Sometimes a simple jumping-off point can become pretty complicated. Especially if you’re hungry, and have a lot of interesting leftovers in the fridge. So what began as an idea for an easy chicken and veggie curry quickly spiraled out of control and ended up as four dishes. It really came down to my desire to let certain things retain more of their individual identities, and my love for having lots of plates of Indian food on the table- whether at home, or in a restaurant.
All the various orphaned root veggies from the drawer in the fridge (carrot, turnip, sweet potato, onion) became the base for a lovely coconut curry that also included cauliflower and peas. Chicken thighs got their own pan, and simmered with yogurt, nettle purée, ginger, garlic, many other spices, and water. I cooked more of our tuscan kale with fresh mint, plus fenugreek and fennel seeds, and then blended it smooth. I also made a cucumber salad with dill from the garden like my Grandmother used to. (Milo grabbed the cucumber the other day so we’ve been enjoying another of his random out-of-season choices.)
It’s a tough time of year; despite the warm(ish) weather, we’re at a low ebb as the garden gets up to speed. Not so much of this was home-grown. It makes me a little nuts to buy vegetables when we have so many that will be ready soon, and next year I will make an extra effort to get certain things in the ground (with protection) even earlier so we can avoid this frustration. But nonetheless it all looked great on the beautiful Turkish plates, and it tasted really good over brown rice with a delicious 2006 Max Richter Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett. (Take that, Google spell-checker.)