Tag Archives: spring

supper club: a seasonal spring dinner

Photos by Lauren DeFilippo

While summer may be the pinnacle of fresh produce, spring is the season I love the most. It’s the season of bitter vegetables, detox from our hearty winter stews, casseroles and soups. From artichokes to asparagus, fiddleheads to ramps, this is the season of green—and I’m just eating it up.

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To share my enthusiasm for the budding flavors of this season, I invited a dozen of my nearest and dearest, including my favorite Brooklyn baker: Molly Marzalek-Kelly. I met Molly through my very first supper club, as she was a good friend of the dinner’s host (I was freshly moved into my BK apartment, and had barely unpacked). When I luke-warmly accepted his invitation to have someone else bake, I had no idea that I would be meeting such an incredible talent. Molly is even sweeter than her baked treats (which I love, because I prefer my desserts on the less-than-tooth-decaying end of the spectrum). Her attention to detail and instinct for fresh flavors is admirable, and I can’t recommend enough that you all take a trip to visit her at BAKED in Red Hook.

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Anyway, back to the menu:

Sourdough Miche and Sunflower-Rye Loaves from Bien Cuit Bakery

Flaky Ramp Tart

Mixed Baby Green Salad with Candied Walnuts and Broccoli Raab Flowers

Roasted Tarragon and Preserved Lemon Chicken 

Thyme and Garlic Roasted Carrots

Grilled Vegetables: Radicchio, Asparagus, Favas, Baby Garlic

Dessert: Lemon Curd Meringues, Rhubarb Pie and Rich Chocolate Tart
(paired with Grapefruit-Champagne Sorbet, Fresh Mint Ice Cream & Orange Cardamom Sorbet)

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ingredient: garlic scapes

Late spring/early summer is – by far – my favorite time at the market. It’s the season for all things green, a brief window before the multi-hued produce of summer hits stands. It’s also a time when I’m likely to find ingredients I’ve never seen before – which is exactly what occurred at the Union Square Greenmarket, when I fell upon garlic scapes.

Garlic Scapes; Photo Credit: Umamigirl.com

I discovered these vibrant green coils between a barrel of string beans and a pile of shallots. Loving all things garlic, I grabbed a few fistfuls and hurried home to do some  research. Apparently, scapes are the flowering stalks of garlic plants, which must be trimmed to allow the bulbs to grow firm and plump. They should be trimmed before they coil more than once, or else they become too fibrous  and spicy.

My first experiment with the scapes involved chopping them into little segments and stir-frying them with baby bok choy. They certainly imparted a pleasant, spicy flavor and crunch, but I didn’t feel they were being used to their best advantage. Next up, I threw them into the pickling brew for a bunch of purple carrots. Again, they served their purpose, but regular garlic might have been better.

Finally, I recalled a video recipe by Kinfolk for ribboned asparagus salad.

At the time, I thought it a beautiful (if slightly tedious) way to prepare asparagus, and mentally filed it away for some special occasion. Upon shredding my first scape ribbon, the kitchen filled with a potent, invigorating garlic odor – and I knew I was onto something.

“Deconstructed Pesto” a la garlic scape and broccoli rabe

You could certainly stop there and serve the pan-fried scape ribbons over pasta, but I was more interested in coupling them with other vegetables. Pesto is one of the more common uses for scapes, which made me think of my pesto-loving father, whose favorite food is broccoli rabe. The final product thus became a sort of deconstructed-pesto dish – beautiful, delicious and surprisingly simple for how fancy it looks.

Garlic Scape Ribbons & Broccoli Rabe

Ingredients
  • 8-10 garlic scapes
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 5/6 anchovies
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • olive oil
  • grated cheese (optional)
  • lemon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Wash garlic scapes and cut them in half. Using a vegetable peeler, shred the scapes into long ribbons.
  2. Wash broccoli rabe and cut into small pieces. (Only use the parts of the stalk that have leaves/florets).
  3. Heat olive oil in a large pan or wok. Add anchovies to pan.
  4. When oil is hot, add broccoli rabe and garlic scapes. Stir periodically.
  5. After about a minute, toss in the chopped walnuts.
  6. Cook until greens are tender, but the scapes should still be al dente.
  7. Remove from heat, dress with grated parmesan and lemon juice to taste.

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recipe: warm mid-season salad

When spring comes along, I often find myself craving the crisp, bright flavors of summer.  But on chilly nights, I’m still yearning for the warmth of a hot meal.  I invented this mid-season salad on one such brisk evening, and enjoyed it so much that I’ve reprised it several times since.  (Doesn’t hurt that it’s so quick and easy – not to mention healthy!)

Warm Mid-Season Salad

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • one tin of anchovies (in oil)
  • two garlic cloves
  • a handful of chopped walnuts
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1/2 small head of radicchio
  • a dozen grape tomatoes
  • 2 large handfuls of arugula
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • parmesan shavings (to taste)
  • salt, pepper (and/or gomasio)
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in pan. Add chopped garlic, anchovies, walnuts. Stir to break up anchovies.
  2. Wash and chop the yellow pepper, add to pan.
  3. Wash and chop radicchio. Add to pan when the pepper has started to soften, along with a splash of apple cider vinegar and some salt.
  4. Wash and halve the grape tomatoes. Add to pan.
  5. Once tomatoes are warmed, turn off the burner. Stir arugula into pan until just wilted.
  6. Move warm salad contents to bowl. Dress with parmesan shavings and pepper.
  7. Eat while warm.
Notes

This either makes a lovely appetizer for two or a generous salad for one.

Check out the original post on HonestCooking.com.

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