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blue_dolphin

Cooking with Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

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30 minutes ago, heidih said:

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.

 

Good point!  If I'd looked at this salad as a good way to use up leftover roasted cauliflower, I'd probably have been more forgiving in my review!

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Six Seasons leftovers. The recipe for Smashed New Potatoes with Lemon and Lots of Olive Oil p 161 suggests making hash browns by shaping the smashed potatoes into pucks, dipping in bread crumbs and shallow frying them until browned and crisp.  So, I did:

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Topped with Charred Scallion Salsa Verde p 109, soft boiled eggs and a few bacon crumbles.  Tomato chutney on the side.

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Posted (edited)

In the last few weeks, lots of vegetables featured in Six Seasons have made their appearance at the local farmers market.  Cucumbers, string beans and summer squash from the Midsummer chapter and corn and tomatoes from the Late Summer chapter are all plentiful now and I bought all of them at a local farm stand. 

I set up a few jars of cold brine pickles p 58.  My fridge is overcrowded with condiments so I limited myself to small amounts to use in a recipe or two. 

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I used 3 different types of summer squash in the Squash and "Tuna Melt" Casserole p 213.  Not really something I'd normally make in the middle of a heat wave but it was very tasty.  

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Alongside is the salad of Cucmbers, Celery, Apricots and Pistachios p 196.  The salad was excellent, although not the best pairing with the casserole.  I knew that going in but I wanted to try both recipes.  The salad's got tons of flavors and textures and would be excellent with a simple roasted chicken or the like.  The technique of plumping the dried apricots in red wine vinegar with a smashed garlic clove was a nice touch.

 

The casserole was a bit salty for my taste.  The squash are salted to draw out excess moisture and I blotted them well but should have given them a quick rinse first.  This would probably be successful made with old grocery store zucchini but the flavor and texture of the farm-fresh squash make it pretty special.


Edited by blue_dolphin typo (log)
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13 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

In the last few weeks, lots of vegetables featured in Six Seasons have made their appearance at the local farmers market.  Cucumbers, string beans and summer squash from the Midsummer chapter and corn and tomatoes from the Late Summer chapter are all plentiful now and I bought all of them at a local farm stand. 

I set up a few jars of cold brine pickles p 58.  My fridge is overcrowded with condiments so I limited myself to small amounts to use in a recipe or two. 

IMG_8254.thumb.jpg.60bf81c055c71230b9bc37e1c94c8371.jpg

 

I used 3 different types of summer squash in the Squash and "Tuna Melt" Casserole p 213.  Not really something I'd normally make in the middle of a heat wave but it was very tasty.  

IMG_8268.thumb.jpg.fa977244d75a6017ccb2e0ed98f47c16.jpg

Alongside is the salad of Cucmbers, Celery, Apricots and Pistachios p 196.  The salad was excellent, although not the best pairing with the casserole.  I knew that going in but I wanted to try both recipes.  The salad's got tons of flavors and textures and would be excellent with a simple roasted chicken or the like.  The technique of plumping the dried apricots in red wine vinegar with a smashed garlic clove was a nice touch.

 

The casserole was a bit salty for my taste.  The squash are salted to draw out excess moisture and I blotted them well but should have given them a quick rinse first.  This would probably be successful made with old grocery store zucchini but the flavor and texture of the farm-fresh squash make it pretty special.

 

Now is the time of year that I wish I had this book, thanks to you :) 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/10/2018 at 4:47 AM, Shelby said:

Now is the time of year that I wish I had this book, thanks to you :) 

 

It's like getting a whole new book with all these summer vegetables coming along and I'm envying your beautiful garden-fresh produce.  It would make the most of these recipes for sure, especially your beautiful corn!

 

I had to make myself a new list and note items I'll need to buy or prepare for the corn, string bean, cucumber and tomato recipes:

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Gotta pace myself xD

 

Here's the Raw Corn with Walnuts, Mint & Chile from p 222.  I had it first as a side salad:

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Then I made the crostini variation:

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Toasted bread (the Pan de Pueblo from Roan Mills, made with corn flour in the dough), rubbed with garlic, spread with the whipped ricotta (p 37) and topped with the corn salad mixture. 

 

Edited to add that the header notes for this recipe say it's inspired by the classic Mexican grilled corn on the cob served with chile powder, lime, mayo and Cotija cheese.  As a salad, the fresh corn is so sweet  that it's a much more delicate flavor profile. With the charred bread, whipped ricotta and the sprinkle of Nopalito spices (a mix of dried, toasted and ground de árbol and guajillo chiles) I added, the crostini came much closer to the Mexican street corn flavor profile.   


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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Posted (edited)

Best variation of the Raw Corn with Walnuts, Mint & Chile from p 222  so far is the leftovers that I had for breakfast.

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I made the crostini on garlic-rubbed toast as above then slid the loaded slices back into the CSO to take the chill off the corn and whipped ricotta while I cooked a soft boiled egg to put on top.

More ground chiles sprinkled on top.

I was thinking that some crispy bacon crumbles would have been excellent here, though this version lets the sweet corn be the star of the plate.


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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7 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Best variation of the Raw Corn with Walnuts, Mint & Chile from p 222  so far is the leftovers that I had for breakfast.

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I made the crostini on garlic-rubbed toast as above then slid the loaded slices back into the CSO to take the chill off the corn and whipped ricotta while I cooked a soft boiled egg to put on top.

More ground chiles sprinkled on top.

I was thinking that some crispy bacon crumbles would have been excellent here, though this version lets the sweet corn be the star of the plate.

 

Wow.    I want.  I have no other words.  

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Posted (edited)

First you pickle all the vegetables (see a few just upthread here) and chop them up into little bits:

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From left:  purchased pickled red peppers and zucchini, spring onions, green string beans, radishes, carrots, manzano chiles, yellow wax beans, all from Six Seasons p 58 & 59. 

 

Then you make the Pickled Vegetable Butter p 35:

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I'm not the biggest fan of compound butters but I though this one looked very pretty so I made a half-recipe. It calls for unsalted butter and does not add any but since the brine in the book is fairly light, I think it could use a bit.  I'm going to soften it up again and add a little. With the colorful confetti of vegetables, it's certainly a pretty way to serve butter at a party or buffet table.

 

Next up is the Farro with Tomatoes, Raw Corn, Mint, Basil and Scallions p 263 - summer in a bowl!

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Nice seasonal salad.  I lightened up on both the olive oil and salt to suit my taste.

As written, the serving size is ample enough to be a main course. That's about 1/2 a serving on my plate above.  If serving as a main, some cheese (grilled halloumi?) or grilled chicken or seafood would be good additions to provide some protein.  The farro benefits from a bit of time to absorb the flavors but that time is not kind to the croutons so I'd hold them out until ready to eat, especially if you foresee leftovers. 

Alongside is a slice of toasted bread buttered with the Pickled Vegetable Butter that wasn't really needed here as the salad also contains the Torn Croutons p 29 but I wanted to try it anyway. 

 


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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This salad has lots going on! String Beans, Pickled Beans, Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Olives on Tonnato from Six Seasons p 203.  Great main dish salad.

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The book describes carefully plating the salad ingredients on a layer of tonnato, which I did but I felt the starting photo didn't really capture this salad so I took a mid-meal photo to share the experience:

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I could have been happy with the tonnato and steamed string beans but no, there's much more here - every bite is a little different: tender/crisp string beans, crunchy pickled wax beans p 59 that actually add a sweet element, tart tomatoes, peppery arugula and fragrant basil, salty olives, sharp, crunchy red onion all of which get bathed in delicious tonnato. I skipped the optional croutons in favor of some crusty bread but I put a couple on my plate as I was finishing and they do add a welcome crunch.

I used a different tonnato recipe but I've tried the one in the book and it would certainly work well in this dish.
 

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With extra tonnato made for the recipe above, I repeated the Radishes with Tonnato, Sunflower Seeds and Lemon from Six Seasons p 112. 

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Still the best way I've found to eat a bowl o-radishes!

 

I also tried the Grilled Corn with Alla Diavola Butter and Pecorino p 229

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I really like the Alla Diavola butter p 33 and this was very good but grilling fresh, tender sweet corn seems to take some of the "pop" out of the kernels - they don't quite burst when your teeth hit them they way they do if you just steam or microwave them lightly.  

The idea in the header notes of serving several different butters from the book with corn on the cob is very appealing. I will try the Cacio e Pepe butter p 34 next but probably won't grill the corn.

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Tomato-Rubbed Grilled Bread Topped with Tomato Salad from Six Seasons p 263.
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Bread is grilled or toasted, rubbed with garlic, olive oil and tomato, spread with whipped ricotta and topped with more fresh tomatoes that have been marinated in red wine vinegar. I added a little confetti of basil because I thought it should be there.
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Corn and Tomato Salad with Torn Croutons from Six Seasons p 225.  Leftover kuku sabzi (not from this book) in the background.

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This is very similar to the Farro with Tomatoes, Raw Corn, Mint, Basil and Scallions that I shared a few posts back. While the farro made that version a one-bowl meal, this is much lighter and more of a side salad.

I like the addition of pistachios and grated Pecorino Romano cheese in this version.

 

In all of the raw corn salads this book, after cutting the corn off the ears, they are scraped and the milky pulp in included in the salads.  I've always scraped the cobs and saved the pulp aside for a soup but it becomes a nice part of the dressing in these salads. 

 

Spaghetti with Small Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil and Chiles from Six Seasons p 269.

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In this recipe, the garlic, half of the tomatoes and basil get cooked down into a sauce while the rest are added to the pan as the pasta finishes cooking in the sauce so you get both cooked and fresh flavors.

It's finished with a sprinkle of dried breadcrumbs p 30 and grated Parmesan Romano.

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I can't say it's head and shoulders better than other versions of I've made but it was very good. 

 

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Roasted String Beans and Scallions with Pine Nut Vinaigrette p 205 

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The recipe for the Pine Nut Vinaigrette is in the  go-to section on p 39 and the header notes say it's an Italian version of an Asian peanut sauce.  Whatever it is, it's very delicious. The recipe above is the only one in the book that specifically calls for it but it would be very good with any number of vegetables and very worthy of being called a go-to!

Back to the string beans. I used a mix of green beans and yellow wax beans.  Along with the scallions, they get tossed with olive oil, S&P and roasted until softened with a bit of char here and there.  They're tossed with a little red wine vinegar and allowed to cool down before being mixed with the pine nut vinaigrette, mint, basil and pine nuts.

I thought the portion size was on the large side (1.5 lbs beans/4 servings), but I gobbled them all up and look forward to making this again.

 

 

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2 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

The recipe for the Pine Nut Vinaigrette is in the  go-to section on p 39 and the header notes say it's an Italian version of an Asian peanut sauce.  Whatever it is, it's very delicious. 

 

I just looked at the recipe. I would never have imagined using fish sauce in a vinaigrette. Thank you for this mind-stretching recipe!

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@Smithy   Oh yes! Fish sauce as the salt element in such preps is lovely.  Next time you prep some tomatoes with oil and vinegar try it!  

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10 minutes ago, heidih said:

@Smithy   Oh yes! Fish sauce as the salt element in such preps is lovely.  Next time you prep some tomatoes with oil and vinegar try it!  

 

I will! Thanks!

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Grilled Wax and Green Beans with Tomatoes, Basil and Spicy Fish-Sauce Sauce from Six Seasons p 208.  Just 'cause I like to say, "Spicy Fish-Sauce Sauce" 🙃

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The few ingredients not named in the recipe title are scallions, that get grilled along with the beans, mint and hazelnuts. It may sound like a bunch of random ingredients thrown into a bowl but it works very well. I especially like the charred flavor on the beans and scallions. 

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Love char-grilled beans and scallions and fish sauce with grilled items is such a natural. The hazelnuts probably pick up the sweetness of the other ingredients. Nice combo. 

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Tomato, Melon and Hot Chile Salad with Burrata from Six Seasons p 265.  Perfect for a hot evening.
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I used a super sweet and ripe Galia melon with red, yellow and gold heirloom tomatoes and a mix of purchased pepperoncini and Manzano chiles that I pickled per Six Seasons.
I'd love to try this with a mix of different melons.
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Red Pepper, Potato and Prosciutto Frittata Topped with Ricotta from Six Seasons p 248.

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I made a slightly more than 1/2-sized recipe in an 8" pan.  Very nice.  Makes me wonder why I don't eat more potatoes.

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Squash Ribbons with Tomatoes, Peanuts, Basil, Mint and Spicy Fish-Sauce Sauce from Six Seasons p 210. I loved the Asian flavors in this - it's spicy, salty, sweet....a little of everything.

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I was out of cherry tomatoes so I cut up a couple of regular size heirlooms. I gave the squash ribbons a quick rinse to remove some of the salt and was glad that I did as the Spicy Fish-Sauce Sauce is pretty salty. 
Salting and draining the squash helps it retain a lovely crunch without falling apart.....at least for a while. I don't think this is likely to make good leftovers but that's OK - it's so light that I had no problem gobbling down a big bowl!

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Posted (edited)

Grilled or Roasted Summer Squash with Caper-Raisin Vinaigrette from Six Seasons p 211. 

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That caper-raisin vinaigrette - not sure why anchovy isn't in the name since it uses a whole tin of them 1f643.png - isn't the prettiest sauce but it sure packs a lot of flavor and turns a simple dish of grilled squash and fresh tomatoes into something very special. I'll certainly make this again and put that sauce on everything!
I had lots of tomatoes but no Sun Golds or other cherry varieties so I cut up a few nice heirloom tomatoes. I quartered the zucchini instead of just cutting them in half and rinsed and blotted it after salting. They picked up a lot of color before they were tender so I transferred them from the grill pan to the CSO to cook for a few more minutes.

 

Edited to add that this is supposed to be topped with dried breadcrumbs, which I forgot to add even though they were right in front of me.  I put them on my next plateful 🙃 and they add a nice crunch, but the dish is good either way. 


Edited by blue_dolphin forgot breadcrumbs (log)
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Ooooh - I'm about to roast some Chinese eggplant. I think a knock-off on that dressing will be nice. No anchovies so fish sauce will be that element. Thanks!

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6 minutes ago, heidih said:

Ooooh - I'm about to roast some Chinese eggplant. I think a knock-off on that dressing will be nice. No anchovies so fish sauce will be that element. Thanks!

I think it would be wonderful on grilled or roasted eggplant!

 

If anyone else wants to try it, the recipe for the Caper-Raisin Vinaigrette is available online here.  As indicated in the header notes, the book recipe uses one 2 oz tin of anchovies, drained, which they omitted to make a vegetarian version.  

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25 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

I think it would be wonderful on grilled or roasted eggplant!

 

If anyone else wants to try it, the recipe for the Caper-Raisin Vinaigrette is available online here.  As indicated in the header notes, the book recipe uses one 2 oz tin of anchovies, drained, which they omitted to make a vegetarian version.  

Don’t believe for one second that I could tolerate a can of anchovies. Even a single anchovy would be stretching my  tolerance.  And yet it would not be the same dressing if you omit that much of one ingredient. I rather like @heidih‘s thought of using fish sauce instead.  I’ll have to think on it.  Is it not strange that I love fish sauce and can’t stand anchovies?

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