spheres of influence

I’ve been thinking about the different lifespans of items in my refrigerator, from the emergency frozen peas (nice as an ice pack and, in a pinch, as a vegetable side) to the rosy salmon roe that sneak into many dishes. In my kitchen, dairy is the great uniter, and so I made a cream sauce for smoked salmon, salmon roe, peas, pearl onions, fennel, and cladonia (miner’s lettuce) stirred into farfalle.

farfalle with salmon, salmon roe, cladonia, peas, onions

In the spring, I’ll use crunchy pea shoots and make fresh linguine for this dish. I like the play between the pearl onions, peas, and roe as far as size.

To make this: boil water, drop 1/2 lb of pasta, simmer 3/4 c of heavy cream for 5 min with 1/2 c sliced fennel, stir in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 1/4 c of finely grated Parmesan. In the final two minutes of pasta boiling, drop into 1 c frozen peas and onions (if using), drain all together. Stir pasta into sauce, tear in 2 oz. smoked salmon in strips, season, plate with salmon roe and lettuce on top.

farfalle with salmon, salmon roe, cladonia, peas, onions

I find inspiration even at the winter markets, and yesterday morning, vendors were arranging root vegetables at Union Square. I found a beautiful bunch of baby fennel, sunchokes that I will scrub until they shine, those funny little bunches that mache grows in, and the mild Cladonia.

Mache, Cladonia (miner's lettuce), fennel, sunchokes

After work, I stopped by Brooklyn’s Mazzola Bakery for lard bread,

Mazzola's Bakery

lard bread from Mazzola's Bakery

and this morning, I toasted the bread filled with little bits of salami, using the warm, crisp edges to carry soft scrambled eggs with orange yolks and spinach, a good beginning to the day…

Mazzola Bakery lard bread, fresh market eggs, winter spinach

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