And we’re back!

With a summer time salad! Just as summer is winding down. ::sighs::

So, Adam and I are back from his brother’s wedding – congratulations John and Caroline, it was a very lovely ceremony. Let me tell you – Charleston in August (especially the tail end of August) is HOT. Also muggy. Am also glad that I wore all the clothes that could become see through from sweat on days I was mostly indoors. With air conditioning.

I truly understand why air conditioning is used all the time in the south. Life around here would be pretty unbearable in the summer otherwise. Says a fairly died-in-the-wool preferrer of cold over heat (I can put on a sweater; eventually I can’t peel off any more clothes!)

Any rate

An asparagus and radish with mint salad.

Little cooking but decent amount of knife work. The whole thing tastes much, much better with very thin slices of radishes. So really, I’m not about to recommend this one to you unless you own a mandolin. Or are really good with a chef’s knife. … Or want to develop your knife skills.

It is pretty darn good though. And make ahead (by a bit) if you need the time closer to the meal for other things.

Asparagus and Radish Salad

Original from
Makes ~6 servings
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 30; Vegetables: 1 recipe left

Verdict: Keeping

  • 1 asparagus bunch, ~1lb
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 bunch radishes, ~1/4-1/2 lb
  • 1 tbsp good olive oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • Kosher or other flaky salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh or dried mint leaves, to taste (fresh is better, dried will do)
  1. Remove the woody ends of the asparagus and cut the remainder into 1 inch pieces. Heat the oil or butter in a skillet over high heat; cook the asparagus until warmed through and tender, but still crisp, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  2. Slice the radishes into thin rounds with a mandolin or very sharp chef’s knife – by preference, the slices will be translucent. Toss the asparagus and radishes together in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together the good olive oil and rice vinegar. Pour this over the vegetables and toss; season to taste with salt and black pepper. If using fresh mint leaves, slice them very fine. Toss the mint with the vegetables.

Can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours before serving. Serve cold or at room temperature.


Tasty, tasty (expensive) lamb

So, Adam and I recently made a budget. I mean, we’d had one before, but that was slightly more ‘okay, how much can we set aside on this contract to get through the couple months off while Adam finds the next contract?” This one is a ‘hurrah, we both have full-time permanent positions!’ It feels so very grown-up. Except, you know, who let us get to grown-up status? Obviously an error somewhere 🙂 But any rate, we were coming in fairly far under-budget on groceries so I decided that now was the time to try the last main entrée recipe I had in the queue – a rack of lamb recipe.

2 racks of lamb with 6 cutlets each == 3 cutlets / serving == 4 servings total
1 rack == ~1lb of meat. $22/lb of lamb rack at Wegmans.

You see why I waited until a month with ‘excess’ grocery money.

That said, if you’ve got someone to impress and have the cash to burn, this is the recipe to do it with. Holy [expletive] was this tender and tasty and oh my god my brain is seizing in happy memory so I have no words.

The meat portion of the recipe was excellent; the roast vegetables not as much. The vegetables (12 garlic cloves, carrots, red bell pepper, red onion, zucchini, and asparagus) weren’t bad per see. They just weren’t great which was disappointing in contrast to the mustard encrusted lamb. I think the vegetables would have benefited from a higher roasting temperature or longer time. But then the lamb would have either overcooked or been lukewarm at the table. And it should be served either piping hot or refrigerator-chilled cold. So, this lamb recipe I give to you will be pair with what I should have made instead – roasted asparagus.


Rack of Lamb with Mustard Crust and Roasted Asparagus

Serves 4
Recipe count: 18 left; Section: Pork & Lamb main entrées: 0 left

  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • ½ brown onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp seeded mustard
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 lamb racks, each with 6 cutlets, trimmed
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • fresh black pepper
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  1. In a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic; cook for 2 minutes, or until softened. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Combine with the breadcrumbs, sage, mustard, and egg yolk; season with salt.
  2. Spread the mustard mixture across the rack of lamb to form a thick crust. Refrigerate until ready to use.
    Encrusted Lamb
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  4. Spread the asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and pepper. Gently toss with your hands and then return to a single layer.
  5. Transfer lamb to a roasting pan. Place lamb and asparagus into the oven. Start checking the asparagus for doneness at 10 minutes, lamb at 25 minutes. The asparagus should be cooked through and tender, but not wilting. The lamb is done when the internal temperature (use an instant read thermometer) reaches 140°F (for medium-rare) to 160°F (for medium). Alternatively, start the lamb before the asparagus and add the asparagus in the middle to try and time both being done simultaneously.
    Resting Lamb
  6. When done, remove the lamb and transfer to a resting rack. Heat the pan juices, balsamic vinegar, remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, and a pinch of salt on the stove to form a sauce. Slice the lamb and serve with the asparagus and sauce.

Plated Lamb