Pascale’s Blog

march 15, 2012

Come spend St. Patrick’s Day at the Chappaqua Farmers Market where It’s always easy being GREEN

Honey Locust Farmhouse will have the first vibrant GREEN arugula and mesclun of the season.

Kontoulis Olive Oil is unveiling her latest olive oil vintage (pressed in December 2011) which is a gorgeous luminous GREEN.

Madura Farms will have grass GREEN spring garlic stalks (great for sauteeing with King Oyster mushroooms).

Picklelicious’ new pickles are emerald GREEN!

Visiting vendor Yona’s Gourmet Delights will have healthy cupcake-size quiches packed with dark GREEN spinach and broccoli.

Stone Barns will have lots of spring lamb, and Gaia’s Breath lots of beef, veal and pork all raised in bountiful GREEN pastures.

Gaia’s Breath has a new line of cheese including a Morbier style cheese with blue-GREEN veining.

True Food of Nyack will have their crunchy GREEN kale & chickpea salad (my personal fave – esp. with an extra squeeze of lemon)

Newgate Farms will have jade GREEN (and white) baby bok choy.

Buddhapesto will have electrifyingly GREEN pesto sauce.

and..of course, Bread Alone will have their traditional Irish Soda Bread. Not green — but delicious nonetheless.

See you at the market!

Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director

March 8, 2012

When I was a restaurant critic in NYC one of my favorite restaurant havens was Verbena on Irving Place. Chef Diane Forley was an early pioneer of farm-to-table cooking and her delicate command of the vegetable was something to behold. I was crushed when I heard the restaurant had closed and that she and her co-chef husband Michael Ostuka had gone out West.

Then I heard that they had resurfaced, with a bakery named Flourish Baking Co. in Scarsdale. Though the emphasis is on baked goods, the vegetable still reigns supreme in all that they make. Consider what they will be bringing to market this Saturday when they come pay us a visit: zucchini and ricotta tarts, mushroom, collard and leek tarts, market focaccia with peppers, caramelized onions and mozzarella. They are also making salads like pickled beets and cauliflower and wild mushroom. Please stop by and make them feel welcome.

Stone Barns will have lots of lamb this week. And King Roaming Angus is bringing all things beef. Between them, there should be plenty of pork, too, a “must-buy” if you saw Chef David Tanis’ recipe for French bistro-style roasted pork tenderloin with prunes in the Dining Section this week. Lordy…was that picture tantalizing.

Flour City Pasta will be selling organic stone-ground flour – the same flour they use to make their own pasta and which they grind themselves. They will also have corn meal and unground grains.

Renee’s Jams is back after an extended hiatus. Her sweet jams elevate toast to a proper breakfast and her savory jams are great for cooking.

Little Croc Bakehouse is back this week with her lemon squares that will leave you pie-eyed.

Big Girl Bakery will be bringing her scrumptious mini whoopie pies and chocolate sable cookies. I’ve become completely hooked on her granola of late.

Amazing Real Live is bringing – and having a special on –  7-month-aged Stella Vallis Tomme cheese which is much more tangy than the Tomme they usually sell which is only aged four months. The aged version is perfect for melting: Croque Monsieur anyone?

See you at the market!

Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director

march 1, 2012

When Chef Bruce Beaty from the Red Hat Restaurant in Irvington was looking for a new dessert for his menu at Red Hat Bakery – he found inspiration at the Farmers Market. For his new spring menu he is serving By the Way Bakery’s delicate lemon teacake topped with a dollop of intense raspberry jam from Honey Locust Farmhouse. Two great things that go great together.

That got me thinking about some other market offerings that taste even better when paired. For example, I love, love, love slices of Madura’s raw fennel dipped in Taiim’s creamy, unctuous hummus. Or, Amazing Real Live Food Co.’s queso blanco tossed with chopped peppadew peppers from Picklelicious in a salad of baby spinach from Newgate or Madura. Or…Gaia’s Breath’s veal osso bucco slow-roasted with Newgate’s rockin’ root vegetables. Stone Barns’ lamb burger with caramelized onions and mint chutney from Bombay Emerald Chutney (yes, they are back this week!). Their plum chutney is divine on a Stone Barns’ chicken sandwich or with cold sliced tuna from Pura Vida. I love any soup from Fork & Glass with a slice of miche or dark Tuscan bread from Bread Alone. Any burrito from True Food of Nyack laced with Guyank Brand’s hot sauce (they will be here next week, on the 11th). A piece of pie from the Pie Lady of Nyack with a spoonful of creme fraiche from Ronnybrook (courtesy of Amazing Real Live). Any pasta from Flour City Pasta tossed with Buddhapesto and some cherry tomatoes from Madura. Tierra Farm’s Honduran coffee with Ronnybrook’s whole milk – and Big Girl Bakery’s chocolate sable cookies for dunking. Tierra Farm’s pistachios, caramelized and tossed with roasted beets, served with ricotta, or Joe’s mozzarella (always made just hours before market opens).

Finally, I love to round out any kitchen session with a spritz of Clean Ridge Soap Co.’s liquid kitchen soap. It’s alcohol-free and made with a refreshing blend of citrus and essential oils and makes me smile every time I use it.  No kitchen should be without it! Ditto for sharp knives.

Come do some mixing and matching of your own this Saturday…

See you at the market!

Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director

february 23, 2012

It’s so much easier being a locavore in California. I’m in Santa Monica visiting my parents and a trip to the farmers market yesterday made me a tad envious. Ok, maybe more than a tad. Gorgeous lettuces, pink blossoms, navel oranges….

Then I thought about the snow-white cauliflower I bought from Newgate last week which I steamed, then mashed with some of Madura Farm’s buttery golden potatoes. I added a spoonful of creme fraiche from Ronnybrook Farms (you need to special order this from Amazing Real Live Food Co. and they’ll bring it down for you) and some of Madura’s fresh thyme (thought chives would do nicely, too). And I thought about the mushroom pasta dish I made the other day with mushrooms from Madura, and some of Flour City Pasta’s wild mushroom fettucine and I instantly felt better, and grateful.

We may have less this time of year, but what we have is quality.

In the current (March) issue of Martha Stewart Living there are some great recipes for all things onion which we have plenty of in New York in the winter. A recipe for onion and shallot confit made my mouth water. All you do is slow-roast red and white cipollini onions, shallots and cherry tomatoes in olive oil at a low temperature. The slow-roast intensifies the onions’ sweetness. The confit will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge and is great alongside grilled meats (both Roaming Angus and Stone Barns are here this week) or tossed in pasta.

Little Croc Bakehouse is back with her gluten-free goodies and Big Girl Bakery is here too. Her new bluecorn muffins with citrus zest are divine as is her quinoa salad and granola. She’ll also have some adorable, tiny whoopie pies – which might be just the thing to cheer up anyone who doesn’t want to go back to school on Monday. Little Croc will have her fabulous lemon squares, blueberry coffee cakes and chocolate and sugar donuts (and her gluten-free version of whoopie pies). Little Croc’s entire line is gluten-free and many of the items are also vegan.

True Food of Nyack has some new pot pie fillings (including some tasty vegetarian options).

And don’t forget your carving knives and pruning shears…the knife sharpener will be offering a 20% discount on his services this Saturday.

Spring will be here sooner than you think!

See you at the market!

Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director

february 16, 2012

Did anyone see the great cartoon in the NEW YORKER last week?
Two pre-schoolers playing together and one says to the other: “So, who shaves the fennel in your family?”

I had to laugh because we’ve been on a crazy fennel kick at my house this winter, eating it raw, steamed, baked and even pureed in soups. When I was in southern Italy a few years back, I got used to eating raw sliced fennel after dinner and before dessert, as a palate cleanser that also helped digestion. The clean, bracing flavor makes it a natural for dips like Taiim’s creamy hummus.

In France, fennel is almost always served with fish, usually steamed and doused with some quality olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Sometimes I cut a bulb in half and bake a whole fish on top – fronds and all! It imparts a lovely licorice flavor to any delicate fish.

Chef David Tanis had a great recipe in The New York Times this week for hearty fennel al forno – fennel bulbs baked with mozzarella, Parmesan and bread crumbs. Check it out at

While you’re there, print out the recipe for the earthy lamb and white bean chili.
We will have lots of lamb at the market this week and this recipe looks like a winner!

Lamb not your bag?
Try some veal meatballs from Gaia’s Breath – too light, really, to be called meatballs. And yet so satisfying with a batch of Flour City Pasta fettucine. Also, Stone Barns will have a special on pork rump roast and a huge variety of sausages this week.

See you at the market!

Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director

February 2, 2012

Our “local” team is going to the Superbowl this Sunday, shouldn’t your party spread be local, too? Come get everything you need for your game-watching party at the Farmers Market this Saturday: pickles, hummus, organic sausages, delicate veal pastrami, artisanal cheeses, and lots of organic, locally farmed meats from both Stone Barns and Gaia’s Breath for chilis and stews.

Too busy to make soup or chili? We’ll forgive if you head to Fork & Glass for some of their crowd-pleasing soups. This week, they’ve got two new soups: Sweet Potato w/Rosemary and Local Maple Syrup as well as Mediterranean Chickpea w/Sundried Tomatoes and Kale. For the first time this week, Sunny and Mark will be preparing their popular pork tacos at the market with pork from Stone Barns.
You can take some of their packaged chicken and cheese enchiladas home along with some “cowboy” beans (pinto beans slow-cooked with roasted onions, tomatoes and jalapenos and finished with cilantro and lime.) For those of you who are trying to eat lighter, their Moroccan barley salad made dried cranberries, almonds and tangarine zest is as sensible as it is sublime.

In addition to their popular hummus, Taiim is now selling packages of their delicious house falafel that you can either bake or fry up at home. Wouldn’t that be an interesting departure from chicken wings on Sunday?

True Food of Nyack will be serving up their retro pot pies filled with all things local and healthy.

Flour City Pasta is back this week – this small-batch, organic pasta is intensely flavorful so you really can go light on the sauce. Tomorrow they will be unveiling a new pasta: pizza blend – shaped like a fresh baked pizza.

Also tomorrow, Buddhapesto is back with that wickedly good pesto sauce and Bombay Emerald Company is visiting us with a decidedly different “green sauce” which is no less delicious: try their mint chutney on some local lamb! Also: they sell healthy samosas that are ready to bake and serve.

Don’t forget to buy olives and organic Tierra Farm nuts!

Of course, all of the above would work just as well for those (like me) who will be settling into another episode of Downton Abbey instead of watching football…

See you at the market!

Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director

January 26, 2012

Dear Shoppers,

I’ve been making my own pesto for years (with everything from arugula to nettles) and so have most of my friends, so, when I first brought Buddhapesto to the Hastings Farmers Market, people wondered what all the fuss was about. Then they tasted their artfully displayed samples – a dollop of the electric green sauce on a thin slice of Bread Alone baguette –  clammed right up and bought multiple tubs. I’m not sure what mystery ingredient the folks at Buddhapesto put into their blender to make this pesto so flavor-charged and Pantone-hued, but it’s working. Their fan base is growing as quickly as August potted basil. I’m so thrilled that they will be joining our market in Chappaqua. Their debut was foiled last week by the ill-timed snow storm.

I, for one, can’t wait to try some of their pesto on any number of interesting organic small-batch pastas from Flour City Pasta. Of course, I put it on everything from scrambled eggs to poached fish to grilled lamb (or ham)-burgers, too.

Roaming Angus will have some fresh(not frozen) chickens this week as well as gorgeous cuts of beef. If you receive Roaming Angus’ email, then you learned this week that there are 29(!) cuts of beef that are just as lean as chicken. And Roaming Angus carries many of them!

Stone Barns is continuing with their ‘barn sale” on everything pork…now is the time to dig into that pulled pork recipe you’ve been wanting to try. They also have great plump roaster chickens (frozen), ground lamb and those amazing eggs in the sunny carton.

Pura Vida brought a small amount of ridiculously sweet, tiny Maine shrimp last week. The season is fleeting so get them while you can. So good, a few of us ate some raw at the market last Saturday!

Kontoulis Olive Oil, a monthly vendor, is also paying us a visit so be sure to bring your home bottles for re-filling or, if you’ve never treated yourself to her shimmering green nectar, take some home and watch it make your salads sing. Remember: Demetra won’t be back before Valentine’s Day – and a gift of any combination of her luscious oil with either tapenade, or balsamic vinegar, would make my heart sing.

Little Croc Bakery (gluten-free) and Big Girl Bakery are also here this week to satisfy all your sweet tooth needs.

And, I am happy to report that Lasagna Preziosa is returning to the market on a once-monthly basis, starting this Saturday. Surely you remember his surprisingly light and delicate lasagna bolognese and his pesto lasagna, made with green beans and potatoes, and of course, pesto. Hmmm….are you sensing a theme here?

See you at the market!

Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director

January 19, 2012

Stone Barns slashes the price of everything “pork” and Gaia’s Breath organic veal is a steal!

Stone Barns has had a bumper crop of swine this past season and their freezer is loaded with beautiful roasting cuts of pork that are absolutely perfect for these cold winter nights — and for your Super Bowl spread. Their bounty is your gain: they are dropping their price on all pork roasts and hams by $3 a pound. So, shoulder roast is going for $4.25 a pound and Boston butt is only $6.25 a pound. Bone-in smoked ham is $6.50 pound. Farmer John Agostinho says the crew at Stone Barns has been experimenting with lots of different pork recipes and they will share one of their current faves, a recipe for Cuban Roast Pork, with market shoppers this week.

Also, Gaia’s Breath, organic farm will have their plump veal meatballs and veal cuts as well as artisanal cheeses and their unique line of veal charcuterie that everyone’s buzzing about. (I’m a big fan of the veal pastrami). They also have some amazing ravioli which needs nothing more than a drizzle of top-notch olive oil.

As luck would have it, Kontoulis Olive Oil will be at the market this week. Their oil, made from olives that were harvested and pressed in Messinia, Greece, but bottled here in Westchester, is not only deliciously light – it’s transformative. Drizzle it on any hard, nutty cheese, tender greens, a gorgeous piece of Pura Vida fish or any of Flour City Pasta’s small-batch pastas – and watch it work its magic. Whatever you do, don’t cook with it! This is a finishing oil, pure and simple.

We are happy to announced that Buddhapesto is joining our market line-up this week. Most of you have tried (and become addicted to) their electric green, brightly flavored pesto. I like to put this prize pesto on eggs, fish and on my daughters’ sandwiches. And, pasta of course.

We are keeping our promise and quality gluten-free baked goods every single week. Last week, Little Croc Bakehouse nearly sold out and this week, we are sure By the Way Bakery will do the same.

Fork and Glass will have their fantastic citrus farro salad as well as a bevvy of soups good enough to main course a meal.

Honey Locust Farmhouse is back with her delicious jams, honey and organic herbal and aromatic teas. The Chef at The Red Hat restaurant in Irvington is now using her jams for some of their desserts.

Don’t forget to bring your knives for the knife sharpener! You don’t want to carve into a Stone Barns ham or Gaia’s Breath roast with a dull blade!

See you at the market…
Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director

January 13, 2012

Dear Shoppers,

On an impulse, and because my contractor friend had some free time on his hands, I decided to remodel my kitchen during the holidays.
Actually, it’s not as bad as it sounds. There’s something kind of humbling, and liberating, about being reduced to sub-flooring and pipes during what’s supposed to be the busiest time of year in the kitchen. The contractor has been kind enough to leave my stove and bare bones sink hooked up during the makeover, even though the rest of my kitchen is now in my dining room. (My girls think it’s really cool that our fridge is in the living room).
All this to say that these days I’m keeping the cooking real simple. Never have I been more appreciative of having access to farmers market products on a weekly basis – and in the winter no less! I’ve said it a million times, I know, but, truly, fresh, local ingredients are so inherently flavorful they don’t require much fussing in the kitchen.

A friend who is giving me some advice on layout dropped by this week and was surprised to smell a Stone Barns chicken roasting in the oven along with some Newgate Farms fingerlings and some cumin-dusted cauliflower. “I can’t believe you’re cooking when you’re kitchen is gutted,” she said. I literally put everything in a pan, added salt and pepper, olive oil and cumin and was done in five minutes. But the payoff was grand.
Local personal chef Maria Reina ( is also a big advocate of keeping things simple in the kitchen. She will be doing a cooking demo at the market this week using fresh fish fillets from Pura Vida, encrusted with basil and sea-salt onion cashews from Tierra Farms and topped with a savory jam from Renee’s Jams (also here this week). Stop by her table for a taste and a copy of the recipe (we’ll also post it on the website). Maria can also answer any ingredient or cooking questions you may have while shopping.

For a quick and easy lunch these days, I’ve been subsisting on sandwiches made with Bread Alone ciabatta or levain bread with cheese from Amazing Real Live Food Co. This week they are having a 30-percent-off special on their nutty Stella Valis Tomme cheese. Make sure to pick some up! Lucky for me, I stocked up on some of Renee’s savory jams, like pineapple habanero, and some of Bombay Emerald’s plum chutney last month. Good condiments makes such a difference. Just like that, they can turn a sandwich into a simple pleasure. Speaking of good condiments, make sure to pick up some Guyank Brand mango hot sauce this Saturday.

Roaming Angus is also back this week. If you’re a fan of their grass-fed beef, this is your chance to stock up. They won’t be back until January 28th.

Also back after a long absence, Big Girl Bakery with her fanciful line of cookies and Little Croc Bakehouse! I hate to even mention that many of her baked goods are gluten-free and/or vegan because I don’t want to turn people off. Trust me, you would never know her teacakes and lemon bars are “missing” anything. They are divine…which is why baker Suzanne Whitney has such a loyal following all over Westchester.

See you at the market – and come early if you want some of those Stone Barns eggs!

Keep your knives at home – Knife Sharpener back next week!

Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director