JUNE 01 2012

I love growing radishes. With almost zero time or effort, they transform a barren patch of rain-soaked mud into a leafy and productive garden. As soon as their first little leaves peek out of still cold soil, my green thumb shakes off the long, dreary winter and begins to glow with anticipation of the bountiful season to come. It is finally spring!

I planted these lovely breakfast radishes on the last weekend of April under our newly erected hoop house. They sprouted almost immediately and began to rapidly mature. Just over one month later, I was shaking off the dirt and planning how to inject their spicy crunch into dinner tonight. This was undoubtedly the perfect jump off for my new cookbook, Plenty. A fresh and light salad seemed the best use of my first harvest, plus an excellent accompaniment to the BBQ meat-fest planned for the evening.

next year I will totally grow my own fava beans

This Avocado-Quinoa salad will obviously be intense as it incorporates the flesh and juice of two lemons plus two raw garlic cloves. Will my first attempt from this cookbook be an inedible disaster? I cross my fingers and put my full trust in Mr. Ottolenghi that he will not lead me astray.

prepping the lemons

first shelling of the favas

these fava beans are some crazy lookin shit!

My first taste after tossing everything together knocks me back a step but my faith remains that this will be a tasty dish. It's gonna have to sit for at least an hour before dinner is ready, so will hopefully chill out. Meanwhile, I grill up some beef, venison and sausages plus corn, zucchini and mushrooms. This is summer!! Dig in everyone!

hellz ya!

Really, really good. Really, really intense, but still really, really good. I actually love the vibrancy of the lemon but feel a need to take the raw, abrasive garlic down a notch or so. The halved radishes look stunning although are slightly cumbersome while eating. And I still don't think it's worth the time to double-peel the fava beans. One or two tweaks and this salad will be a staple of our spring BBQ dinners.

First recipe = success!!

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