Yes Spring! I love eating seasonally as it’s better for you and your wallet. Especially eating spring ferns really makes me feel the end of long cold winter, this little young buds coming out of the soil with full of energy, we shouldn’t over harvest it but eat with much appreciation for the share.
Fiddleheads are commonly eaten with lemon butter, or raspberry vinaigrette in North America. Now, how about with Umeboshi Butter!?
Umeboshi is a traditional Japanese picked plum. You can find pasted Umeboshi or whole pieces in a package in Asian grocery section at various super markets. It’s very very sour and salty that you probably don’t want to eat by itself, but makes great accent in sushi rolls and in salad dressing.
The Umeboshi Butter is very simple.
2 tbsp of butter
1 or 2 Umeboshi – chopped & pasted, or 1 tbsp of Umeboshi paste
Mix well and toss in the steamed or boiled Fiddleheads. I love salt, so I use normal butter, and sometimes even add a dash of soy sauce or Bragg sauce, but unsalted butter also works great.
I make a lot of salads with fruits during the summer months, and definitely this prune plum salad is one of my most faves. Just before flying back to Japan, plums were coming close to the end of season and super cheap like $0.99/lb in Vancouver, so I had to take this opportunity, because I knew that I wouldn’t see the mountain of plums – everything is smaller and neatly packed in Japan.
Here’s the ingredients:
Prune Plums (not too riped ones)
Olives (generous amount, mince some and slice the rest, so it sticks well with plums and look nice on the plate.)
S & P
Maple Syrup (yeah Canada, eh!)
Prune Plums in Japan is much sweeter, so might as well just omit Maple Syrup. Also a store brought French Vinaigrette works too! 🙂
Bit of chives, parmesan cheese and walnuts…that’s all I had in my fridge. As I was way too lazy to go for grocery shopping so made veggie gyoza with them.
Massage the chives with a pinch of salt, then squeeze out excess water. Add to grated parmesan cheese and chopped walnuts, season with your favourite spices, and wrap with gyoza wrapper. I made dipping sauce with lemon juice, S&P, and olive oil and a dash of truffle oil, which was an absolute success!
Have you had Belgian Endives before? That looks like Napa Cabbage(Hakusai) sans wrinkles and tastes somewhat similar but is a little bitter than Hakusai. I love this bitterness! My French friend corrected my pronunciation from endaiv toa:ndiv which I left with a simple “a-ha” just because I can’t do the sound sexy like her, and moved on to make this fantastic salad instead.
I think stilton cheese is commonly used in endive salad, but I used Applewood Smoked Cheddar this time.
Endive x 3 heads, radishes, parsley, crushed pistachio, and grated Applewood Smoked Cheddar! Unfortunately this salad can be a real harm on your wallet especially in Japan. Not only the cheese, pistachio is expensive too. But the point is, the combination of “smoked” cheese and some kind of nuts with the endive is the key. So you can replace those ingredients with almonds and Smoked Gouda which are much easier to find in Japan, and way more reasonable. If you want you can also replace the Endive to Hakusai. Yeah, screw that a:ndiv !
The dressing is simple. Lemon juice, garlic, EVO, S&P, Dijon Mustard(grainy one), and yogurt.
That chives and parmesan cheese, I still have some left. What am I gonna do with them? Both not very much left. Hmmmmmm.
Then my phone rings. Oh hey, BBQ! Yes the weather is perfect for that, yes thanks I’d love to come! See ya later, man! *click!* …Well, however…what should I bring? Thought of stopping by a grocery store on the way, but it is actually NOT on the way, have to make quite a trip which will for sure be a waste of time, but I don’t have meat in stock as I don’t eat meat often. So, I made a sauce to go with BBQ, with my left overs as usual.
Chives, grated cheese, ginger & garlic, grated lemongrass, and bird’s eye chilli, S & P, dash of fish sauce, and generous sesame oil.
They all added up to a decent amount 🙂 and some were putting it on the meat, some were using it in the hotdog, some were enjoying with grilled veggies. I was happy to see that I could add some flavours on BBQ.
BTW, do you know where I can find lemongrass in Osaka? (BBQ was held in Vancouver) I miss the fresh fragrant herb(is that herb?) so much.
With a bit of work, left overs always turn out great.