Pascale’s Blog

october 26, 2018

HeaderThe Other Leafy Green

Overheard at the farmer’s market the other day: “If I have to eat one more kale leaf I think I’ll turn green, curl up and die.”

It’s a sentiment I’ve heard a lot these days. Whether massaged and tossed with a tart  Caesar dressing, or morphed it into child-friendly “chips” kale’s popularity seems to be on the wane. To which I say: Swiss Chard. The other leafy green. It offers all the same nutrients as kale, without any of the righteousness.

Chard is, in fact, a member of the beet family and is known under other names such as silver beet, perpetual spinach, beet spinach, seakale beet, or leaf beet. It originated in the Mediterranean region and not in Switzerland — no matter what its name might imply.

The French call chard “blettes” and they love to tuck it into a “tourte” – sometimes savory and sometimes sweet (chard and apple tourte is dish that goes back several centuries). Here’s one recipe from the Chicago Tribune and another from David Leibovitz.

FYI – Rainbow chard is not a variety of chard. It is simply different colored chard bunched together. And these stems aren’t just pretty faces. Any cook worth her salt knows better than to toss them out. Pickling them is a must. If you think they look pretty at the market, just imagine how they will look pickled, as in this recipe from alongside their (wilted) leaves on a plate.

Chard is a beautiful addition to any soup or pasta dish but also stands alone as in this Melissa Clark garlicky standby. In addition to painterly mushrooms, Township Valley (back this week!) sells some stellar garlic.

We are so happy to welcome back Bohemian Baked – the popular gluten-free/vegan baker who was here a couple of years ago and had to take some time off from markets. Nancy Haggerty will be back with bagels, soft pretzels, scones, Halloween cookies (ghosts and pumpkins), chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies & brownies, too.

See you at the market!

Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ farmer’s market director
author: “American Pie:Slices of Life (and Pie) from America’s Back Roads” (HarperCollins)



october 19, 2017

HeaderPick a Pretty Pepper

I’m loving all the peppers at the market these days. So many shapes and sizes and varying shades of sunset, vermilion and plum. Naturally, these fruit (yes, they are fruit) are crying out to be stuffed. Fortunately there are plenty of  pastured meats and sausages at the market that fit the bill. Or, you could go a bit more unconventional. Check out this Melissa Clark recipe from last week’s NYT. Clark trades the traditional pork or veal stuffing with tuna and bulgur plus capers, yogurt, cumin and parsley which all add up to some serious umami.

peppersThis Nigel Slater recipe keeps it disarmingly simple: charred yellow peppers stuffed with sweet cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and black olives. The pretty green plate doesn’t hurt. And here’s a recipe for vegetarians that really showcases the “pepper as baking vessel:” golden eggs baked in peppers packed with ricotta and butternut squash.

See you at the market!

Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ farmer’s market director
author: “American Pie:Slices of Life (and Pie) from America’s Back Roads” (HarperCollins)

october 12, 2017


Cauliflower, Fennel and Leaf Steeping

So, fall showed up. It’s about time.

Seeing corn AND tomatoes at the market in October was just a little too jarring. Now that temps are in the 60s we can turn our attention away from the grill and bring out the soup pots and roasting pans. How perfect, cauliflower is in full bloom now – purple, orange and snowy-white.  As are licorice-flavored fennel bulbs. Here’s a great recipe that brings them both together in a roasting pan. This recipe for sausage and escarole over toast is just the ticket for a late lunch after a brisk fall hike or bike ride.

veggiesIf you’ve yet to spend time at the Leaf of the East tent this season make sure you do that before it gets too cold. Markham Sindeband has a way with Taiwanese tea leaves and is eager to share his wisdom and hot blends. Continue reading october 12, 2017

october 6, 2017


Soul Food

It’s been a bruising week for our country. This weekend would be a good time to chill with family, prepare a simple meal and just be together. In fact, my recipe for this week is just that. Doesn’t matter what you make. Just break bread with the people you love.

There will be no shortage of stellar ingredients at the market to work with.
McGrath Cheese is here with their pillowy Victoria cheese and their queso fresco which tastes great on roasted beets (gold and scarlet) filling the fall produce bins.
Blessed Brewery is here for their one a month visit, with their popular kombucha drinks including “fairy tonic.” Calcutta Kitchens is bringing her simmer sauces for an easy heartwarming supper.
Dragonfly Granola has added extra market dates for the fall, including this weekend, so you can sprinkle some granola goodness into your Hawthorne Valley or Shepherd Valley yogurt.
La Petite Occasion is back with her always satisfying salty caramels.
Laurelmaud’s Kitchen always has a new fruit jam or blend up her sleeve.
Mangalitsa will be cooking up brats in addition to selling their charcuterie made from heritage pigs.
If Farm EATS burgers are what you need, NY Chup is here to help you gussy them up.
How perfect: Pennylick Ice Cream is also here. Ice cream and apple pie should round out any family meal this Continue reading october 6, 2017

september 29, 2017

HeaderFall into Winter Squash

While summer squash and winter squash are obviously related but where they part ways is in their maturity and growing times. Summer squash (zucchini, patty pan etc.) is best when its skin is soft and tender, while winter squash is best when its exterior “shell” is rigid and hard.

Summer squash doesn’t keep for more than a couple of days in your fridge whereas winter squash can keep for a long time in a cool, dark place for several months which is why it’s available from fall through spring. But autumn, which seems to have finally arrived, is when they are at their taste and texture peak.

ssquashSpaghetti squash are a big favorite at my house for their stringy texture and golden color. As I am still without a kitchen, I am looking forward to making this lasagna stuffed spaghetti squash in the toaster oven (my new bestie). Continue reading september 29, 2017

september 21, 2017


Seek the Leek

Leeks are better than onions. WAY better. They are sweeter and more delicate. And, you can use them in any preparation you would use a cooking onion. Start a soup base with chopped leeks for a flavor that’s more refined than hearty. Saute them into pasta or egg dishes for an added touch of sass and sophistication.

Bon Appetit knows exactly how cool leeks are. They dug up over a dozen recipes in which to make them shine. Check out their recipe for cod poached in milk with leeks, included in their roundup.

Leeks1 Continue reading september 21, 2017

september 14, 2017



That’s how I feel right now that my kitchen is under construction. We’ve jam-packed a sink, a fridge, a dining room table and a portable pantry and a toaster oven into our small dining room – so there is room only for basic, very basic cooking. Just to be clear, I’m not complaining. How could I when so many were left homeless, let alone kitchen-less, in the aftermath of Harvey, then Irma.

It’s Week Four now, and the kids are tired of take-out since options are limited in my town. They’ve even tired of grilled cheese – in all its iterations. Fortunately, I have friends like Annabelle.

Annabelle is also French and loves to cook. Even more so with a cooking companion. So last night she texted: “I’m making your vegetable curry tomorrow. I bought enough ingredients for two pots. So come and chop and cook with me since your kitchen is out of commission. This way you’ll have a home-cooked dinner for your family and I’ll have company in my kitchen.”

currydishes Continue reading september 14, 2017

september 8, 2017

HeaderSandwiches Fit for an Earl

Ok. The kids are back in school. Some of you are making their sandwiches in the morning. Others like me, have kids old enough to make their own. And, if your kids are like mine, one day a prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich is lit and the next day, lame. Ah yes, the teenage years. So it’s wise to keep lots of options in the fridge. Fortunately the market can help.

First, Wave Hill’s sandwich breads are top notch, from marbled rye to French country. Baguette sandwiches are always smart since they won’t get soggy in the lunchbox. (Not ideal for kids with braces. Pain de mie a better choice for them). Check out these rather ambitious sandwiches from Bon Appetit for inspiration.

wich Continue reading september 8, 2017

september 1, 2017


In honor of summer vacation, I am re-posting a blog I wrote about my late father’s famous chopped salad. I often get requests for this salad and enjoy any excuse to write about my dad who would have loved the Chappaqua Farmers Market and vendors like Larchmont Charcuterie and McGrath Cheese – both here tomorrow!

My very French father is the master of the very chopped salad. It is the one American dish this passionate French gastronome has embraced after 50 years of living stateside. He loves the pele mele nature of it: open the fridge, pull out anything that’s fresh and can be minced (including last night’s leftover ahi tuna or roast chicken or lamb roast) and start chopping. Don’t stop until you’ve got a cramp in your arm or Maman’s storied green salad bowl (a wedding gift) can’t possibly take one corn kernel, endive leaf or cucumber round.

Every time I go home to visit, there is a day designated for one of these salads which have always screamed “California” to me. When I pine for home they are a huge part of what I miss. There is no recipe for these “stream of consciousness” salads. They just happen while my mother and I are working in the garden or out running errands or visiting with a neighbor. He always presents them with a bit of flourish. My girls love ferreting out the ingredients one by one. The average ingredient count is about 14. I hope you will get inspired at the market tomorrow to make a Papie salad and let a little California into your kitchen.
At the Chappaqua Farmers Market you will find all the ingredients my father typically puts in his chopped salad – save for the avocado, of course. Continue reading september 1, 2017

august 25, 2017

Header11 Great Things to look for at the market this week!

1. The Morbier-style cheese at Valley Shepherd Creamery

2. Bacon Marmalade at Stone & Thistle (it’s the end of summer…live a little)

3. The ridiculously sweet and crunchy CORN at Black Creek Farm

4. Growing Hearts Farm’s okra. Think you don’t like okra? Let them prove you wrong.

5. Carnitas tacos and bright/seasonal agua fresca at Mariachi Mexico

6. The oh-so popular Monkey Bread at Wave Hill Breads

7. Shishito peppers for the grill, teeny yellow cucumbers and any and all tomatoes at Letterbox Farm.

8. A bouquet of ornamental flowers from Treadlight Farm, because blossoms=bliss. Especially when they are grown locally by an awesome couple.

9. Pickled golden beets from Deep Roots Farm my new favorite condiment for any all salads, sandwiches and sliders.

10. Neversink Spirits’ very floral gin which deserves to star in a creative summer cocktail.

11. The “petite” watermelons at Madura Farms

Continue reading august 25, 2017