Asparagus and Radish Salad in Bacon Vinaigrette
Serves 4 to 6.
Note: "Radishes and asparagus dance into the market the same time of year," writes Beth Dooley in "The Perennial Kitchen." "Pretty and peppery, radishes add color and zip to the lush, tender spears. The bacon adds salt and just enough heft to make this a hearty appetizer or main dish salad."
• 4 slices thick-cut bacon
• 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
• 1 shallot, finely minced
• 1 tbsp. coarse Dijon mustard
• 2 tbsp. hazelnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
• 1 lb. asparagus, woody ends snapped or cut off
• 1/2 c. sliced red radishes
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large frying pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Crumble and set aside. Reserve the rendered fat in the pan.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, shallot and mustard. Carefully pour the bacon fat through a fine mesh sieve into the vinegar mixture, whisking until smooth and emulsified. Taste the vinaigrette; if it's too strong, add a little more oil to taste.
Fill a large skillet halfway with water, set over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Set the asparagus in the skillet so the tips rest on the side of the pan and the spears are immersed. Cook the asparagus until a sharp paring knife can pierce the fattest part of the spear without resistance, about 5 to 9 minutes, depending on the size of the stalks. Drain the asparagus in a colander and refresh with cold running water. Set the asparagus on a clean dish towel or paper towel and pat dry.
Arrange the asparagus and radishes on a serving plate and pour the dressing over it. Scatter the crumbled bacon over the top. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Market Soup With Asian Spices
Serves 4 to 6.
Note: "Sweet, sour and hot, this soup reflects the flavors of Hmong and Vietnamese families who introduced us to bright, bold flavors — fiery peppers, tangled long beans, fragrant lemongrass," writes Beth Dooley in "The Perennial Kitchen."
• 2 tbsp. hazelnut or sunflower oil
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
• 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
• 1 tbsp. peeled, coarsely chopped (or grated) fresh ginger, or 1 tsp. ground ginger
• 1 tbsp. freshly grated turmeric, or 1 tsp. ground turmeric
• 1 stalk lemongrass or 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 small hot chile pepper or a generous pinch red pepper flakes, to taste
• 1 c. coconut milk
• 1 c. shredded cooked chicken meat
• 3 c. chicken stock
• Generous dash soy sauce, or to taste
• Generous dash rice wine vinegar or freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste
• 1/4 c. freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish
In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the onions and carrot pieces until just tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. In a blender (or a food processor fitted with a metal blade), purée the garlic, ginger, turmeric, lemongrass (or lemon juice), chile pepper (or red pepper flakes) and coconut milk. Pour the coconut milk mixture into the saucepan with the sautéed vegetables, add the chicken and the chicken stock and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with the soy sauce and vinegar (or lime juice), and serve garnished with chopped cilantro.