The Brussels sprouts have arrived and that makes me very, very happy. I can’t understand how these tasty, teensy cabbage heads are they so maligned. The trick, I think, is not to let them sit too long in the fridge. After three days they tend to develop a stronger flavor.
The other secret is to ROAST them…until they are crisp on the outside yet tender on the inside. (Here’s how:Trim them, then toss them in a bowl with quality olive oil, salt and cracked pepper then spread them on a on a sheet pan and roast for about 40 minutes. Give the pan a good shake every once in a while so that they brown evenly. You can drizzle with olive oil, or a deep balsamic vinegar for extra flavor. Or sprinkle with some Parmaggiano.)
They are the perfect companion to a confit’d duck leg…or a whole roasted duck. I’m thrilled to let you know that Hudson Valley Duck will be visiting this week after a hiatus that has been far too long. Please let them know how happy we are to have them back for a visit. (And congratulate them on their new son Merle who was born last spring). In case you’ve forgotten their repertoire: smoked duck breast (delicious on a mizuna salad), duck salami, duck rillettes (great on toast points with cornichons or tossed in pasta).
Other gems not to miss at the market this week are Honey Locust Farmhouse’s new jam/chutney made with her own tomatillos, poblano chili, lime and chipotle. Insane. I tried it on a piece of grilled swordfish from Pura Vida…and I can’t wait to try it on a piece of aged Coach goat cheese or Manchego.
Also, Spice Revolution is back. If you are a serious cook, then you know you have to freshen up your spices pretty regularly. Linzi’s small-size spice sacks makes it so easy and so affordable to do that. I love how she plays with her spices to create a new chocolate bark or other chocolate concoction every week. Stop by and try her almonds covered in spiced chocolate this week.
Clean Ridge Soap Co. will be here. They were at my Hastings market last Saturday and I found myself hanging around their tent whenever possible just to soak in those amazing smells of lavender, eucalyptus, lilac and lemongrass.
Fred Gillen Jr. will be serenading you while you shop.
Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director