This pie is one of my favorite things to make in the spring. The leftovers are delicious straight out of the fridge for breakfast the next day. I started making this many years ago from a recipe in Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. But I don’t own the book and I haven’t looked at the original recipe in so long that I’m not sure if what I make is still the same recipe. Continue reading →
Yesterday I was on a mission to find strawberries. I don’t think I’d had a strawberry in about nine months and I was ready. Two farms were selling them but I was a little disappointed with what I saw. They looked a little on the under ripe side, and I wondered if I should hold off for one more week.
I don’t know if it’s the new setup of the market, or if there are new farmers there, or if its just that all of a sudden lots of things are in season, but I found myself drawn to a few stalls I had never noticed before. One had beautiful heads of butter and red oak leaf lettuce and bunches of multi-colored radishes so artfully arranged that I decided to forgo my usual mesclun greens and pick up a couple heads of lettuce instead. The nice man threw in an extra head of red oak leaf because he thought the one I picked was too small. At another stall I picked up a bunch of green garlic and a bunch of spring onions. I’ve never cooked with either before and I’m very excited about trying them. Maybe in something with that asparagus. I got some goat cheese and a sourdough baguette and some milk and a bag of the best pretzels in the world.
After about three laps around the market I decided I needed those strawberries, ripe or not. A few strawberries became casualties of the closing train doors. Last week it was the eggs, this week the strawberries. I got them home and rinsed off a handful. A few were a little on the pale side, but mostly they are perfectly ripe and delicious. Strawberries are one of those foods that have become so corrupted that its easy to forget what they are supposed to taste like. They are supposed to be red all the way through, they are supposed to ooze bright red juice when they are crushed between closing subway doors, and they are supposed to have an actual distinct flavor, sweet and fragrant.
I didn’t think I’d make it down to the farmers market this week, but I was able to get down there late Saturday afternoon. When I got to Union Square it was so jammed with people that I nearly turned around and went home again. But I braved the crowds and was rewarded with something that only comes around once a year– ramps! Ramps are a wild member of the onion family with a delicious garlicky flavor.
I got some pheasant eggs, which are about half the size of a chicken egg. The shells are brown on the outside and blue on the inside. They’re very nice hardboiled and added to a salad. I got some delicious spicy micro greens and some arugula, some chevre, a sourdough baguette, and a handful of fingerling potatoes. And I got basil and spearmint and rosemary plants, which are now repotted and lined up on my windowsill along with the parsley and thyme I got a few weeks ago.
Going to the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings has kind of become one of the highlights of my week. I always end trying things I would never pick up in the supermarket (or that would never show up in the supermarket) and I like getting to know who’s got the best garlic or lettuce or bacon. So I was thinking I’d start reporting on what I end up with each week. And I thought maybe some of my correspondents might like to report back on what they’re finding at their farmer’s markets. Or better yet if you’ve got some dirt maybe you can tell me about what you’re growing. Send me a picture and tell me what you’re going to make.