Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

blue_dolphin

Cooking with Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Recommended Posts

Grilled Radishes with Dates, Apples and Radish Tops from Six Seasons p 115

IMG_7902.thumb.jpg.782661249103ee1dc78ceca1e401f15c.jpg

 

Not my favorite thing.  Maybe my fault for using French breakfast radishes, maybe I just don't like cooked radishes. I'm not the biggest radish lover but they have their charms which include a fresh crunch and a mildly spicy bite. In this recipe, they are to be grilled or roasted whole and dry in the oven. Since I am grill-less, I used the oven option and the radishes started to shrivel before they softened. I gave them some extra time but in the end, this cooking method took away their charms (to me) and left some rather soft and tasteless little vegetables. 

I mainly chose this recipe because of its use of the radish tops.  My bunch of radishes came with an impressive collection of perky leaves.  Shown below going into the pan:

IMG_7900.thumb.jpg.a74e59a0fbb606b1f819e8eeb3db1166.jpg

 

Yes, that's a 12-inch skillet with the leaves from just one bunch of radishes!  Now, I usually blanch the leaves for a couple of minutes first, drain, roughly chop and THEN sauté them but I followed the recipe and wilted them directly in the olive oil and they ended more bitter than I, a lover of bitter greens, like.  

 

I really loved the recipe for Radishes, Tonnato and Sunflower Seeds and I'll probably try the recipe for Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter, Chile and Lemon, but I won't make this one again.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Not my favorite thing.

It’s a shame but it would be miraculous to enjoy every single recipe in the book. You have certainly had some winners. I envy your access to such gorgeous produce but I repeat myself. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Anna N said:

It’s a shame but it would be miraculous to enjoy every single recipe in the book. You have certainly had some winners. I envy your access to such gorgeous produce but I repeat myself. 

 

No complaints here.  I enjoyed my meal of this salad, accompanied by some extra sharp cheddar and crusty bread.  I have enjoyed many more successes than failures from this book.  I also appreciate the fresh produce I can access and have been having great fun using it in new recipes.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I've always loved the concept of radishes , butter and bread as extolled in the Provincial Cooking of France Time Life series. However in practice it has fallen short. I did have a wonderful year where I grew them just for the greens, harvested early, and was very happy. Our erratic climate change weather has not enabled a repeat...

 


Edited by heidih (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Broccoli Rabe, Mozzarella, Anchovy and Spicy Tomato from Six Seasons p 185.  

IMG_7912.thumb.jpg.81e8b80714c1e4843285329deafcd0ba.jpg
Bottom line - quick, easy lunch, delicious with some crusty bread and a glass of red wine but not a whole lot better than something I might cobble together from leftovers. If I did that, I would be quite pleased with myself, but I've come to expect a bit more from this book. In truth, I probably wouldn't have used fresh mozz to decorate my leftovers, and it is lovely here so that certainly elevates the dish.
I used broccolini instead of broccoli rabe and added some radish greens to up the "bitter" factor that differentiates broccoli rabe from the rest of the broccoli family. My tomatoes never really turned into a "sauce" - as the book describes - long as I cooked them, they were just little tomato chunks so that may be a factor as well.

Nice lunch.  No complaints, though if I find myself with spare broccolini or broccoli rabe, I'm likely to go for the quicker and easier Broccoli Melts from Smitten Kitchen Every Day.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two more Six Seasons recipes for my lunch today.  Pan-Steamed Broccoli with Sesame Seeds, Parmigiano and Lemon p 176 and Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter, Chile and Honey p 116 both served with orzo with lemon and parsley from Diana Henry's Simple.

IMG_7913.thumb.jpg.332b0aa6a474d3a8a6aa45fcb4a1cbf1.jpg

 

The pan-steamed broccoli was nice.  I substituted broccolini and followed one of the suggestions in the book to add some anchovy to the pan.  Between the garlic, red chile pepper flakes, anchovy and lemon this is a very flavorful prep.  One could easily toss this with pasta, maybe a few kalamata olives and call it dinner. 

The roasted radishes get started on the stovetop, then move to the oven and get finished back on the stove with a dab of butter and a splash of red wine vinegar and drizzle of honey.  This gives them a lot more flavor than I got from the grilled radish salad I posted about above.   

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rant number 2:  "Fill a large pot with water and add salt until it tastes like the sea." (p366).  Rather depends next to which sea one lives, doesn't it?  Not very useful if you are in Tibet.  Why not just specify weight of salt per kg of water?  Takes even fewer words.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I should cook Raw Brussels Sprouts for my dinner!


Edited by Ossonad (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

With an excess of scallions in the vegetable drawer, I went ahead and made the Charred Scallion Salsa Verde from Six Seasons p 109 without giving much thought to how I'd use it. 

Turns out to go very nicely on a plate of eggs. 

IMG_7945.thumb.jpg.a95c488455b8536dc11794c0b35906ae.jpg

 

The scallions get charred all over by putting them into a hot, heavy skillet and then putting another pan on top to flatten them.  I perhaps went a bit too far - as you can see, my scallions are well and truly charred but plenty of lemon zest and juice and fresh parsley brighten it all up.  The recipe instructs the the parsley stems be chopped finely, like chives, and they add a nice texture.  I think this would be good over a nice piece of fish or even on sandwiches. 

I'll certainly make this again if I find myself with extra scallions on hand.


Edited by blue_dolphin to add parsley stems (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@blue_dolphin, when I find fat scallions at the store I throw them on the grill and they are delicious, too. Worth making extras to throw into salsa, grilled ratatouille, etc.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, BeeZee said:

@blue_dolphin, when I find fat scallions at the store I throw them on the grill and they are delicious, too. Worth making extras to throw into salsa, grilled ratatouille, etc.

 

I bet they are great!  Since I don't have an outdoor grill, I've pan-grilled some on the stovetop and they were excellent but I filled the place with smoke and set off all the alarms so I've sort of given up that tactic!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I also enjoy charred scallions and find they can be good done under the broiler or in the toaster oven.  If I have a surfeit I do them that way, chop and freeze for inclusion anywhere alliums add.


Edited by heidih (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Butter Lettuce with New Potatoes, Eggs and Pancetta Vinaigrette p 102 in Six Seasons.

IMG_7991.thumb.jpg.50ea9229f4e629d6b479d1d673fc5d5a.jpg

I just love the contrast between the rich pancetta vinaigrette-dressed potatoes and the fresh butter lettuce. The parsley leaves add the perfect bit of bitter green flavor and the pickled onions p 59 bring both sweetness and a sharp acidity. Excellent salad!


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
  • Like 3
  • Delicious 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta Vinaigrette p 289 in Six Seasons.

IMG_7995.thumb.jpg.b3d649d777fb3742692281ae37415b48.jpg

Since I made the pancetta vinaigrette yesterday and had some sprouts in the fridge, it was easy to make these.  Just roast and toss with the vinaigrette.  I can see this working with any number of roasted vegetables.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@blue_dolphin

 

I have perhaps said this before. My memory is not what it once was. But I need to learn to read a cookbook the way you do. Somehow I manage to miss some very interesting concepts.  Or perhaps I have the attention span of a gnat which I suspect is the truth.  Just a long way of saying how much I appreciate some of the dishes that you make and post from some of the books we both enjoy.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Anna N said:

@blue_dolphin

 

I have perhaps said this before. My memory is not what it once was. But I need to learn to read a cookbook the way you do. Somehow I manage to miss some very interesting concepts.  Or perhaps I have the attention span of a gnat which I suspect is the truth.  Just a long way of saying how much I appreciate some of the dishes that you make and post from some of the books we both enjoy.

 

The dishes @blue_dolphin posts seem far more appealing than what's in the book.

 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

The dishes @blue_dolphin posts seem far more appealing than what's in the book.

 There is no denying she is extremely talented.  

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to @Anna N and @JoNorvelleWalker for the comments.  I've been enjoying this book a lot.

 

Although it's not cucumber season yet, I had half an organic hot-house cucumber in the fridge so I mixed up the Cucumbers, Scallions, Mint & Dried Chiles p 201 to go with my lunch. 

IMG_8001.thumb.jpg.50ea93563b39fa16155174554bb54e99.jpg

No great revelation here. I often make a similar cucumber salad, but without the mint and scallions and using rice vinegar instead of the white wine vinegar used here.  The rice vinegar makes my usual salad skew towards Asian flavors and this one does not so it may pair well with other dishes.   I'll certainly try this again once cucumbers are in season and I can get a variety to play with.

 

On the vinegar, the header notes say that it's key to this dish and Katz late-harvest Sauvignon Blanc vinegar is recommended.  Such recommendations usually make me roll my eyes, though the Katz vinegars are recommended upfront in the Larder section and since my favorite red wine vinegar is no longer carried locally, I recently ordered both red and white wine vinegars from Katz.  The red is a late-harvest zinfandel and both it and the white are lightly sweet and have clean, fruity flavors. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

English Peas with Prosciutto and New Potatoes from Six Seasons p 86

IMG_8044.thumb.jpg.ff91b4c250cc7ce4eedea65107ea61f0.jpg

I was a little short on potatoes so I threw in a couple of Hakurei turnips.  I added mint to my serving rather than to the pan to avoid limp black leaves in the leftovers. 

 

One of the variations is to turn it into a "crusty hash" by drizzling in some cream and grated Parmesan and crushing everything with a spatula until it flattens and sticks together.  Maybe I didn't crush sufficiently.  I got a lot of crust stuck to the bottom of the pan but I never got everything to stick together to the point that I could turn it over several times as the notes say.  

IMG_8050.thumb.jpg.9edf70492401f837a9abbd123efbdf79.jpg

I'll try it again as the crispy bits made this very delicious.

 

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two sides from Six Seasons.  Sugar Snap Peas with Mustard Seeds and Tarragon p 119 and Smashed New Potatoes with Lemon and Lots of Olive Oil p 161.

IMG_8081.thumb.jpg.6effcc29b206eebc3186f3b05af4d47d.jpg

Both quick, easy and very nice.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, blue_dolphin said:

Two sides from Six Seasons.  Sugar Snap Peas with Mustard Seeds and Tarragon p 119 and Smashed New Potatoes with Lemon and Lots of Olive Oil p 161.

IMG_8081.thumb.jpg.6effcc29b206eebc3186f3b05af4d47d.jpg

Both quick, easy and very nice.

 

What's the red stuff?

 

 

Edit:  never mind.

 


Edited by JoNorvelleWalker thread order (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought some cauliflower for a different recipe but was inspired by some cooler than usual weather to try the Baked Cauliflower with Salt Cod, Currants and Pine Nuts from Six Seasons p 192.

IMG_8096.thumb.jpg.348424c02061b35d20a9a83721a434e7.jpg

IMG_8097.thumb.jpg.687b6b9fc3d911e286c22fb3a7a38e34.jpg

Cauliflower, pine nuts and currants or raisins are a classic combo for me in pasta and other dishes but the salt cod new to me.
I followed the recipe, using a pound of salt cod and 3/4 lb of cauliflower, which he says is a small head of cauliflower. My farmers market cauliflower heads are usually 4-5 lbs so I only needed a little of it. I think I would have preferred more cauliflower, allowing the cod to be more of a seasoning but it was still very good.

Way, way way better than my horrid childhood Lenten dinners of salt cod in a cream sauce served over boiled potatoes. Canned peas on the side. Say no more!

  • Like 5
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Roasted Cauliflower, Plums, Sesame Seeds and Yogurt from Six Seasons p 188.
IMG_8103.thumb.jpg.81f44d6718a19a3671ffdffd47b37da5.jpg
I'd say this is an agreeable salad/side dish but it doesn't really show off either the cauliflower or plums to their very best. It turned out better than I thought it would but isn't quite my thing.
I wasn't sure I'd be able to make this as cauliflower usually disappears from local farmers markets around the time that plums and other stone fruits start to appear. But our cool spring has kept the cauliflower in good shape and I managed to nab some first of the season Santa Rosa plums so I figured I'd give it a try.
I adore roasted cauliflower and think it's best nibbled straight from the oven - golden and a little crisp on the outside, piping hot and tender inside. In my book, cooling it down and dousing it with lemon juice and yogurt does it no favors. Tossing lovely ripe plum pieces along with the above as I tasted and adjusted the seasonings made both of them look bruised and beaten and turned everything faintly pink.
That said, it was pleasant to eat. The toasted sesame seeds brought out similar nutty flavor notes in the roasted cauliflower and contrasted nicely with the sweet-tart plums and slightly bitter parsley leaves. If I'd had some, I might have served this on a bed of romaine or the crispy lettuce for a little more textural contrast.
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with you on the best use of roasted cauliflower. If I get a ginormous head at 99 cent store I'll roast it all, scarf with danger of mouth burn straight from pan, and only then repurpose leftovrs into a room temp salad with crunchy herby stuff and usually some craisins or dates.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×