Letters From Andy
Andy’s Blurb on New Potatoes
- new potatoes
- a little butter
- a pinch of salt
- a twist of fresh ground pepper
True new potatoes are a rare treat. A new potato is not a small potato but a fresh potato harvested from a green, growing potato plant. A somewhat scuffed, frayed appearance to the potato skin is a frequent consequence of harvesting such tender spuds and is unavoidable because the skin has not yet hardened. If left to mature new potatoes would get a little bigger and the skins would get tougher making for typical potatoes that are easier to harvest and ship. Unfortunately for the potato connoisseur the potato, once cured, always loses some of its tender moisture. New potatoes wilt and must be treated like green vegetables and stored in a bag in the fridge. When I get them as a first treat of the potato crop I never store them at all but eat them promptly. I like to steam them briefly and then roll the hot little potatoes in a little butter, a pinch of salt, and twist of pepper and voila! Do potatoes get any better? A friend from Idaho said when she was a girl they would eat new potatoes raw. I’ve tried it – the experience is not unlike jicama.
Fresh Shelling Beans with Buttered Crumbs with Rosemary
- 2 T butter
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, packed firmly
- 1 T minced fresh rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 lbs shelling beans, fresh out of their shell
- 2 teaspoons melted butter
- 1 T lemon juice
Melt butter in skillet over low heat. Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring constantly, until they are golden brown. Transfer to a bowl. Blend parsley and rosemary together then combine with the crumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Separately steam the beans until just tender. Remove to a warm plate and stir in the melted butter and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with the breadcrumb mixture and serve.
Honey Baked Parisian Carrots with Orange & Thyme
- 1 lb. Parisian Carrots
- juice of 1 clementine, or 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
- olive oil
- flaky sea salt (like Maldon)
- black pepper
- runny honey
- orange zest (optional)
This recipe is from The Clever Carrot
Preheat your oven to 400 F.
Place the carrots into a baking dish in one single layer. I used an 8×8 pan, however a 9×13 would work as well. Add the orange juice and place the clementine halves into the pan for extra flavor. Add the thyme sprigs. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake until the carrots are tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 10- 12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and discard the foil. Increase the heat to 450 F. Drizzle the carrots with honey and toss gently. Place back into the oven, uncovered, and roast until the carrots begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so that they do not burn.
To serve, drizzle lightly with olive oil and add extra salt and pepper to taste.
Chilled Beet Soup with Chives
- 1½ tsp olive oil
- 3 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
- 3-4 beets, quartered
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1½ tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 cups buttermilk
- chopped fresh chives
This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit, June 1996
Heat oil in large non stick skillet over low heat. Add carrots, beets and onion. Cover; cook until vegetables are just tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Add vinegar, cover and cook until vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes longer. Working in batches, add sugar and carrot mixture to blender or food processor. Or, use an immersion blender and blend the soup right in the pan. Purée. Transfer to large bowl. Mix in buttermilk. Season with salt and pepper. Chill until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.) Top with chives.
In-a-Pinch Cucumber Salad
- 1 long or two short Armenian cucumbers or 3-4 lemon cukes
- salt and freshly milled white pepper
- 2 to 3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- champagne vinegar or fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. fresh dill or parsley, chopped
This recipe is adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
Thinly slice cucumbers. Toss the cucumbers with a few pinches salt, pepper to taste, and enough oil to coat lightly. Add a few drops vinegar and the herb of your choice. Serves 4.
Fall Risotto with Chanterelles and Late Harvest Tomatoes
- Stock (vegetable, chicken, or ‘tomato mushroom on p. 157 if you own this book)
- 1/2 pound fresh chanterelles or other mushrooms
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 medium sized leeks, white parts only, cut in half length-wise, thinly sliced, and washed, about 3 cups
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine (dry, not a super sweet wine!)
- 1/2 pound tomatoes, cored, seeded, chopped
- 1 Tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
This recipe is adapted from Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville
If chanterelles aren’t available, use white mushrooms, or cremini, or a combination of the two.
Pour the stock into the saucepan, bring it to a boil, and reduce it to 6 cups. Keep the stock warm over very low heat.
Using a brush or a damp cloth, carefully clean the mushrooms. Remove the dirt and bits of organic matter, but don’t wash them, or they’ll soak up the water and lose their delicate flavor. Trim off the base of the stem if it is particularly dirty and discard. Cut the mushrooms into large pieces or thickly slice them, being sure to include the stem.
Heat 1 Tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet; add the chanterelles, 1/4 teaspoon salt, a few pinches of pepper, and 1/4 cup stock. Gently saute over medium heat until the mushrooms are barely tender. (cooking time depends…) Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet, heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons butter; add the leeks, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few pinches of pepper. Saute over medium high heat until the leeks begin to wilt, about 3 minutes. Cover the pan and steam the leeks until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.