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Posts Tagged ‘leeks’

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The green market is beginning to heat up as more and more veggies make their appearance after winter’s doldrums.  Although leeks usually shine in the fall, I got this beautiful array of baby leeks just the other day – fresh from the ground.  I roasted them to go along with some skate wing – one of the few fish that Steve, my fish-allergy prone husband can eat.  Roasting or braising are the two cooking methods that seem to bring out their inherent sweetness and mellow out any acrid flavor.  This is particularly true for mature, fall-harvested leeks.  For the more mature leeks, you want to slice them, crosswise, before cooking otherwise they can be fibrous.  The baby leeks are not quite so.  All I did was wash them, trim off the dark green part, and toss them with some extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper before roasting them at 375ºF for about 20 minutes.  They were a little brown and crisp around the edges and soft and mellow on the tongue.

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Oyster mushroom_9884

 

A couple of weeks ago I rediscovered the Chelsea Market – a spot called by its founders “an urban food court.”  Oh, I knew it was there, but just too out-of-the-way for everyday food shopping.  Located on 9th Avenue about 16th Street in the old National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) factory, many of the artifacts of its previous life remain which makes a visit there a little bit other-worldly.  Running along the center courtyard-like hall are wonderful food shops offering prime and sometimes unique products.  Since everything is so inviting, it is yet another place that tends to make me spend more than I have in my pocket.

Manhattan Fruit Exchange is one of my favorite shops in the Market.  They have been around forever supplying restaurants, but are most welcoming to everyday shoppers.  You can always find an array of exotic fruits and vegetables, the first products of the every season, and a wide variety of fresh and dried mushrooms and herbs.  It was the mushrooms that caught my eye the other day – especially a beautiful stack of floral oyster mushrooms.  I couldn’t resist buying a big lump of fresh-looking “petals.”  Along with the mushrooms I got some of the best spring asparagus and a few spring onions and I knew exactly what I’d do when I got home.

Here’s my plan:  I trimmed the asparagus, split the onions in half, lengthwise, and laid them out on a baking pan along with my bouquet of mushrooms.  I seasoned with sea salt and pepper, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and added some fresh orange and lemon juice to the pan.  Roasted them all together in a hot oven to serve as an appetizer (with a spritzing of aged balsamic) for a little quiet welcome spring dinner.  Yum, yum, yum!

 

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