Lately, I've been overwhelmed by color. Everywhere I look, life is in bloom again. The trees are budding with tiny pastel bursts. The early evening sky has been an ombre display of muted ambers, grays and blues. Once more, the aisles at our local market are verdant and brimming with piles of spring's early produce. The whole world seems to be coming back to life in a way.
At the start of this season of renewed life, the chef and I have been desperate to enjoy our life together as much as possible this month. While the days grow longer and the air grows warmer, we are constantly reminded that we are moving closer to the start of our busiest season yet. In fact, as I sit at my desk typing this sentence, we are exactly three weeks away from opening day at our first summer pop-up. And while the markets have not officially started up just yet, long days and nights back at the shop have slowly begun to seep their way back into our lives.
And so we've been making a conscious effort to live as fully as possible before our lives once again become a blur, and the bulk of our conversations shifts back to talk of employee schedules and menu concerns. We’ve been spending a lot of time with family. We’ve been visiting friends with a sense of relentless determination. We’ve been engaging in some mindless day drinking. But mostly, we’ve been spending a great deal of time in the center of our lives – our home – to cook and to converse and to enjoy as many quiet moments together as time will allow.
Full disclosure: I’m in love with the idea of this Scallion Kimchi. This time of year, when the aisles of our local market turn green once more, I have a habit of purchasing at least a half dozen bunches of scallions every week (they’re marked 6 for $2…how can I resist?). I love the bite of fresh scallions sprinkled across poached eggs or a bowl filled with an otherwise bland grain. I love to slow roast multiple bunches of scallions to release their hidden sweetness, and then twirl them on a fork and eat them whole. But mostly, I love having them on hand to add something a little fresh to all our meals, making each plate look a little bit more like spring and a little bit more alive.
from Not Without salt
- 2 large bunches scallions
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
Wash and trim the scallions and cut into thirds. Add the sliced scallions to a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Give the scallions a gentle mix and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix together the garlic, the sugar, the ginger, the red pepper flakes, the sesame oil, the sesame seeds, the fish sauce, and the vinegar. Pour the mixture over the scallions and toss well to coat.
At this point, you have two options. If you'd like, you can eat the mixture right away. Think of this more like a "quick pickle" as opposed to a true kimchi (though the taste is still very good!). If you'd like to ferment, lay a plate over the bowl of scallions and leave it covered in a warm, but not hot, place (about 70 degrees) for 24 hours. Regardless of which method you prefer, the mixture will keep well for 3-4 weeks when stored in an airtight jar and kept refrigerated.