i am in mourning That’s the only way to describe it. I received a notice in the mail notifying me of this Martha Stewart is alive Magazine is no longer published. It came as a shock because no announcement had been made in the magazine; I hadn’t seen anything about it on social media; and Martha did not call me personally to discuss the matter. How did this happen? I have subscribed for at least 23 years and maybe longer. I have learned so many things from Martha’s TV shows, books and most importantly the magazine I read every month. Trust me, I didn’t miss the jokes about Martha, but I’m a fan and I really appreciate her expertise and ability to teach. I have a special file system just for pages I cut out of the magazine and kept through all the years of subscription and now nothing is added. I think I have to try to keep going. On a positive note, many people have worked with Martha over the years and they will continue to share what they have learned from her. For example, Jess Damuck worked with Martha in various roles, including in the test kitchen at the Martha Stewart is alive TV show and her book lettuce freak is clearly shaped by this experience. I was delighted to read my review copy to learn how Damuck prepared lunch for Martha, “preparing each component with more focus and attention than I even knew I had in me”. She fell in love with salads for their freshness, taste and composition. The recipes are organized by season and the photos show off all the beautiful colors and textures of each dish. Some are hearty salads as standalone meals and others are lighter. There are salads with fruit and pure fruit salads. I’ll come back to the winter chapter for all of the citrus uses, but there’s also a Caesar salad pizza in this chapter that I’ll be sure to try before the season hits. In the spring chapter you’ll find the Martha’s Mango and Mozzarella with Young Lettuces Salad, which I want to try not just because of the story about Martha in the top note. I made the easy egg salad with lots of dill, but made it a little less easy with some pickled jalapeno and spring onions. There’s an ode to the scuttlebutt salad, which I really enjoyed seeing because it’s based on a sandwich from the former Saltie restaurant. I have the book by that name and once made this sandwich for this blog. And there are plenty of great summertime tomato salads like BLT Potato Salad and Snoop’s BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad with All the Good Stuff. Damuck mentions that sliced fruit and veggies are served over ice and how refreshing that is in the summer. She also uses a melon corer in more than one recipe. I felt so validated by it. I love using a melon corer. So of course I made the Balled Melon as a snack and served it over ice. When fall comes, I make the shredded kale and Brussels sprouts with roasted pumpkin and pomegranate salad and the crispy calamari with carrot, frisee, and ginger salad. For today I want to tell you more about the socca with carrot and saffron.
Saffron was soaked in warm water and then mixed with chickpea flour and olive oil to make the socca batter. A cast-iron skillet was heated in the oven as it preheated. The warm pan was then placed on the stove, oil was added and sliced scallions were cooked before adding the socca batter. The pan went back into the oven for 10 minutes before turning on the grill for a few minutes to brown the top of the socca. Meanwhile, I had some local carrots and daikon radishes that I sliced on a mandolin. The slices were crisped in ice water before draining and drying. The recipe suggests making pesto with the carrot tops, but mine didn’t come with any tops. I used basil and parsley from my herb garden instead. The cooked socca was topped with the shaved veggies, dollops of pesto, crumbles made from local feta, sunflower seeds instead of sliced almonds in my case, and crushed red chillies.
I loved everything about this dish. The saffron in the socca was divine, as was the socca with a crisp, fresh salad. The ice water bath gave the shaved vegetables nice shapes and a crunchy texture. And the feta and pesto brought richness and great flavor. Maybe I can find a way without moving on life magazine in my life – but only if I keep coming across books like this full of really good ideas.
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