Again, another simple, quick, and depending on the state of your pantry, reasonably cheap side dish. Farmer’s markets have lots of tender new potatoes for good prices this time of year, and if you live near a good Indian market (or, say, within a short train ride of Little India in Chicago), you can find ghee for reasonably cheap. From there, just add sea salt and pepper, and the sage to infuse the ghee with. 

Pan Roasted New Potatoes Browned with Sage Infused Ghee

  • 1 lb new potatoes (I believe these were red or fingerlings?)
  • 4 T ghee
  • ~20 fresh sage leaves, torn, if you have them – otherwise ~2 T dried sage
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add your potatoes in, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes (I went with 15), until fork tender. Drain the potatoes. 

In a medium sized pan (original recipe recommends a cast iron pan, this works just fine with a normal pan if you don’t have one/don’t want to get it out), melt the ghee, adding the sage as it melts. Add the potatoes in a single layer once melted, and cook over medium, turning/stirring the potatoes every four to five minutes or so, until they’re browned on all sides (which should take around 20 minutes). 

Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and then enjoy your crispy potatoes!

This is a great, simple recipe that also happens to be healthy and light on the effort. And since green beans are in season and in glut at the farmer’s market, this is also excessively cheap – all you should need is a lemon, butter, and sea salt and pepper besides the green beans. 

Lemon Butter Green Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 lb green beans, destemmed (I probably got closer to two lbs and doubled the recipe accordingly)
  • 1 T butter
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 T lemon juice
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Take your green beans, and destem them. If they’re particularly long, halve or third them. Once destemmed, rinse the beans in a colander. 

Put your beans in a large pan, and add about an inch of water (it will likely just barely cover the beans). Cover the pan, and heat over medium high heat, allowing the water to just barely come to a boil. Steam/simmer the beans for three to five minutes, until bright green and just barely tender (see difference between pic 1 and 2). Remove the beans from heat, turn the burner off, and drain. 

Return the beans to the pan and the turned off burner, and add in the butter, sea salt, pepper, and a pinch of the lemon zest and juice. Toss to coat, and let the butter melt using the residual heat. Once melted, add the remaining zest and juice, taste, and add more sea salt and pepper depending on your taste.

Looking for something quick, and wonderfully cheesy and boozy at the same time? May I direct you to this lovely little splurge – melty brie, and a bit of prosecco jelly (courtesy of Eataly) smeared on top. The original recipe has a whole bunch of other stuff, but honestly, I just wanted something simple. This is amazing on those little brioche toasts that they have at Trader Joe’s, especially fresh out of the oven. 

Baked Brie with Prosecco Jelly

Ingredients

  • 1 wheel brie (6 to 8 oz)
  • .25 c prosecco jelly (also substitute champagne jelly; you can find this type of thing at Eataly, or the original recipe has a recipe for this if you’d like to try it)

Preheat your oven to 350. Line a baking dish with parchment paper, and cut the top of the wheel’s rind off while the oven’s preheating. Spoon the jelly over the top of the brie. Bake for ten minutes, until nice and melty, then spoon onto a brioche toast, and enjoy. 

Nancy Singleton Hachisu recently put out a new cookbook, Preserving the Japanese Way. Her previous cookbook was a favorite of mine, so I was excited to get my hands on this. It’s mainly themed on pickling and preserving, and this recipe came up right when I had a small fuckton of broccoli on hand, so I was eager to give this a try.

The resulting broccoli has a great flavor from being macreated in the soy sauce, dashi, and red pepper flakes, and the katsuoboshi adds a lovely savory flavor to it, too. I doubled the recipe because of the sheer amount of broccoli I had, but will include the original amounts below.

Broccoli in Soy Sauce with Red Pepper

Ingredients

  • 3 heads broccoli
  • 6 T dashi (recipe here)
  • 8 T soy sauce
  • red pepper flakes to taste (original recommends 3 dried red chiles, crumbled roughly)
  • 2 T katsuoboshi flakes (you can find these at your local Asian grocery)

Bring a mediumish pot of water to boil, and have a bowl of cold water waiting in the kitchen sink. While the water comes to a boil, cut your main stem from your broccoli heads and discard, and then cut up closer to where the florets start, so that it’ll break down into lots of nice sized florets. Cut the upper stems that are left over into similar sized pieces.

Drop your broccoli into the boiling water, and cook for three minutes. While the broccoli cooks, mix together the dashi, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes in a medium sized bowl with a lid. Strain the broccoli from the boiling water, and then immediately put in the cold water. Run cold water from your tap over the broccoli until cooled, and then pat dry.

Once dried and cooled, toss the brocooli with the dashi/soy/red pepper mixture and then cover, Let macreate at room temperature for 30 minutes, then drain the mixture. If eating right away, sprinkle with the katsuoboshi and eat, but these can be stored for a few days in the fridge and still be good.

Nancy also recommends a version with yuzu or lemon peel at the end instead of the katsuoboshi, so I would recommend that if you can get your hand on it.

If you have a CSA this time of year, you are likely to have a small excess of a fuck of a lot of broccoli. I tend not to like my broccoli raw, so I’ve been looking for some interesting recipes with it, and I can say the two I’ve tried the last two days definitely didn’t disappoint. These recipes are simple, quick, cheap, and delicious to boot. Here? All you have to do is roast the broccoli, brown the butter, toss in the panko and garlic, and boom, you’ve got a great tasting side dish!

Roasted Broccoli with Brown Butter Toasted Panko

Ingredients

  • 2-3 heads of broccoli, stems cut and broken down into florets
  • 2 T olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 T butter
  • .5 c panko
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat your oven to 425. Take your broccoli florets, and spread them out on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper to taste. Roast for fifteen minutes, and check where they are at. If you feel like flipping them do so, otherwise, roast for another ten minutes, until the edges are golden brown, and the stems of the florets are fork tender. 

During that last ten minutes, heat your butter in a small pan over medium heat, and keep swirling once it’s melted, until you get a nice light brown color and it’s nice and nutty smelling. This usually takes about five minutes. Once you’ve got it at that sweet point, add in the panko and minced garlic, along with a little bit of sea salt and pepper, and toast until the panko is nice and just barely browned from the butter, about two to three minutes. 

Right about then, the broccoli should be done. Remove your broccoli to your serving dish or storage container, toss with the panko, and enjoy!

Spring is here, which means it’s asparagus and citrus season! Looking for something to combine those two things? Then look no further than this. You can pick up asparagus from the farmer’s market for super cheap, along with an orange and lemon for cheap, and with the juices they release while roasting, combined with the butter and olive oil here, and the end result is pure amazingness. Hell, you could also probably do this well on a grill. 

Citrus Butter Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients

  • 1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed (original recipe recommends two bunches, may try it with 2 lbs next time)
  • 1 lemon, sliced thin
  • 1 blood orange, sliced thin (I used tarocco, because it was on sale, cara cara and clementines also work)
  • 4 T butter, split into 1 T pieces
  • 2 T olive oil
  • .5 c grated parmigiano-reggiano (or parmesan)
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400. Take your lemon and orange slices, and asparagus, and lay it together on a foil-lined sheet pan. Drizzle the olive oil over it, and layer the butter slices on top of it, while sprinkling with the parmigiano-reggiano, sea salt, and pepper. 

Place in the oven and roast for 25 minutes, tossing occasionally, until your asparagus is tender, and ever so slightly charred. And then, enjoy the citrusy asparagus goodness!

This recipe, just on general principle, is pretty fantastic. Roasted berries, brie, and a balsamic maple vinaigrette – can’t really go wrong there. However? Do this right when you’ve got strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries at the farmer’s market concurrently, and I’m pretty sure this will blow it all out of the water. (Also be sure that your berries are cooled when you mix the brie in, the triple cream I used ended up melting into the berries and juices. Not that I’m complaining.)

A brief side note: I find both quinoa and kale to be overused and overpriced, so unless they really add something to a meal, I usually tend to omit them. This is one of those cases in which I did. If you’d like this recipe with the original kale and quinoa, click the linked recipe below!

Roasted Berry and Brie Salad

Ingredients

  • assorted berries, in whatever quantity you’d like (used a combination of strawberries (hulled and halved), blackberries, and blueberries at a 2:.5:1 ratio)
  • olive oil
  • sugar (used brown sugar to 
  • sea salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 4 oz brie (I used a triple cream, Delice de Bourgogne)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 T whole grain mustard

Preheat your oven to 400, and line a baking tray or glass pan with foil. Take your berries, toss them with olive oil and sugar to coat, and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Put them in the pan, and roast for about ten minutes, until slightly softened. LET THEM COOL. Seriously, do this, or the brie will melt into the juices (which isn’t a bad thing, per se, but if you want the cheese to remain whole, let the berries cool.)

Once your berries are cooled enough, put them into your serving or storing container, and cut your 4 oz of brie into small chunks, and put it into the berries, tossing lightly to combine. 

To make your vinaigrette, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and a bit of fresh cracked sea salt and pepper, and whisk together to combine. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, toss lightly again to coat, and then enjoy your ridiculously awesome summer dish!

Notes for future: keep brie separate until the last possible moment prior to serving, make in smaller quantities.