Every time I eat or cook something, I’m always amazed at the variety of things we have to choose from. Mostly because someone in the past was brave enough to say, “This could be food.” Sea urchin, stinging nettles, artichokes? Who decided that was food? They’re delicious, but it takes a brave/crazy person to take that first leap. I mean think of all the people that died/got injured eating those first pieces of uni. And then the person who figured out that urinating on affected areas dissolves the spine dust/poison that gets lodged in there. My heroes.
I cooked sunchokes for the first time last night, which are tubers from the sunflower plant. Looks like ginger, tastes like potato! Who the hell thought of eating these? And who decided to KEEP eating them, after these gutbusting side effects? We don’t really celebrate Easter but since it was also the season premiere of Game of Thrones, I decided to make something a little special.
I made this sunchoke and kale hash according to the recipe, but instead of seasoning just at the very end, I added salt to every step. This is how you get more depth of flavor, and you are able to taste each ingredient. Americans are so afraid of salt/sodium. Even with all the salting I did (I also boiled the kale, sunchokes, and farro in salted water), it came out tasting normal. So….don’t be afraid of the salt. Just taste as you go. This is kind of labor intensive, with all the ingredients that need to be cooked separately, so you can make and prep everything ahead of time.
The dish definitely needed something else, so I added a balsamic reduction. This is fairly easy – just do a few tablespoons of vinegar in a small saucepot and add some diced dried fruit. I used dates but you can use apricots, cranberries, or whatever you’d like. Turn the heat on very low, and let it cook down a bit, then cool and strain. I added this at the last step, right before serving. Then you toss the salaaaad. TWSS! I also cooked stuff in bacon fat for a little smokiness, which you probably shouldn’t do if you’re a vegetarian. But it definitely tastes better that way.
This can be eaten on its own but since I love meat and it WAS Easter (even though actual spring lambs are technically ready to eat later in the year) I marinated a rack of lamb in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, garam masala, and salt & pepper. I cut them into two rib portions for more surface area to marinate, then I seared all sides on a grill pan and put it in the oven at 350 for about 5-7 minutes. They came out just over medium rare.