You can’t tell from this blog, but I love savories. I would love to share things from my savory repertoire with you, but the thing is, I don’t really have a repertoire. These days Mr. Graham usually prepares the evening meal. It works best with our schedule, but truth be told, I am jealous. I love prepping vegetables and tossing them with herbs, spices, a grain, or a little meat or an egg.
When it comes to savory items, I usually don’t use recipes, although I like to browse through cookbooks to get ideas. I love cookbooks that are mostly about ingredients, and the ones that I turn to most are by Nigel Slater, Tamar Adler, and David Tanis. Sometimes the best meal is a fresh sliced heirloom tomato on a slice of rustic bread, some basil, and crunchy salt. It is fun to balance flavor and texture.
It may be a while before I share meal ideas, but I do want to shake this space up a bit. I love cocktails, but that is only a sliver of what I am interested in exploring, I will try to share more about the intersection of food and place from sources other than myself. I think many of us spend some time thinking about the connections between memory, history, and culture.
I started this space to show you my favorite kind of cocktails; those from the garden or the farmers' market. Now that it is late spring, we are surrounded by herbs, berries, flowers, and bees. There are so many things to juice, muddle, puree, and grill.
I have lists of refreshing things to share with you. This first one is a variation of a drink that I created last May. It is a fresh cocktail made with vegetable juice, so let's call this a bridge to share some savories with you. I originally made this with spruce tip syrup and called it Pining for the Fjords. I didn't make spruce tip syrup this year, so this recipe calls for regular simple syrup, and it is just as tasty.
This recipe features fresh juiced fennel. I love the clean brightness it lends to a drink. To make a variation of this without alcohol, you could juice some fennel and a little apple and serve with a splash of soda. If you don't have access to fresh fennel bulbs, you can use fresh apple juice, or even a combination of fresh apple and cucumber juice. For dramatic flair, you can toss a beet in the juicer too.
Fjord and Frond
Makes two cocktails
3 - 4 ounces fresh fennel juice, about one medium bulb (add a little apple and/or beet to the juicer, if desired)
1.5 ounces lemon juice, about one lemon
1.5 ounces simple syrup
3 ounces aquavit, I highly recommend Krogstad aquavit from House Spirits
1 ounce vodka, I used Reyka, a gift from my friends Gabby and Heather
Be sure to wash the fennel bulb well. Juice the fennel in a juicer. You may have to cut the bulb into a few pieces. If you don't have a juicer, you can put slices of fennel in a food processor for a few minutes. Extract the juice from the processed fennel by bundling it in cheesecloth and squeezing the juice into a glass.
Place the juice in a large cocktail shaker or a quart mason jar. Add the lemon juice, simple syrup, and booze. Add ice and shake well. Serve on the rocks in a Collins or double rocks glass. Add a splash of soda, if desired. Garnish with fennel fronds, lemon wheels, or whatever herbs or flowers are in season. I used lemon wheels, parsley flowers, and salad burnet.
Some cider & rye news:
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!