What do you call a large group of guests about to arrive? A gaggle? A bevy? A pod? A platoon?
How about a gift of guests? I suppose one does not without fail feel this way about one’s guests. But, it’s how I think of our guests who are coming for this weekend, so let’s go with it.
We have a gift of guests on their way, trickling in throughout today and tomorrow. And, although it truly does feel like a gift that folks are coming to visit, let me tell you, I could be a circus act with my frenzy of activity today.
With my hands I’m juggling meal planning, cooking, and last minute cleaning (of course the dog would choose to shed her winter coat right now). With the right foot I’m fending off the lions of hostess anxiety, and with the left I’m stomping out a couple of little work/research fires. And on my head is teetering the rest of the to-do list. (Call the vet, water the garden, write that memo…) All I need is a flower that squirts water and a big red nose!
But, in the midst of it all, boy did I just manage to have an excellent lunch! So, I thought I’d sit down for a moment and tell you about it.
Really what it is is leftovers from a couple of meals arranged carefully back together in a new way. Leftœvres composé, you could say. But nothing about it says leftovers at all. In fact, if for some odd reason you don’t have leftover sauteed asparagus and leftover pickled radish, and tortillas, and feta, and chives, and an avocado (what? Seriously? You don’t?) I would urge you to make and or procure each of these, just so you can make these tacos.
This is a blushing spring beauty queen of a taco. Rosy radish, fresh young asparagus, voluptuous avocado, creamy tangy feta. The chives may seem like just a garnish, but don’t underestimate the power of the grassy oniony flavor for giving just the confidence boost needed to keep her from being a little too bashful and sweet. (Scallions, or a little garlic in with the asparagus would provide the same effect. As would some pickled onions.)
So there you have it. The belle of the leftover ball. A triumph of a lunch. And now it’s back to work!
Spring Tacos with Asparagus, Pickled Radish, Avocado, and Feta (serves 4)
- 1 bunch of radishes, washed and quartered (or sixthed, if they are large)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup light colored vinegar (rice, white wine, apple cider…)
- 2 Tbs. honey
- 1/2 Tbs. kosher salt
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- olive oil, salt and pepper
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 avocados
- crumbled feta (preferably sheep’s milk)
- about 1/2 cup finely chopped chives
- corn tortillas
- First, put the radishes in a bowl or jar. In a small pot, combine the water, vinegar, honey, and kosher salt. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the honey and salt. Take off the heat and pour over the radishes. Cover and put in the fridge for at least several hours before using. They’ll keep for about a week in the fridge.
- Heat 1-2 Tbs. olive oil in a large saute pan until the oil is shimmering. Add the asparagus and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute over medium-high heat until the asparagus is browned and tender, about 7 minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice over the asparagus and toss to coat.
- Peel the avocados and cut them into small chunks.
- To assemble, put some asparagus, avocado, and pickled radish into a tortilla. Sprinkle generously with feta and chives. Dig in!