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Tag: Dupont Farmers’ Market

FMC Blood Sorrel: A Sanguine Meeting With Halibut & Beet

bloodsorrel1I trotted on down to the Farmers’ Market like a good little French housewife last Sunday morning in search of petite bebe turnips and carrots destined for JOOOLIA’s Navarin Printanier that I was making that evening. Clearly, the market is the place to be. Not only did I manage to find the profligate baby vegetables I needed, I also bumped into a good percentage of my address book out hunting for ramps and other early spring goodies.

Joe, a regular denizen of the market, had cased the joint far more thoroughly than I and was all set to throw down our latest challenge to the tune of blood sorrel. Naturally game, I accepted and found myself holding a bag of slightly alien-looking red-veined leaves. Though their appearance suggests small, delicate beet greens, their stridently acidic flavor identifies them very much as sorrel. This lemony bite is due to oaxalic acid–poisonous in large quantities, but harmless in small amounts. Fortunately, I only had about 10 oz of the stuff, so I felt fairly confident that I’d not be able to kill anyone with it.

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FMC: There Will Be Blood…

BloodSorrel…Sorrel. Continuing with our “Luke REALLY Hates Me” challenges, I happened upon blood sorrel in the market the other day. The greens were striking: bright, lime-y colored looking leaves with deep (Ron) burgundy could I resist?  I sampled a leaf at the market. It’s more bitter than regular sorrel but still packs a tang. A sourness. Impulsively, I snatched a half pound bag, a purchase solely based on aesthetic:

“It’s…so…pretty! Oh, the colors!”

Now, how to prepare? Luke fears that we’ll both have salad recipes, his faith–clearly–challenged by my…challenges. I wonder if Rose Levy Beranbaum has a blood sorrel tiered cake recipe for him.

FMC Kale: When Joe Gives You Kale, Make Ribollita

Knowing that Lacinato kale is one of Joe’s very favorite green things ever–having heard him bang on about it incessantly and having been served it in several lovely meals at his table–I kind of thought he’d go and do something unexpected with it. Turns out I was right.

How fortunate, then, that I also cooked against type, embracing kale’s humble Tuscan roots and making that cornerstone of Italy’s cucina povera, ribollita. I’d recently been served a version of it at a local Italian restaurant that shall remain nameless, primarily because the soup was thin, wan, and the beans were crunchy. CRUNCHY. Also,  tragic. Ribollita is SUPPOSED to be a lush, thick mix of beans, old bread, kale, etc.

Getting into the spirit of the thing, I pretty much winged it based on what was at hand–i.e., at home or at the market on the way home–rather than finding an ur-recipe from some scion of Italian cuisine… Marcella, Lidia, and all those other grande dames (or the Italian equivalent) will have to wait for another day.

In any event! According to Wikipedia, that inscrutable arbiter of all internet knowledge, the only things a ribollita HAS to have are: beans, kale, and old bread. No problem! Thus, for my first batch I went with a mild bacon rather than pancetta but I did manage to unearth a Parmesan rind from the bowels of the refrigerator, because I am nothing if not a thrifty European housewife. I mean, REALLY.

In subsequent forays, however, I’ve swapped in nubbins of spicy Spanish chorizo (cured, not fresh–that’d be Mexican chorizo…) and I’ve not looked back. With more flavor, (slightly) less grease, and a much more appealing texture when cooked, the chorizo wins hands down.

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Farmers’ Market Challenge: Dance of the Seven Kales

LacinatoKaleI suppose I should not have been surprised to see the richly textured green leaves of Lacinato, or dinosaur, kale when I opened my latest brown bag o’ mystery from the farmers’ market. It is not only a superfood du jour, it is also a favorite of Joe’s. It’s also–despite the current heatwave–a little early to expect much else from our local farmers. This formerly neglected member of the brassica family has of late leapt to centerstage as foodies turn more to local, seasonal produce.

First and foremost, it’s a tasty, sturdy green that offers an earthy, verdant flavor even during the depths of winter when green can be hard to come by. Kale’s also sturdier than spinach–baby or otherwise–and is thus far more rewarding to cook with; it will cook down, but a pound of sauteed kale will net you a few side servings where the same amount of spinach will have to be served by the thimbleful. It’s much touted nutritional value–packing massive amounts of antioxidant vitamins and phytonutrients per calorie–also adds to kale’s appeal.  

Unsurprisingly, the blogosphere has been abuzz with kale-related postings–so much ink has been spilled on kale chipsalone that it counts as  meme in and of itself. Given the intense heat of kale’s spotlight, it will be interesting to see what we both come up with for Challenge Kale. Not chips, for sure, and we’ve already done it with pasta. So, check back in soon; we’ll be posting our two odes to kale in the next day or so.

BAKESALE! Be There: Dupont Farmer’s Market, Sunday, 9-11am

The lovely Rivka over at Not Derby Pie has rallied round some of D.C.’s food bloggers for a bake sale to benefit Haiti (via Doctors Without Borders, a very nice organization indeed). The Fruits will be contributing their ever so cool icebox cookies and peppermint brownies in addition to helping man the sale, so stop by! We will surely steer you right–though, really, how could you go wrong? See you Sunday morning at the Dupont Farmer’s Market! Or, more specifically, in front of Zorba’s Cafe, 1612 20th Street, N.W. 


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