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.
Here in Southern California. Fresh shelled peas - for those of us (me) who are too lazy to shell our own peas. I steamed them for three minutes and then tossed with a tiny bit of butter and fleur de sel. It was wonderful - it tasted like Spring. And it only took me 3 1/2 minutes to make, since I didn't have to shell the peas! The butter was not local, but was shipped from Minnesota http://www.pastureland.coop - I have not been able to find butter locally that is made from grass fed cows.
Also blood oranges galore, loquats (yum), plenty of strawberries (they don't seem sweet enough yet to me) and nettles. The things I want that are not yet in the market are hot chilies and purslaine.
We're in the middle of the "hungry gap" here in the UK, but not long to wait now until the English asparagus season, and all of the other bounty. My organic vegetable box will soon go from winter to summer. Thank goodness, because I am heartily sick of kale, swede and cauliflower.
i'm in the same general area as you monavano and unfortunately I haven't been to any farmer's markets this year. However my mother grows a lot of korean veggies in the back yard and lately she's been making this delicious salad to go with a lot of the grilled kalbi that she does. She takes watercress, chinese watercress, chives, young garlic (stems and cloves), and young dandelion leaves and tosses them all with fish sauce, sesame seeds, vinegar, gochugaru, and a few other things I forget.
Either way I can eat boatloads of this stuff and its so great with pretty much any grilled meat, korean or not
Hey monavano, I'm in the same area as you! I stopped by the Arlington farmer's market this past week, but didn't see anything exciting. Maybe I got there too late... There was definitely no asparagus to be found anywhere! I'm new(ish) to the NoVA-DC area and would love to know which farmer's markets you consider to be the best over here!
The Dupont Market on Sundays is one of the largest and most established in our area. One stall had asparagus, one had ramps, and two had morels-so don't worry if you didn't see any yet at Arlington. It's a good market.
During the week, Fresh Farm Markets also holds farmers markets in Foggy Bottom, H St. and Penn Quarter.
You can follow my "at the market" updates at www.houndstoothgourmet.com
You've got some great stuff, monovano. I haven't seen a lot of spring produce at my local farmer's market in New York. The big excitement for me is that the fish guys are back. They go to Florida for the winter. So far I've bought scallops and cod. My farmer's market is Wednesdays and Saturdays so there may be more veggies tomorrow. But if I buy anything I'll have to bring it to work and stash it in the office refrigerator, then take it home when I leave.
Monavano - I just wanted to thank you for the ramps crepes recipe. I made them last night and wow were they good. I had to control myself from nibbling at the crepes as I was cooking them! I used your filling as a rough guide (making it vegetarian) and the flavors of the mushrooms and ramps together was wonderful.