Don't get me wrong. I love that Ella is interested in food and cooking. It's just that most of the time her helping involves much more mess or adding ingredients to the wrong dishes. A while back I was multitasking, making a pasta sauce for dinner and some lemon curd for a dessert. The pasta sauce was cooking, and I had my measuring cup full of lemon juice for the curd. I turned around to grab a spoon out of a drawer and I heard Ella say "Look, I did it!" She had poured the whole measuring cup full of lemon juice into the pasta sauce! She was standing there proudly holding the empty measuring cup with a big smile on her face. Oh, the adventures of cooking with a toddler...
Elixir of Fresh Peas
1 bunch scallions or 2 small leeks, thinly sliced
5 large parsley stems with leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds english peas
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup thinly sliced spring onion or young leek
1/2 teaspoon sugar
To make the stock, bring 1 quart water to a boil. As it's heating, add the scallions, parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add about 3 cups of pea pods as you shell them. Once the water comes to a boil, lower the heat. Simmer for 20 minutes, then strain.
Melt the butter in a soup pot and add the sliced onion. Cook over medium heat for about a minute, then add 1/2 cup of the stock so that the onion stews without browning. After 4-5 minutes, add the peas, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the sugar. Pour in 2 1/2 cups of the stock, bring to a boil, and simmer for 3 minutes, or until the peas are soft and cooked through, larger peas may take a bit longer.
Transfer the soup to a blender. Drape a towel over the lid and give a few short pulses to make sure it won't splatter. Then puree at high speed for 1 minute. Pour into soup bowls and serve immediately, adding a few drops of the truffle oil to each bowl.
(adapted from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison)
6 small to medium radishes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Wash and trim the radishes and chop in half or quarters. If the leaves are tender and fresh, set a dozen or so aside, stems removed. Chop the leaves. There should be about 1/2 cup.
Add the butter, radishes, lemon zest and a pinch of sea salt to a mini food processor and process until the radishes are finely chopped and a sort of paste has formed. Stir in the radish leaves. Spread on slices of crusty baguette and serve.
makes 1/2 cup