I went picking again, trying to atone for the largely-missed strawberries. I picked some more cherries, on which I will test out all the pitting methods proposed to me in your comments the other day, plus this dandy one that I just ran across. And I picked a couple of pounds of black raspberries. I have two quart bags tucked away in the freezer, and I feel pretty happy about that. Like, for instance, about as happy as you might think I’d feel if I had said, I have two quart bags of gold doubloons in the freezer. Last year was a boom year for almost everything that grows here in our zone, and my hoarding instinct didn’t kick into high gear until late summer. Before that, I was too busy eating. But thanks to our funky spring weather, it looks like it will be slim pickings for those later fruits like apples, pears, peaches and plums, so I am trying to be more ant than grasshopper in these early summer days.
Which is one kind of picky.
As for the other, I know people who will not eat any white food, and people who will not eat cold cheese. I know people who are avoiding (or favoring) certain foods because of beliefs about their health-giving (or -sapping) properties, and others whose diet is ruled and limited by bona fide allergies. I know people with rigid and apparently impermeable, possibly quite wrong-headed and often nonsensical ideas about foods that upset their stomachs or other body parts, or disturb their emotional equilibrium. I cook for people like this, some of whom are me, regularly. Sometimes some of them go hungry. Sometimes I’m a pandering enabler. So sue me. I like people to eat.
All things considered, I suppose we are a pretty good set of eaters under this roof, by many standards. But there are always personal tastes and aversions to consider, especially here in America, and if you multiply that by five you get a pretty long list of considerations. I get pretty excited here at the home table when I make something new and slightly insane, given the confines of the in-house preferences, and everyone eats it. Despite being informed by one of my housemates that I was “ruining” perfectly good roasted potatoes as I transformed them with the various ingredients called for here, despite an almost universal anti-radish sentiment among the under-18 set, despite one house diner’s long-held dubious stance regarding things that are very mixy, and despite the fact that my radishes were a little mature, everyone ate this.
I hope it works in your house, too.
warm roasted radish and potato salad
adapted from gingerroot’s recipe on Food52
3-4 not-bigger-than-your-fist-sized Yukon gold potatoes, diced
8-10 radishes, ends trimmed, diced
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
2 tablespoons Greek sheep yogurt, or any whole milk yogurt
2 tablespoons finely minced green onions
a handful of finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lemon juice mixed with 1/2 t salt and 1/2 t sugar in a small bowl, until salt and sugar are dissolved
Preheat oven to 400. In a medium sized bowl, combine potato pieces with a glug or two of olive oil, a good sprinkling of sea salt, the mustard and cumin seeds, and a few grinds of black pepper, tossing evenly to coat. Roast potatoes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 15-20 minutes, stirring and flipping them after the first 10 minutes, until they are almost but not quite done.
Meanwhile, using the same bowl that you tossed the potatoes in, combine radishes with a little additional olive oil, sea salt and black pepper; mix well to evenly coat.
Increase the oven heat to 425. Push the potatoes to one side of the pan (it’s OK to crowd them now, as they are mostly cooked), and add radishes in a single layer to the other side. Continue to roast for another 7-10 minutes, or until potatoes and radishes are tender, stirring them gently midway through.
Remove pan from oven and allow vegetables to cool. Transfer to a bowl. Add yogurt, cilantro and green onions, folding with a spatula to combine. Add half the lemon juice mixture and taste. If the salad stands more than ten minutes before you serve it, you may want additional lemon/salt to punch the flavor back up.