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Posts Tagged ‘farmers market veggies’

            Last Monday as I was sitting in my every morning window seat at JOE, our favorite coffee bar, I saw two of my favorite dogs approach – Milly and Zach.  Milly always sets up a howl waiting for me to come out and give her some morning lovin’ while her owner, Stuart, gets his latte.  This morning Stuart came toting a shopping bag along with the dogs.  And, what should be in that bag but a taste of spring –fiddleheads, asparagus, and ramps straight from the farmer’s market near his country house.  When we opened the bag the smell of damp earth and verdant greenery almost – but not quite – overcame the heady coffee aromas.  But, when I got home my kitchen smelled just like the woods.  You know what was on our dinner menu – here it is – a quick sauté in extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper – the veggies needed nothing more – so green, so crisp, so spring.

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If you’ve followed my rantings for any time, you know how much I appreciate ramps (or wild leeks), those aromatic billboards that announce SPRING in the northeast.  (Check out my post of May 17, 2011 for a full report on digging them.)  We have had and are having a very weird spring – we’ve had 80 degree days followed by freezing so the usual spring veggies have been having a hard time maturing.  We intended to dig ramps this past week – we had seen them in the farmers market although they were quite small – but when I started to lower the fork into the damp earth I could tell that they were just not quite as big as I would like so we took just a few to satisfy our longing for their almost sweet garlicky/shallot flavor and put ramp digging on the agenda for later this month.

Not willing to waste even a part of the small batch we brought home, I chopped up the lot, greens and all, and sautéed them with some button mushrooms I had on hand.  A little salt and pepper, a poached egg on top, and dinner was delicious!

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One of my favorite spring sights at the farmers market is the appearance of bulbs of  fresh garlic.  It is wonderful to cook with as it is still quite sweet with just a hint of the aroma and strength of the dried stuff.  Also, unlike the dried, the fresh comes straight from the earth somewhere nearby rather than in a container from China.  I use it in every way I can think of, but especially in home fries, sautéed with bitter greens (tonight it was kale), and cooked in butter until soft and sweet to add to scrambled eggs or to use as a dip for crusty bread.

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