed with garlic, puréed celery root with yogurt, and radicchio mash with truffle oil. Pleiades is always great with salmon, and tonight was no exception. We should be getting our XVI soon, and I’m excited to try it. It occurred to me after I shot this that it looks a bit like a coat of arms: a bend purpure on a field saumon proper, with a chief purpure and flaunches argent and vert. Hypothetically- not like I’m a nerd or anything.

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I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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