Monday, March 23, 2009

Sugaring, and a Vinaigrette

...quoting myself...

from a monthly subscription foodletter I put out back in the day called Cookspeak, a seasonal narrative with Recipes. Quotes here were from Issue 5, Mar/Apr 1995 called Tapping into Spring.

Kate Fredette refuels the evaporator. She and her husband Ken will boil down 40 gallons of sap for
each gallon of maple syrup, and this year will get 4 or 5 gallons of syrup.

“Look at it this way. If you’d been hibernating in a primitive abode made of stone or animal pelts, as in a cave or a tent, a yurt of some sort, or within bricks or wood-frame or logs, for that matter, and it came to be this time of year and your dried berries were giving out and the grains had become somewhat beetley, and your normal quiet cheer had receded to reveal the roots of desperation, then you would be glad, nay you would be ecstatic, when the days reached above freezing and the nights reached below, to go out into the mush by day (that turned to frozen ruts by night), to slash the maples and to gather the sap in buckets or waiting troughs and to boil it down into sugar. You would be glad, you can bet, if need be, to exist on nothing else but that sweet in Aprils that were slow to show green shoots pushing up anew.”

Maple Garlic Vinaigrette

Savor this splendid, fruity dressing with savory depths with that early spring mesclun mix that you can find in your own garden as spring progresses – the first little knobs of tarragon, wintered over small leaves of chicory, radicchio, chervil, sorrel. It goes with any spring green, even dandelion leaves, or the fiddleheads that we will talk about soon. If you have any raspberry vinegar left from last year, use it. This dressing can be made in the blender, whereupon “vinaigrette” will be a misnomer, because if you add the oil very thinly and steadily the texture will be that of a mayonnaise. It keeps, refrigerated, for a very long time.

• 2 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped fine
• 2 tablespoons shallot (or onion), chopped fine
• 2 tablespoons Cider vinegar
• a grinding of pepper
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup
• ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
• ¼ cup walnut or hazelnut oil (optional. If not using, increase the olive oil to 1 cup)

Whisk the garlic, shallot, vinegar, pepper, salt, and syrup together, then whisk in the oils in a thin stream. Correct seasonings.

That’s it!

No comments: