Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Yucca blossoms for a late summer feast

So I have a garden which has seen very little water in months. No matter, the plant that thrives on parched soils to the rescue. The Yucca. Once it was a little sprout oddity potted in the corner of my San Francisco office on the 7th floor of Embarcadero 4. But they're prolific just about everywhere in California and down south to who knows where. Fast forward some 30 years and the towering beast in my small garden, with a trunk 10 feet in circumference now overwhelms everything in it's shadow. How was I to know it actually presents a drought year bonanza. What drew my attention to the culinary potential of these impressive-looking flowers was a very ethnic indian lady selling various wares on the street corner near my house.
Beside her, piles of these seasonal beauties. A quick search online and I find all sorts of recipe ideas from just about everywhere. Just the kind of challenge I like and What the Hell, I have a skyline full of em. Getting up the wonky ladder and then dangling precariously with a pole saw is one of the ridiculous Cavalier stunts I pull off regularly, sometimes catching the projectile in mid air. Today was another successful catch, but don't do this at home. Now to the kitchen. Recommended approach for Newbies is an omelette, chefs say it's like artichoke. Texturally it's true, although mine was softer and no surprise stringy bits. The flavor was less pronounced however. By dinner time I was feeling adventurous and went for the pasta concept, so I prepped the yucca by sautéing in butter and and onions and bounced in two cups of prepared Putanesca sauce from Trader Joes. Result? Really pleased.