July 16, 2013 § Leave a comment
The Union Square farmer’s market is truly beautiful this time of the year. Increasingly I see novel and intriguing offerings like sorrel, with its dainty carnelian stems and strong lemony taste. Also in season are cranberry beans, with their crimson brindled waxy casings. They contrast beautifully when seen sitting next to a bin of miniature sized deep periwinkle hued eggplants (which resemble giant lady slipper flowers), making it easy to see how they received their whimsical moniker “Fairy Tale” eggplants. Then there are the fava beans, which are triple packed in their own natural casings. The big waxy bean pod, once split open reveals a pillowy interior where each bean is nestled. Once plucked from their shell and boiled for 30 seconds, they are split open again, revealing the prize, a slightly smaller, more tender bean. It’s a times-taking process extracting a meal from these ingredients, but an enjoyable one. Sorrel must be triple washed. Each leaf must be de-stemmed of its woody red stalk. It takes a entire billowy basketball sized plant to make about three tablespoons of sauté, but worth it considering the major health benefits. Sorrel is high in free-radical scavenging antioxidants, it is detoxifying, a cancer preventative and antibacterial. Another interesting addition to this cycle are sweet potato leaves, which are extremely high in vitamins A and K, and also raise immune function. They are bought in a bundle, are lush dark green in color, and are similar in appearance to giant maple leaves. Many of these new additions are so nutrient dense that it only takes a small amount to reap a benefit, and being as these are new tastes for many children, it makes sense that serving sizes are not overwhelming.
1. Pan fried curry cod with fava beans in pasture butter and sauteed fresh sorrel
2. Strip steak with sweet potato leaves and spicy navy beans
3. Tandoori Chicken thighs and sauteed baby eggplants with EVOO and garlic
4. Pasta shapes with camembert and cranberry beans (to be eaten like edamame)
5. Fried tofu with sesame seeds and coriander, with wild rice, shitake, pecan and craison pilaf