tomatoes

Asparagus, Tomato and Pickled Chive Blossom Salad

Asparagus, Tomato and Pickled Chive Blossom Salad - A Thought For Food
Asparagus, Tomato and Pickled Chive Blossom Salad - A Thought For Food
Asparagus, Tomato and Pickled Chive Blossom Salad - A Thought For Food
Asparagus, Tomato and Pickled Chive Blossom Salad - A Thought For Food
Asparagus, Tomato and Pickled Chive Blossom Salad - A Thought For Food
Asparagus, Tomato and Pickled Chive Blossom Salad - A Thought For Food
Asparagus, Tomato and Pickled Chive Blossom Salad - A Thought For Food
Asparagus, Tomato and Pickled Chive Blossom Salad - A Thought For Food

Tomorrow marks our eighth wedding anniversary. How has it been eight years already? It feels like it was only yesterday that we were surrounded by loved ones; dancing, drinking, eating lobster. But when I think about it, so much has happened over the years. We bought not just one, but two houses. I created this blog and, with it, developed a passion for photography (though when I started I never dreamed it'd turn into a career). We became uncles to four kiddos. Two of my grandparents passed away. Friends have moved away. And a number of those close to us have become parents (with quite a few additions arriving this year). I think about the places we've traveled, the restaurants we've dined at, and all the other experiences and I know that we're pretty darn lucky.

While I'm always happy to share what's going on in my life, I have refrained from writing much about our marriage. Why? Because I'd rather keep those moments between the two of us (and I'm pretty sure Eric agrees). But I will say that there is so much that I'm continuing to learn from our marriage. Communication is key. I know everyone says this, but it's very, very true. A relationship will never work if you're afraid to express yourself. We've gotten through some major stuff just because one of us was able to say, "Let's talk about this." Oh, and saying "I love you" and kissing and hugging goodbye before you go to work. That can make you forget all about that fight you had earlier. 

Anyway, now that I've gotten personal, let's talk about this bowl of summer deliciousness. I was so happy to see asparagus return that I immediately picked up a couple bunches. I'd been looking to do something with the chive blossom vinegar I had sitting on the counter (thanks to my friends/neighbors who shared their gorgeous chive blossoms with me). By making the vinegar, not only do you get a zingy, slightly oniony addition to salad dressing, but you also have a beautiful garnish to top your dish. I've put the flowers on pasta and fish, too, and they provide a delightful burst of flavor.

Asparagus, Tomato and Pickled Chive Blossom Salad - A Thought For Food

ASPARAGUS, TOMATO, AND PICKLED CHIVE BLOSSOM SALAD

SERVINGS
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
For the salad
2 pounds asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
Pickled chive blossoms (recipe below)
2 tablespoons, chive blossom vinegar (recipe below)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
Black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

DIRECTIONS
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Add asparagus and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer asparagus to ice water to shock them and stop them from cooking. 

2. Put asparagus in a large serving bowl, along with the tomato.

3. In a separate bowl, make the dressing by whisking together chive blossom vinegar, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.  Pour the dressing over the asparagus and tomatoes and toss to combine.

4. Sprinkle pickled chive blossom flowers and crumbled goat cheese on top of the salad. 

CHIVE BLOSSOM VINEGAR + PICKLED CHIVE BLOSSOMS

SPECIAL TOOLS
Jar with lid

INGREDIENTS
Chive blossoms
White wine vinegar

DIRECTIONS
1. Add the chive blossoms to a jar fitted with a lid. Fill jar with white wine vinegar.

2. Cover jar and let sit in a dark, cool place, for 2 weeks. The vinegar will turn purple. 

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

"Clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels;

only when the clock stops does time come to life." - William Faulkner

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

When we arrived to open the Cape house a few months ago, we noticed that the kitchen clock had stopped working.  This wasn't terribly surprising, since it had been around for quite some time.  To fill the empty space, a platter in the shape of a fish was propped up against the wall.  Eric and his brother like to joke about it. "Hey, what time is it?" one asks... to which the other replies "I think it's half past a fish."

It never gets old.

I've grown to really appreciate the absence of the clock.  So much of my day is spent scheduling that to be in a place that doesn't have a visible clock is refreshing. Somehow life slows down in the most miraculous way when you aren't always checking to see what time it is.   Eating when you want to.  Drinking when you want to. Napping when you want to.  It's a wonderful thing.

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes
Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

(mildly adapted from Tom Colicchio's recipe in Food and Wine Magazine, August 2013)

Servings 8-10

Ingredients

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 1/2 pounds mixed cherry tomatoes 2 large garlic cloves, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1 1/2 pounds small squid, cleaned, bodies cut into 1/3-inch rings and tentacles halved 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 1 cup lightly packed small basil leaves

Instructions

1. Add the oil to a skillet and set over medium heat.  Add tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes blister, approximately 4 minutes.

2. Add the squid and cook on low heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until they become opaque.

3. Stir in the rice wine vinegar and basil and season with salt and pepper.