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Posts tagged ‘Farmer’s Market’

Spaghetti with Ramp Pesto and Shaved Asparagus

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Tune in tomorrow (Saturday, April 21st) to Fox 5’s Good Day Street Talk starting at 6am to watch me make this recipe!

For the Pesto: (Yields about 3 cups)

2 bunches ramps, roots trimmed, roughly chopped

1 cup spinach

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 cup walnuts

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine ramps, spinach, cheese, and walnuts in a food processor.   Pulse until combined, and while continuing to pulse,  add oil in a slow steady stream.  Scrape down sides as needed, and continue to mix until the mixture is smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

To store, cover the surface with a layer of olive oil, and seal in an airtight container.  Refrigerate for about 3 weeks, or freeze in ice cube trays, and enjoy all year round.

To Complete the Dish:

1 lb spaghetti

1 lb asparagus, shaved with a vegetable peeler

1/4-1/2 cup Ramp Pesto

Parmesan cheese, for serving

Lemon wedges, for serving

Cook spagetti according to package instructions.  Just before draining, reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water, and add asparagus.  Drain, return to pot, and toss with prepared pesto.  Add pasta water as necessary until the sauce coats the pasta.  Serve with cheese and lemon.

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Sweet Solutions III: Local Strawberry Tart with Basil-Infused Mascarpone Custard and Cracked Black Pepper

Sweet strawberries with a touch of spice and an herbal hint.  So summer.

Last Saturday after the farmer’s market Jaime and I decided to walk down to the il laboratorio del gelato on Houston St. We were already in need of a cool refresher, but the walk escalated the effects of the sticky summer afternoon– at least we were heading to the perfect spot. Picking out which flavors we were going to get was probably the most difficult decision of the day. With so many fruity, sweet, and even savory options– the combinations seem endless!

I was immediately drawn towards the honey-lavender, but at the last minute I decided on the basil gelato with raspberry sorbet. The mix of puckering tartness from the raspberry and the mild, creamy, herbal finish of the basil was everything one could hope for on a humid day. Not too sweet, but amazingly refreshing, cooling, and my favorite summer colors– pink and green.

My inspiration.

The treat inspired my own take on the flavor combination later that weekend, with my farmer’s market purchase of some tiny (more tart than sweet) local strawberries. I sliced the berries and tossed them in just a bit of sugar and freshly ground black pepper, and let them soak while I made pate brisee tart shells, and the basil-infused mascarpone custard.

For the custard I brought 1 cup of heavy cream to a boil, and then removed it from heat. I added 1/2 cup of roughly chopped basil to the cream, covered it, and allowed it to steep until the tart shells were baked-off and cooled. When I was ready to fill the tarts, I strained the basil cream and set it aside. Then, over low heat, I combined 2 egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan, and whisked them until they were light yellow in color. I slowly added the cream, whisking well until the mixture was thickened, and then I folded in one container of mascarpone cheese. I filled the tarts, and let them chill overnight, before I topped them with the sliced strawberries. The syrup from the strawberries makes a beautiful decorative and delicious sauce for serving with the tart, top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.

Martha Stewart also has an excellent strawberry galette recipe in her Pies and Tarts cookbook if you don’t have any tart molds on hand. She pairs the rustic tart with a basil whipped cream. This elegant flavor combination is really something special to share over the summer when fresh ingredients are available.

The perfect summer bite.

Why I Keep Going Back to Back Forty

Brunch... Well the remains of...
Juicy burgers with warm melting cheddar and thick-cut heritage bacon, bourbon on the rocks, bourbon cocktails, micro-brews, and a killer brunch menu– Back Forty really has all one could hope for in a cozy, laid-back East Village setting. Not to mention a lot of pork products, absolutely mouth-watering selections too, like Pork Jowl Nuggets with Jalapeno Jam. There’s also a Grilled Bacon and Trotter Flatbread on Lard Dough with Creamy Onions and Herbs, and seriously, to quote Ina… how bad can that be?

Pork Jowl Nuggets... Yum!

The food is somewhat simple, but this sister restaurant to Peter Hoffman’s Savoy (which we will soon be saying goodbye to) uses local produce and proteins to create very comforting and hearty seasonal dishes. It is a very relaxed environment for a New York City restaurant, with a friendly staff, and an excellent bar for pre or post dinner drinks, or even enjoying a whole meal. My friend Perry from FCI works in the kitchen, so my friends and I find ourselves there often, and it has quickly become one of my favorite places to go to eat on the weekends.

The brunch menu also puts a seasonal spin on sweet and savory classics, like the Soft Scrambled Eggs and Ramp Pesto with English Peas, Favas, Salvatore Ricotta, and Grilled Bread— which I got last weekend, along with a bloody mary of course, and one of the house Buttermilk Biscuits, which are good enough to get out of bed on a hungover Sunday for, Sunday after Sunday in a row.

Back Forty
12th St and Avenue B
New York, NY

To check out Perry’s blog, click here.


Soft Scrambled Eggs with Ramp Pesto, Peas, Favas, and Salvatore Ricotta

I Don’t Think You’re Ready For This Jelly.

Jam and Baguette, with toasted Walnuts and Patches of Star fresh Chevre from Union Square Farmer's Market

Last night, after doing our butchering detail in class, Chef Remy gave us a quick lesson on pickling, and gave me this delicious recipe for Raspberry, Black Pepper, and Balsamic Jam. While raspberries are obviously not in season for us here in the Northeast, I just had to share this simple but outstanding jam. The balsamic plays up the tartness of the berries, and the black pepper adds a surprising bite. We sampled some with fresh baguette and chevre, which was absolutely amazing. The jam has so much flavor it really should be paired with a mild cheese, I’m also looking forward to experimenting with it with some dessert flavors (very dark chocolate?) We’re thinking of serving it with johnnycakes in our Southern-style buffet in a few weeks.

Cooking the jam...

Raspberry, Black Pepper & Balsamic Jam
(Makes about 2 quarts… easy to adjust for smaller batches)

2 500g bags frozen raspberries
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 kg (about 2.2 lbs) granulated sugar
2 T ground black pepper
3 oz (1/4 c) good Balsamic Vinegar

-If raspberries are frozen solid, heat these in a large sauce pot first.
-Add sugar while stirring.
-After all sugar has been mixed in, add the pepper and Balsamic Vinegar.
-Keep mixture at a low simmer until it begins to thicken (about 15 mins). Keep in mind that because no pectin is being used for this recipe it will be a loose jam. Add more sugar to thicken up the jam if it doesn’t reach a syrup-like consistency after 30 minutes over low heat.

-To make a smaller batch, the important ratio to remember is equal parts fruit and sugar, adjust the black pepper and balsamic to taste.