Monday, July 06, 2009

Greenmarket Love


A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure to demo recipes at the Tribeca Greenmarket. It was a beautiful day. My friend Cara came and took a few photos (see above), and I got to meet farmers, shoppers, and several moms and their kids who stopped by to watch the demo.

I have been absolutely in love with the Greenmarkets (NYC’s system of farmer’s markets) the last few weeks. Every Saturday morning Rosa and I head up to Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn as early as we wake up, usually by 7:30 AM. The weather then is perfect -- warm, but not hot -- and I'm always surprised and impressed by how many other people are awake and starting their day at that hour. We buy enough fruits and veggies for the week, sampling as many of the berries as possible, and head home for coffee (for me) or milk (for Rosa), the paper, and then breakfast with some of the foods we've purchased. It's a lovely start to the weekend.

This year, more than ever, I have been very attuned to the week-by-week changes in the market’s offerings. One week the strawberries are sweet, perfect jewels. The next week they’re a little mushier, and I know that I won’t be eating many fresh strawberries for another 10-11 months. That’s a long time! And it makes each bite of strawberry, when they are in season, even sweeter. As I'm getting older I'm trying to hold on to time, and it's really not possible. The fleeting seasons of my favorite foods only reinforce that. We must appreciate them while they're around and then let go.

At the Tribeca demo I prepared two dishes: Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Arugula and Pan-seared Scallops with Salsa Verde, two simple, delicious dishes that really capture the flavors of early summer. Here is the Sugar Snap Pea salad recipe; the scallops will come in an upcoming post.

SUGAR SNAP PEA & ARUGULA SALAD

Sugar snap peas usually rank high on kids’ vegetable list – not nearly as egregious as other veggies. For even more takers, try calling arugula by one of its other names: “rocket”.

Ingredients: 3 TB extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 TB fresh lemon juice
1 TB minced shallot
1 tsp. salt, plus more for sprinkling
pepper
1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 cup baby arugula
1 cup other baby lettuces, like a mesclun mix
1/2 cup crumbled soft cheese, like chevre or ricotta salata

1. Heat 1 TB olive oil in a medium sauté pan. When hot, add the sugar snap peas and sprinkle with salt. Cook until sugar snap peas are bright green, one to two minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside.
2. In large bowl, whisk together 2 TB olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, salt, and a few grinds of pepper.
3. Add the sugar snap peas to the dressing and mix.
4. Add the lettuces to the sugar snap peas and toss gently.
5. Add the cheese and toss gently.
6. Taste for seasoning and add more olive oil, lemon juice, salt, or pepper as necessary.

Yield: 3-4 servings

Variations:

• Replace the arugula with more baby greens, or vice versa (my favorite).

• Omit the green entirely and serve only the sugar snap peas.

• Omit the shallot or cheese if they’re unavailable or unpopular in your household.

I’m still thinking about what recipes I’ll prep at my next Greenmarket demo on Wednesday, July 15. I think peaches may be mandatory – I made a tasty peach relish to serve over T-bone steaks on the 4th of July. Perhaps that will go on the menu -- we still have a few more weeks to eat all the peaches we can get our hands on before they disappear for another year.

1 comment:

Ana said...

Oh my gosh, sounds delicious!!