June at the RGB: grapes dangling over the trellis, neglected artichokes blossoming, and radishes so plentiful we don’t know what to do with them all. Last year’s Meyers are still on the tree. Figs will be ready next month, squash even sooner. And each afternoon ends with another handful of strawberries. [Enter happy dance here.]
Can you tell what we’ve been up to?
It all started off as one big joke. I kept telling people I was going to get chickens. And right behind me, Mr. RGBistro kept saying, “no, we’re not… she’s mistaken.”
For two years, the conversation never got farther than that.
But then… a series of unfortunate events happened, and I lost my cat. Not just any cat… but my heart cat; the little buddy who stuck by my side through (most) of my 20s. In a moment of sadness, I told Mr. RGBistro it’d be nice to add to the brood… and since a grown man doesn’t know what to do with a sobbing wife, he said “okay, you can have your chickens.”
Enter… the local library. The local bookstore. Fiction; non-fiction… I was immersed in chicken literature. Before long, I had purchased a set of blueprints and we were studying coop plans over breakfast.
I knew Mr. RGBistro was really along for the ride when I came home one day to four new posts and a roll of hardware cloth: gloves on, tools out, the man was ready to build a coop.
Without further ado, please welcome………. our new baby BISTRO PEEPS!
I had just enough down-time this week to squeeze in a lunch trip to the Tustin Farmers’ Market… and came home with diver scallops, squash blossoms, fresh goat cheese, apricots, and a bag of mixed greens. After yanking chives from the garden, lunch turned into a “mixed plate”… filled with colors of summer.
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Fried Tempura Squash Blossom with Seared Scallops and Apricot Salad
Young, tender squash blossom stuffed with fresh goat cheese and chives, then dipped in tempura batter and quickly fried. Served with a quick apricot salad and a side of seared diver scallops.
~ Serves 2 ~
~ Ingredients ~
- ½ garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons basil-infused olive oil
- 2 ripe apricots, diced
- 2 ounces mixed green lettuce, washed and spun dry
- 1 ounce fresh goat cheese
- 1 teaspoon chives, chopped
- 2 squash blossoms
- 1 cup prepared tempura batter, per package directions
- 1 quart vegetable oil
- 2 large diver scallops
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
~ Preparation ~
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
- Make salad: Combine garlic, Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar into a 1-quart glass bowl. While whisking vigorously, slowly drop in a stream of olive until emulsified (well blended). Season to taste. Add in mixed greens and chopped apricots; set aside.
- Make squash blossoms: In a 6-quart stock pot, add vegetable oil and bring to 350˚F. Stuff each squash blossom with ½ ounce of fresh goat cheese and ½ teaspoon of chives; pinching blossom tips to seal shut. When oil reaches 350˚F, dip blossoms in tempura batter, then gently place into pot. Let cook until blossoms have browned, about 3 minutes; set aside on paper towel.
- Make scallops: Heat a sauté pan on high, then add in butter. Once butter is browned, add in scallops, and leave undisturbed until they are nicely seared; about 45 seconds. Using a small spatula, flip scallops over to sear the second side, about 45 seconds. Season to taste; remove from heat.
- Plate and serve immediately.
Source: Rustic Garden Bistro