Home, Lifestyle

The Weekly Report

March 31, 2017

Spring breaths new life into farmers’ markets. As hearty vegetables and citrus fruits phase out, new earthy flavors begin to pop up. But get ’em while they last because spring’s delicacies are only at the market for a few weeks!

 

time to buy

Asparagus, green garlic and spring onions are a few vegetables that are in season for only but a short time. I gave up trying to preserve asparagus by blanching and freezing them when I made my first batch of pickled asparagus.  These spears hold up well and add a nice vinegary kick to a charcuterie platter or bloody mary.

Spring Vegetables

Asparagus, Green Garlic and Spring Onions

 New potatoes are especially delicious this time of year. These “babies” are freshly dug and have not been cured. They lend more of a creamy texture compared to those that have been in cold storage. Their shelf life is not nearly as long and are best eaten within a week of purchase. Simply steamed until a knife can pierce through cleanly and toss with butter, fresh dill, salt and pepper. Or try this  potato, sausage and spinach breakfast casserole . I’d replace the frozen spinach with fresh (or swiss chard) and use new potatoes rather than russet and why not throw in some green garlic and spring onions because they are so dang good?!

Farmers' Market Potatoes

New Potatoes

 

greens, greens and more greens

The market was exploding with fresh greens this week! Pea tendrils, mustard flowers, fava leaves, lettuces, spinach, swiss chard, collard greens, kale, celery, even cabbage still intensely green and flavorful.

Farmers' Market Vegetables

Pea Tendrils, Swiss Chard and Cabbage

the return of sweet

Strawberries hit the market about two weeks or so ago then disappeared. Why? Rain is bad for fully developed fruit as it causes mold. But the shiny sweet strawberries were back today in several stalls. Citrus continues to brighten the tables, however quantities are dwindling; you can still find kiwi too. As far as fruit goes, there is not much more than that. In the next month rhubarb, blueberries and cherries will appear.

rounding out the list

The first English peas arrived today at Iacopi Farms! Radishes, beets, carrots, turnips, artichokes, leeks, broccoli, fennel were everywhere .

Find a farmers’ market this weekend and enjoy the Springtime weather!

 

Farmers Markets, Home, Lifestyle

Winter Delights from the Market

January 26, 2017

There is a significant downturn in Farmers’ Market attendance come November. Maybe it’s the gray weather or the lack of tomatoes? I’ve always been stumped by the disappearance of shoppers. I mean, people still need to eat, right?

Sure, you’re not going to find a sun-ripened peach so juicy you must eat it over the sink or tomatoes so sweet their skins are blistered from growing to fast in the hot sun. But a trip to the market in the coldest season presents some equally intriguing options- if you just give them a chance.

Winter vegetables are nutritional powerhouses containing anti-cancer fighting properties and they are packed with vitamins and fiber. When compared to their spring and summer siblings, winter vegetables last much longer: If stored properly, greens can last at least a week and root vegetables up to four weeks.

My Winter Watch List

  • Hearty greens are everywhere. You’ll find rainbow-colored Swiss chard and Siberian kale you never knew could be so tender. When it comes to hearty greens, I think simple is best. This garlicky swiss chard is so good! If you don’t have Swiss chard you could use kale or spinach or a combination.

 

Cauliflower and Romanesco

Colorful Cauliflower and Romanesco

 

  • Beets!!! Whether red, gold or chioggia (with a candy cane striped interior) are my favorite winter treats. If you have only eaten beets from a can I encourage you to try roasting them at home. Roasting brings out the natural sugar, earthly flavor and retains their jewel-toned vibrancy (when roasted separate from other items). You’ll never eat canned beets again!

Once roasted and peeled store your beets in a glass container for up to one week. I make a simple salad of shaved beets, greens (I like arugula), blue or goat cheese, toasted walnuts and vinaigrette. But you can also eat them raw. Sliced on a mandolin or very fine with a sharp knife they add an earthy crunch to salads.

When you arrive home from the market, remove the beet greens and store them separately. They can be tossed into soups, sautéed and added to omelets, or used raw in a green salad.

 

swiss chard, beets & romanesco

Rainbow Swiss Chard, Beets in three colors and Romanseco

 

  • Radishes that have captivating names like scarlet, watermelon (yes, it really looks like a watermelon inside!), French breakfast and Bordeaux to name just a few.

Radishes

Watermelon, french breakfast and scarlet radishes

  • Celeriac aka “celery root” line the tables of most farmers’ stalls. If you’re looking for inspiration this winter, Diane Morgan’s terrific cookbook Roots will do the trick. From plain old carrots and potatoes to more exotic vegetables like rutabaga and salsify, Morgan presents mouth-watering recipes that make the most of winters’ bounty. Many recipes are on her website, including the delicious Celery Root Purée with Anjou Pear. Potato gratin is such a treat but this Root Vegetable Gratin includes celery root and parsnips and is so dang good!
Celeriac

Celery Root

  • This winter salad combines many seasonal ingredients, oranges, radishes and arugula (called rocket in the recipe). It calls for red lollo rosso lettuce however any lettuce will do. And don’t feel as though you need to follow the dressing recipe exactly. (My family doesn’t care for fennel seeds so I didn’t add them in.)

 

  • A big pot of soup is welcome this time of year. This Winter Lentil Soup is hearty and satisfying. I add or replace vegetables depending on what I have on-hand.

And watch for these other winter favorites:  fennel, winter squash, leeks, cabbages (red, green and savoy), broccoli, brussels sprouts, collard greens, parsnips, turnips, carrots, rutabagas, greens and, of course, citrus.

 

 

Home, Lifestyle, Recipes

Cranberry Apple Salsa

November 23, 2016
cranberry apple salsa

cranberry apple salsa

While browsing through a box of recipe cards (yes, recipe cards!) from my Mother I came across a few of my own from the 80’s. Food trends come and go—Matcha, acaí bowls and avocado toast are currently popular—and the 80’s were no exception. Quiche, blackened anything and spinach dip were all the rage as was salsa. Salsa became a staple, it gained in popularity as chefs tweaked and played with flavors. Tropical salsas, (hello Wolfgang Puck!) typically paired with the blackened fish, were de rigueur. I don’t remember where I found this recipe, but I made it often. Feeling nostalgic this holiday season, I thought I would revisit and add a few ingredients to bump up the flavor.

Simple to make, this relish is an easy last-minute appetizer or condiment for that turkey sandwich on Friday. We enjoy our Thanksgiving meal at dinner time, so for lunch it’s our tradition to have heavy appetizers. I will add this salsa to our lunch feast alongside homemade persimmon chips and root vegetable chips such as these from Terra Chips.

 

Cranberry Apple Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup picked over fresh cranberries, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup apple (I used fuji) peeled and finely chopped tossed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh jalapeños seeded and minced

Instructions

  1. In a small food processor finely chop the cranberries and apples separately. Or chop by hand
  2. Place in a medium size bowl
  3. Add remaining ingredients
  4. Cover and refridgerate at least one hour
  5. Serve with root vegetable chips or persimmon chips
http://gatherweekly.com/cranberry-apple-salsa/

 

 

Home, Lifestyle, Recipes

Red Cabbage with Apples

November 1, 2016
Red Cabbage and Apple Salad

Red Cabbage and Apple Salad

 

Growing up, my Mother prepared a lot of cabbage. Stuffed (Galumpki), slaw and soup to name a few.  I’m not sure if it was a result of her Polish heritage or that it is a hearty and economical vegetable but it was often on our table.

Farmers’ Markets are overflowing with cruciferous vegetables this time of year. Cabbage, both green and red, broccoli and cauliflower are abundant. On Thursday I noticed the first romanesco , a vibrant Dr. Suess looking vegetable.

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Home, Lifestyle

Weekend Roundup

September 16, 2016

 

“I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in food….”

Julia Child

Hey, it’s Friday! Here is my weekend roundup. Things to cook, read, visit and enjoy this weekend.

 

Gather Weekly’s Weekend Roundup!

Make this Sunny day tomato dressing ! If you do nothing else this weekend. MAKE THIS DRESSING! Your weekend will be complete, seriously. I’m not kidding. Make a double batch.  Slather it on grilled bread- with or without burrata-add it to quinoa or pasta or eat it straight from the jar. Use slicer tomatoes, not cherry tomatoes. I’ve made it with both types, having the tomato flesh exposed to the marinade is key. And whatever you do, once you’ve eaten all the tomatoes, do not discard the marinade. Toss it into salad, into a bloody Mary or drizzle it on scrambled eggs.

Visit  Cornerstone Sonoma. Its somewhat recent collaboration with Sunset Magazine has revitalized this Wine Country gem . There is live music, an ice cream cart in the Sunset Test Kitchen and plenty of wine and food options. All ages will appreciate the gardens, download their app for a self-guided tour or book a docent lead tour. Admission is FREE!

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