What's At Your Farmers Market This Spring? What Are You Making And Eating?
I am a big fan of farmers markets (Northern VA and Washington DC) and spring's bounty has come just in time to lift me from the ennui of a long winter. This weekend, I found ramps, morels, asparagus and rhubarb. They were a welcome sight and I couldn't wait to use my morels and ramps.
I braised chicken thighs with morels, ramps, thyme, marjoram and white wine, then finished the sauce with a bit of cream.
I also made ramp crepes to wrap around the leftover chicken in the following days.
Strawberries can't be far away!
So, what is exciting you at your local farmers markets? Whatcha making and eating??
ps...check out the pics!
Wow. Ramps sound delicious. I'm in Northern Cali, so strawberries are already in season and quite yummy, if you go to the right stand. I put some of that and cucumbers in a mango gazpacho I made last night and foisted on a friend (who didn't seem to mind). I've also seen green garlic, which I love putting in risottos, but last week, there was a recipe in the local food section for green garlic and gruyere cheese spoon bread, so I made that. The week before, I got asparagus and made an asparagus ricotta tart. But sometimes I just enjoy eating the fresh produce raw. I got sugar snap peas, which I had planned to stir fry, and ended up eating all of them just raw, straight out of the bag!
There is actually a spoon bread recipe for asparagus as well. I made the green garlic, spring onion and gruyere one.
Actually, the tart is originally a tomato ricotta tart recipe, but since tomatoes are not in season yet, I tried it with asparagus and it turned out well.
Makes about a dozen crepes
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup water
1 cup All-Purpose flour, preferably bleached
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus 2-3 tablespoons for coating the pan
8 ramps, ends trimmed and rough chopped
In a blender, add eggs, milk, water, flour, melted butter and salt. Blend for 10 seconds, or until smooth. Add ramps and pulse 5-6 times.
In a crepe pan or non-stick skillet, add a pat of butter over medium high heat and spread to coat fully. Ladle in enough crepe batter to coat the bottom of the pan. Swirl pan to evenly distribute the crepe batter. Cook on one side until just golden. Use a spatula to keep the edges from sticking, making sure that the crepe will release for turning.
Gently flip the crepe over using by a long thin wooden stick or wooden tongs, or flip over in the air to be caught by the pan. Cook on the second side for about 30 seconds, or until the crepe releases easily from the pan.
Remove crepe to a platter and stack as you cook the crepes.
Serve immediately, or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Crepes can be frozen in plastic baggies for up to 3 months.
Saw the first fava beans of the season (for me, anyway) this weekend. Early in the season, I blanch and peel them, squirt a bit of lemon juice on them and eat them with pecorino and mint. Later in the season, it's fava beans cooked in olive oil, enriched with more olive oil, served on crostini with a few shavings of pecorino on top. I know there are other preparations out there, but I can't seem to move past these two... I gorge myself on these two dishes every spring.
I am envious. Here, in Calgary, we do not have any local produce on the shelf yet - except hot house stuff. But just wait! Our fruit season is fabulous.