Mondays are the last full day of the CSA veggies because we get the new vegetables for pick up every Tuesday afternoon. So sometimes the meal has a kind of sad air about it, the dregs of an installment, or sometimes tired vegetables. Usually, though, since they are delivered fresh from the farm the produce holds up quite well throughout the week. I’m pleasantly surprised at how delicious a cucumber is one week later, and especially the lettuces we’ve been getting.
Tonight, though, I basically had a bunch of rat-tail radishes and zucchini. The radishes were a major bust the week before, and last Tuesday when we went to pick up our week’s share, the giveaway table was positively bursting with rat-tail radishes and nothing but. When I said the radishes were apparently unpopular, one of the women picking up her share said, “In fact, they were distinctly disliked,” or something to that effect.
Remember, though, that I was one of the few who actually liked them. But then, I also love radishes and eat them with some seasoned salt as a snack. I decided to make the same dish I made almost two weeks ago, the Indian curry with rat-tail radishes and potatoes. But this time, I would throw in zucchini, and because I had some on hand, add a smattering of lentils, the last bits of a container that hadn’t made it into some soup or dish a while ago. I must admit that I didn’t have fresh tomatoes on hand, so I used the crushed tomatoes leftover from a can that I used to make fennel and tomato soup. The whole dish took on another dimension. The curry was more tomato-ey, and the lentils gave it greater body. The coriander and turmeric were more subdued since they were jostling with canned instead of fresh tomatoes.
The rat-tail radishes were better this time because I learned my lesson and trimmed both the head and tail of each of them, to reduce the odds of getting a chewy, inedible fiber in your mouth with no genteel way to discard of it.
The result was that both Luke and Chiara liked the dish this time. Luke said it tasted better to him, and Chiara had just a classic mature comment. She said, after taking a few bites, “Apa, thanks for making a delicious dinner.”
Luke replied that he hadn’t cooked, I had.
To which Chiara replied, “Oma, you make delicious dinner every night.”
I was beaming of course, but also at her maturity and grace. I can only imagine how she will speak up when she’s someone’s dinner guest years from now and speak so beautifully to her hosts. How did I get so lucky to be Chiara’s oma?
So, it’s hard to believe, but the rat-tail radishes were a hit!