The garden is getting to the point now where my job is simply to produce substrates, mediums, and vehicles which can allow the plants to shine. Our escarole is perfect, so I lopped off the inaugural head and sautéed it briefly with a couple of cloves of garlic then deglazed the pan with smoked duck broth. If you're noticing a pattern here, it's one of our favorite ways to eat greens- sometimes with lemon in place of broth- and smoked duck broth does to greens what you might expect the heavenly offspring of chicken broth and bacon to do.
For the main course, I wanted to do cold soba with a sesame sauce, but since we were out of soba I used rice noodles instead, and changed to a peanut sauce for a little more of a Pad Thai feeling. The peanut sauce- peanut butter, lime juice, sesame oil, rice vinegar, agave syrup, nam pla, soy sauce, sriracha, truffle oil- coated the noodles, with none left over to pool in the bottom of the bowl. I blanched peas and broccoli and tossed them into the noodles along with lots of lime and Thai basil. The slightly bitter, smoky escarole cut right through the rich, sweet, spicy noodles, and the sweet peas added a high note. To drink, a cocktail I invented during a bout of insomnia last weekend and tried for the first time. I'm going to refine it with ingredients I bought today; I'll describe it in the next post.