I'm still relishing last night's almost entirely local dinner. I used to wonder how cookbook writers and food bloggers came up with new content. Sure, some of them recycle pasta recipes with only minor tweaks for each subsequent book (Tyler Florence, I'm talking about you.) But for other chefs, I think the inspiration comes with each new season. As one ingredient fades into cool sunsets and another rises with the heat of a scorching summer sun, new recipes are born. That's been my favorite part of this adventure exploring local foods, ditching the same old romaine with balsamic salad and spaghetti we have eaten weekly for the last 7 years. Last night I reveled in the delicious newness of arugula salad with grapefruit and mint vinaigrette, tepary beans with spring onions and cilantro and locally-crafted tamales.
Arugula Salad with Grapefruit & Mint Vinaigrette
6 cups arugula, loosely packed
1 small red onion, thinly sliced into rings
2 white grapefruits, peeled with a paring knife to remove pith then cut into segments
1/2 white grapefruit, juiced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 mint sprig, leaves only, minced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together and drizzle over arugula and red onion in a medium mixing bowl. Toss to coat. Portion the salad onto individual plates and top with grapefruit segments.
Today my worry about my tomato seeds ever sprouting turned sharply to concern about how exactly we are going to consume the fruit of about two dozen tomato plants after they reach maturity. The seed catalog promised dozens of tomatoes per plant on the large varieties and as many as 100 on the cherry varieties. It's a good problem to have. I may finally have to face my fear of canning. Either that or my local friends may get that doorbell ditch tomato delivery. Watch out Anna, Hannah, Kim. I know where you live.