Wednesday, August 6, 2014
My mother would brag about me on occasion. I recall her telling folks that "Rosemari can go into the kitchen and make something out of nothing." And I'm inclined to admit that it's a statement not without merit.
As a long-(long)-time gardener and preserver of food, I can say that The Garden has taught me much about the art of improvisation. I enter my kitchen-realm wielding imagination and respect for alchemy, not a recipe. I look around, see what I have on hand and imagine what I might do with it. Oh, sure, I learned a lot from recipes in my youth, and do enjoy reading them as sources for ideas, not for weights and measures and structured rules ::shudder:: to follow, but for inspiration.
This week has gifted me many cucumbers, from my garden, from a neighbor and from Dineberg's Farm CSA. Today I desired something other than a variation on a salad, or fermented half-sours (though I am making more of those), and wondered about cooking them. So I peeled, sliced, seeded and chopped them up and tossed them in a pan to sauté with only a few other available ingredients. I was delighted with the outcome. Here's what I did (more or less), for my recipe-dependent friends ...
3-4 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped (large ones work great for this)
1/4 cup chopped onion (or so)
1 tablespoon butter (organic, pasture-raised, if possible)
sea salt (to taste)
chives, chopped, a handfull (or chinese leeks, or dill, or parsley, or, well, you get the idea)
Heat the butter in a skillet, add the onion and sauté until they just begin to glimmer translucent. Add the cucumber and salt and sauté about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and toss in the chives (or whatever). Serve hot or at room temp. And ... enjoy!
So, yeah, sautéed cucumber. That's what I made today.