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Hazy Shade of Winter

May 10, 2018

It wouldn’t be wrong to call Hazy Shade of Winter a Simon & Garfunkel song. I mean, Paul Simon wrote it, and the duo sung it first. But The Bangles took it further on the charts, and it was one of the band’s biggest hits.

The FLB is celebrating The Bangles this week, because why not.

This little tune metaphorically covers the passing from fall to winter. For me, winter is all about cooking beans. And now that the weather is heating up, the idea of simmering steaming pots of beans in the kitchen is unthinkable.

Where is this going? Well on Friday, I’m off to another potluck. And while I’ve seen ramps and fiddleheads in local markets, early spring in the Capital Region really means one thing to me. That’s clearing out the last of the winter storage crops.

My plan is to do it in a springy way, that also involves beans. Any guesses?

There is no recipe to my Moroccan-ish carrot and chickpea salad, only a palate of flavors that I tinker with until they are in balance. That would be dried mint for the bass line, garlic and aleppo peppers for the treble, olive oil drives the rhythm, and lemon juice to make it sing. Salting to taste at every addition throughout the process cranks up the volume.

To me, this is a hazy shade of winter. It brings back memories of winter storage vegetables and slow simmered beans.

But instead of roasting the carrots, I’m going to shred them in the Cuisinart. And these staples of my winter cooking are going to be fresh, lively, and bright. So even if it’s a warm evening, this salad will be appealing.

This project also calls for the small Instant Pot which is perfectly suited for cooking up small batches of dried beans.

So that’s the plan. Ideally, I can pull all of this together tonight, because all of these cold salads are better if you can let them sit a day and let all the flavors meld together.

For what it’s worth, I am totally digging this warmer weather. Soon, we’ll get enough actual spring produce to be able to make a full potluck dish from locally grown produce. But in the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for some local restaurant specials. Because I’ve seen some pics that have knocked my socks off.

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