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Some Cooking After the Farmer's Market

We went to the farmer's market on Saturday, and, while I didn't plan to pick up much, there was much I couldn't resist. So, dinner:

Thyme Roasted Beets, with Shushan Snow cheese and toasted walnuts on a bed of arugula: I roasted the beets a la Goin, but added a bunch of thyme sprigs. To my amazement, the beets did taste a bit like thyme. Shushan Snow is a camembert-like sheep's milk cheese. I used a sherry vinaigrette from Frank Stitt's book that includes thyme and shallots.

Shell Steak, 24 Carat New Potatoes and Pea Shoots: I've been waiting for the new potatoes to come in, and these were glorious. I used Hopkinson's method of scraping these tiny gems with a knife rather than peeling - after you boil them, you toss with butter and mint. I had some pea shoots leftover from a sandwich at lunch, so, to have something green on the plate, I quickly added them to the empty pan from the potatoes, so they got a slight gloss from the leftover butter. I had some tarragon butter leftover in the fridge and added that to the steaks.

Strawberries with Whipped Cream: The strawberries smelled divine - I kept sniffing the brown paper bag they were in - so I just washed, dried, and removed the tops. I whipped the cream with a little vanilla and just a touch of super fine sugar. I decided to put the cream on the bottom of the bowl, so that the strawberries would be the focus. Two photos of the strawberries, as the second one more accurately reflects the color.

Any recent favorites of yours from the farmer's market?

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  1. A close up of the potatoes:

    1. Oops - missed one of the strawberry photos:

      1. Haven't made anything yet, but I recently picked up some Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers from Ted Blew's stand at the Union Sq. greenmarket. They are about 6 inches long and maybe an inch to an inch and a half in diameter. I got some last year and loved them and was excited to see them back, finally.

        Tonight, I plan to stuff them with some hot italian sauage, breadcrumbs, egg and parmaggiano reggiano and bake till the filling is cooked and eat with some tomato sauce. Haven't decided if I will bake in the sauce or separately. I also picked up some of the habaneros and will most likely add them to scrambled eggs later this week.

        1. I've been sauteeing fresh corn and heirloom cherry tomatoes in a bit of olive oil, then stirring in cooked fresh pasta and parmesan. It's tasty, and ready in about 10 minutes!

          1 Reply
          1. re: bex109

            That sounds great - maybe I'll do that for dinner. I made variation of Goin's succotash on Friday, but didn't have any lima beans. You saute red onions with thyme (I was lazy and just added in some sprigs of thyme), and then I added the corn (rather than sauteeing it separately) and then added some basil at the end.

          2. who was selling the pea shoots? I'd love to pick some up next time.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Sophia.

              It's the rediculously expensive vendor at Union Square in Manhattan on Saturdays who is on the east side of the "north/south aisle" - more towards the north end of the square. They sell all sorts of greens in small white bins. It's something like $12 for 4oz and I shudder as I write that. However, the quality and variety is excellent. They had loads of zucchini flowers though, that were quite reasonable, and I need to do something with those tonight. They were just a couple of stalls south of the tiny potato vendor!

              1. re: MMRuth

                You know, eventually I learned to just go right past that stall, because every time I'd do a double-take when I realized the price was for a quarter of a pound. But they really do have a stunning variety of baby and microgreens, things you just don't see anywhere else in the city. I'd bet they get a lot of business from restaurants that shop the Greenmarket.

            2. I never plan to buy lots, but I always lose all control!

              Highlights include farm eggs, baby beetroot, baby lettuce (looks like a cos), fresh, unpodded peas, and a bunch of tiny spring onions.

              Any suggestions for a spring soup that can use the baby spring onions? And what is the Goin method of roasting beetroot? Haven't figured out what I want to do with mine yet, and am open to ideas...

              4 Replies
              1. re: Gooseberry

                Beets - toss with some olive oil and salt, cover baking pan with foil, roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. I test with a knife, since cooking time can vary depending on the size of the beets. The spring onions - are they what I think of as scallions - or with a small bulb at the end? Not that I have any particular suggestions!

                Goin has a lovely main course salad with slow baked salmon, the beets, hard cooked eggs (but with the yolk still quite moist), potatoes, etc.:


                1. re: MMRuth

                  Do you peel the beets before roasting, or slip the skins off before serving?

                  Erm, the peas didn't last the day. They mysteriously vanished from my fridge. Pixies must've eaten 'em...

                  1. re: Gooseberry

                    I peel them after roasting. I don medical gloves that I use to apply the dog's flea medication, so that my fingers and nails aren't purple for the next week. A sharp paring knife usually does the trick. Sorry about the peas!

                2. re: Gooseberry

                  Oh - and if I were you - I'd cook the peas and lettuce together - I gather that's a traditional English dish, with liberal amounts of butter. I had it recently at The Spotted Pig (gastropub in NY) and it was wonderful. I think there was a little mint in it.

                3. Oh the farmers market! I can never resist! I live in DC, so I've been taking advantage of all the heirloom tomatoes, corn, etc.

                  Last weekend was a salsa fresca with heirloom tomatoes, onion, and cilantro served with home-made chips. Yesterday for breakfast I had cubed peaches topped with market plain yogurt and wild honey. Today I had a goat cheese and caramelized figs salad, and for dinner, we had some pasta with fresh morzzarella, heirloom tomatoes and basil.

                  Not a bad week!

                  1. I have to say "yay me!" for putting together an easy sald/starter after the market last Sunday. Corn, tomatoes and basil are all fantastic right now. I made an Heirloom Tomato with Fried Goat Chevre, Caramelized Corn and Basil Chiffonade dish that was summer on a plate. In fact, it was summer in a bite!!
                    Method here:

                    see pics!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: monavano

                      Beautiful - that tomato looks divine. Last night I made another beet salad, with the same dressing, as well as the rest of the tiny potatoes and some walnuts, and then for a main course we had orecchiette with bottarga, tomatoes, basil and chives, as well as olive oil and lemon juice and a little garlic and red pepper flakes. Next time I'll make it with spaghetti, as I think the orecchiette overwhelmed the bottarga.

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        Tonight, I'll be using more tomatoes and basil in a panzanella, and some gorgeous squash blossoms in a fritatta. I'll post that tommorow perhaps. I love summer!

                        1. re: monavano

                          Gosh - I completely forgot - I fried 5-6 zucchini blossoms, then chopped up all but two and added the chopped ones to the pasta for some crunch, and served the other two on top.

                    2. Saturday our local Slow Foods group sponsored an heirloom tomato tasting at our farmer's market. By noon I was pooped so nothing from the market this week. I held a Slow Foods brunch a couple of weeks ago and we were about 18 people. The theme was best of the farmer's market. I made a fresh green bean fritatta with dill and cushed red pepper and fresh corn muffins, Bloody Mary's from the recipe in Tamsin Day-Lewis' book Good Tempered Food. Another friend brought fresh peach daquiris. They were delicious. The offerings were quite varied. Lots of imagination and thought went into what people brought.