Spring came fairly early this year for those of us living in California.  The one perk of being 10 minutes away from three beaches rather than being in the city or “newer” areas–Pasadena, much of Irvine, Corona, etc.–is that you’ll rarely encounter unpleasant weather.  We have the most ideal weather–perfect breeze, cool temperatures, clear skies, and sunshine.  A change in seasons also calls for a new batch of vegetables and fruits coloring store shelves.  As much as I love my winter veggies, I am an enthusiast of spring produce as well.

My perennial affinity for herbs–my personal favorites’ being thyme, rosemary, and basil–still holds.  However, I also harbor a strong reverence for vegetables that beautifully capture the fine dining of my ancestors, as I am a direct descendant of King Gyung Soon of Silla.  And the heh-cho bibimbap not only embodies but elevates these ingredients with a modernistic approach.  You can use either the Korean squash or its Italian counterpart; for this particular dish though, I prefer the latter.  Speaking of heritage, Chef David Lefevre of Manhattan Beach Post and Fishing with Dynamite took me back to Korean seas with his black miso cod and tender grilled octopus.  You may or may not remember my previous visit to Fishing with Dynamite (@eatfwd), but yesterday’s lunch there was nearly perfect–even more so than my first time.  The cod was anything but overly salty or sweet, maintaining the right balance in both texture and flavor.  Together, the braised daikon cubes, adzuki beans/red beans, glazed eggplant, and cooked cod explode with culinary brilliance.

While I can boast that my ancestors ate some of Mother Nature’s finest , I must admit that they never had the privilege of experiencing California’s delightful berry season.  My morning routine is to make avocado toast or oatmeal, grab a serving of nuts, slice an apple–Fuji or Gala usually–and wash a bowl full of berries.  A lovely medley of tartiness and sweetness burst in my mouth, and I immediately taste spring and summer.

Hehcho_bibimbap_2

{Mix: Tossed seasoned seaweed salad (heh-cho), perilla strips, sautéed Italian squash, Korean seasoned daikon/radish (moo saeng chae), toasted sesame seeds, and rice}

Berries

{Fresh blueberries and raspberries}

{Credits to Darin Dines for the photo; Black Miso Cod @ Fishing with Dynamite}

{UPCOMING TALES: Fantastic Fashion Spring/Summer Essential, Farmer’s Market on Trojan Grounds (USC), Favorite Five Los Angeles Eats, Fish Taco Fridays at La Jolla, Lessons with Leftovers}

I hope you’re kicking off the weekend with some spring celebration.  Happy Friday!

LOVE,
pristine christine

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