Pascale’s Blog

november 30, 2017

HeaderDid you miss us?

We’re back! After a pause for Thanksgiving, the Chappaqua Farmers Market returns for three appearances in December so that you can enjoy local produce from your favorite vendors well into the holiday season.

Sun Sprout Farm, who is filling in for Deep Roots, has several greenhouses on their 24-acre organic farm, extending their harvest of greens and root vegetables. They’re bringing kale, collards, carrots and lots of squash, all grown in the famous “Black Dirt” of Chester, NY in Orange County.

SunSproutFarmThe farm, in many ways, is a testament of love – the love of the owners Simon Ziegler and Madeleine Banulski that has endured over ten years and across continents, a love of land that spurs a genuine commitment to sustainability, and a love of community that brings people together through food and farming. The seed for Sun Sprout was planted five years ago when Simon, fresh off a return to his native Germany for a degree in organic agriculture and Madeleine, a newly minted nurse, were working on a Massachusetts farm. They knew they wanted their own little piece of dirt to cultivate so they saved and planned and finally found land in upstate New York where they could realize their dream of “making a living by providing people with fresh and organic food.” A lot has happened in five years. They were certified organic, expanded into five markets across Westchester and New York City, and recently added a little Ziegler to the mix. Though you’ll fall in love with them, try not to become too attached, they are only visiting for two weeks! Continue reading november 30, 2017

november 16, 2017

HeaderWhat’s Up Doc?

Every month our Chappaqua Farmer’s Market board meets to discuss market issues – anything from new vendors to market traffic or music, to what kind of market bags we should order. Every single board member is a keen market shopper and, inevitably, someone will bring up an ingredient or item they tried at the market for the first time.

This week it was all about the carrots at Morgiewicz Produce. One board member mentioned how disarmingly delicious they were and before long, we had a quorum declaring these rugged, earthy carrots grown in Black Dirt country, the sweetest most flavorful carrots around. I live for such food epiphanies. I hope you will give Morgiewicz carrots a place of honor at your holiday table next week.

Weren’t planning on cooking carrots? Here are a few carrot recipes from Food & Wine that are definitely worthy of the occasion. I’m particularly fond of making the carrot puree – in addition to smashed potatoes, natch. But I also like the idea of cooking carrots in carrot and orange juice, instead of water, to enhance their innate sweetness, as suggested by Chef Shawn McClain (recipe #4 on the list). 

No doubt, the folks at the Morgiewicz tent will ask if you’d like your carrot tops removed. RESIST. Here are some clever ways to use them – beyond throwing them in your turkey stock post holiday. Cilantro carrot-top chimichurri for roasted carrot tacos? Sign me up!

carrotsA reminder that though this Saturday’s market marks the official end of our regular market season, we have added three markets in December: we will be outside at the train station on Dec. 2, 9 & 16. The hours are 9 to 1 pm. We are closed on Saturday November 25 for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Continue reading november 16, 2017

november 9, 2017


Our winning chili recipe and must-haves for Thanksgiving

In case you missed last week’s chili cook-off, our winner was Pam Wright. Naturally we asked her for the recipe (see below) and if there was a story behind it. Pam said the Chili Primero recipe is a sentimental favorite for her family. It’s from a cookbook called The Creme de Colorado Cookbook, which was given to her by a close friend who loved every recipe in it and used the cookbook almost exclusively.

ChiliRecipeThe recipe is Pam’s husband’s favorite chili recipe. The combination of flavors, she says, “is slightly more complex than a typical chili recipe and does not rely on heat for its intensity.” As you can see from the long ingredient list, “this isn’t a recipe that fits into a hectic family lifestyle,” says Pam.  “It is definitely a slow cook recipe for a contemplative day.” As soon as she heard of the market chili cook-off, she knew it was time to make it again. Preparing this recipe was bittersweet, she says. “Our dear friend, who loved that book, passed away quite suddenly a couple of years ago. I thought of him often while I made the chili and it gave my husband and me a chance to reminisce about all the fun and food we shared with our friend over many years.” Continue reading november 9, 2017

november 2, 2017

HeaderThrowing down the Chili gauntlet

“Chili concocted outside of Texas is usually a weak, apologetic imitation of the real thing,” President Lyndon Johnson is quoted as saying.
We bet there are CFM shoppers and cooks who beg to differ. Please come out this Saturday – with your warm pot of chili in hand – to prove Johnson wrong.
This is our first chili contest at the Farmer’s Market and we couldn’t be more excited. The Chili Cook-Off will be judged by members of the Chappaqua and Millwood Fire Departments  (bowl of red “experts”).

Please list all ingredients on paper with your name & phone number. Contestants must bring their WARM chili to the market before 10:30am. We prefer if the chili is in a crock pot so that we can keep it warm. 

Judging will begin at 11am!

• We will provide bowls and spoons for tasting.
• We will be selling bowls of contestants’ chili for $2 to shoppers after the judging.
• We’ll provide the toppings!
• Judging will be based on appearance, aroma, taste.
Please put your name on a piece of tape and attach to the bottom of your crock pot.
Bonus points for any chili that contains ingredients from the market.
There will be 3 winners.
• 1st Place winner will get $30 in market bucks and some serious bragging rights.
2nd Place winner will get $20 in market bucks.
• 3rd Place winner will get $10 in market bucks.
• The winners will also receive other goodies from the market.

Continue reading november 2, 2017

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