Farmer’s Market

Today’s bounty is epic. The first tomatoes! Juicy strawberries! Spring roots! Meyer lemons! Ripe stone fruit!

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For tomorrow’s lunch in the garden I’ll have some sliced nectarines and apricots over creamy Burrata, with a chiffonade of fresh basil, a drizzle of Ratto’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a shake of Balsamic vinegar, salt n pepper. Voila. I’m also going to roast some Broccolini in the oven, served with shaved Meyer lemon zest and grated salted duck egg. Oh and a glass of Muscadet ;).

Arugula, Beets & Oranges with Walnut Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1 handful fresh arugula leaves (cleaned and dried)
  • 1 Medium Chiogga beet (roasted or steamed and chopped)
  • 1 Navel or Cara Cara orange (peeled and sliced)
  • 2oz good quality Parmesan (shaved into pieces)
  • 1/4 cup Rattos Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Walnut Oil (available at Ratto's)
  • 1 Large lemon (juiced)
  • 1 tablespoon pickled apricots (available at Ratto's)
  • 1 Small handful of nuts (toasted and chopped (optional))
  • salt & pepper

Directions

Step 1
Using a food processor, make dressing by whirling together lemon juice, olive oil, walnut oil, and apricots, seasoning with salt & pepper.
Step 2
Layer arugula, beets, citrus, Parmesan and nuts, if using
Step 3
Dress and serve immediately

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Serves 6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Allergy Milk
Meal type Lunch, Soup, Starter
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
When the markets are teeming with asparagus, enjoy this quick and easy satisfying soup. Toasted Acme Levain is a great accompaniment.

Ingredients

  • 1 Large onion (chopped)
  • 5 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 1lb asparagus (rough ends trimmed off, chopped)
  • 1.5 quarts chicken or vegetable stock (homemade is best)
  • 1 tablespoon meyer lemon zest
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • nutmeg

Directions

Step 1
Melt butter in stock pot
Step 2
Sweat the onions, garlic and celery with salt added early
Step 3
Add asparagus, stir and saute a minute or two
Step 4
Add wine & stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender
Step 5
Remove from heat, puree soup until velvety smooth
Step 6
Remove from heat, stir in cream
Step 7
Stir in lemon zest, adjust salt & pepper, and serve

DSC_0036On this lovely spring morning, what comes to mind? Going to the market. Lavender fields in Provence. Enjoying a delicious beverage after work tonight. Pick up a few ounces of lavender buds and make this delicious, versatile syrup:

Bring one cup of water and one cup of sugar to a boil. Add a handful of dried lavender buds (available in Ratto’s bulk section). Stir and let simmer on low for 10 minutes. Strain into a mason jar and use to flavor iced tea, lemonade, soda water, or add to bourbon & lemon juice for a “California Bubble Bath”.

Yes.

 

Red Onion & Fennel Tart with Walnuts, Chevre and Fennel Pollen

Serves 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Allergy Milk, Tree Nuts, Wheat
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Region French
This delightful tart has a tender, flaky crust and intense spring flavors.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (very cold, chopped into pieces)
  • 1-1/2 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2-3/4 cup ice water
  • 2 red onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 Large fennel bulb (trimmed and thinly sliced, fronds reserved)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (lightly toasted and chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Chevre
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Ratto's extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch red chili flakes
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fennel pollen (available at Ratto's)

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 425.
Step 2
Make crust by pulsing together the flour, butter, and a pinch of salt until crumbly. Slowly pour in the ice water and pulse until the dough just forms.
Step 3
Gently roll out dough on a clean, floured surface. Lay in a sheet pan- it needn't look neat & tidy- and let rest in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Step 4
Saute onions & fennel with some salt in olive oil slowly until very tender and caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Add chili flakes, pepper, and a hearty dash of vinegar. Cook a little longer.
Step 5
Remove the dough from the freezer.
Step 6
Lay out onion mixture on the rolled out dough, leaving an inch on the edges. Sprinkle on toasted walnuts and Chevre, plus some fennel fronds. Wrap edges around tart to enclose like a galette.
Step 7
Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
Step 8
Sprinkle with fennel pollen right before serving.