Pascale’s Blog

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

January 5, 2012


Dear Shoppers,

No doubt many of you have made resolutions to eat better in the new year and the Chappaqua Farmers Market is going to make it that much easier – and fun – to do so.

We are very happy to announce that Stone Barns of Pocantico Hills will be bringing their gorgeous poultry (and rock star eggs!) every week that the market is open this winter.

Many of you have asked for more winter greens, and this week, we are delivering: please welcome Newgate Farms of Windsor, CT. This is a family-run farm that goes back five generations. They will be bringing cauliflower, butternut squash, iron-packed kale and more. We are so excited to have them join our market family.

Ditto for Flour City Pasta, of Rochester, NY, which will be bringing their small-batch organic pasta every Saturday. This, on top of so many of our regular favorites: the husband and wife team of Fork & Glass Catering Co. got inspired during our holiday break. They’ll be bringing an unbelievably tasty cannelini soup with country ham and rosemary. Their laurel-infused cauliflower soup was such a hit in December they’re bringing lots more, along with their Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa ready to heat and serve with their Cowboy Beans and Mexican Rice, available individually by the pint.
Plus: they’ll be whipping up some Norwegian pancakes for breakfast and three types of quesadillas for lunch: Cheese, Black and Bean and Sweet Potato as well as Roasted Chicken tossed in lime juice and cilantro.

Organic farm Gaia’s Breath will be visiting us again with plenty of cuts of pork, beef and heart-healthy veal. In addition to veal sausage, meatballs, shanks and roasts, they are also now making delicate veal pastrami. They are also selling lovely coarse country pate in small portions – ideal to serve those unexpected guests, with a glass of wine and crackers (and cornichons, of course).

Amazing Real Live Cheese Co. is developing a loyal following thanks to interesting, pro-biotic cheeses like Chaource, a semi-soft log that parades as goat but is made with cow’s milk.

Pickles will be outside this week. Grab a pickle on a stick to nibble on while you shop and then grab your pints of pickles as you head out.

And wouldn’t it be nice to start the new year with fresh new soaps and hand lotions in your kitchen and bathrooms? The entire Clean Ridge Soap Co. line of soaps, lotions, diffusers, lip balms, etc. is made with local herbs and flowers and once you try them – you’ll be hooked. The kitchen soap is especially nice. Make sure to stock up at their table.

We so look forward to seeing you all in the new year!

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

December 15, 2011

Dear Shoppers,

I just came back from walking the dog and was chilled to the bone, when I got an email from Fork & Glass describing the soup they are making for Saturday’s market: “pureed cauliflower with a touch of milk that has been steeped in laurel leaves.” And just like that I was all warm and tingly inside. Not only will our favorite catering couple from Cold Spring be selling their soups to take home, but for the first time, they will be selling their soup to eat on the spot. You can grab a satisfying bowl as an alternative (or addition) to their hearty, but healthy breakfast tacos or chorizo and potato quesadillas – the perfect energy food for this big last-minute holiday shopping weekend.

Of course, you can opt to make shopping super easy on yourself and buy all your gifts at the farmers market:
Amazing Real Live Food Co. will be selling festive $30 gift baskets with three of their most popular cheeses: Moonlight Chaource, Camembert and Stella Vallis Tomme. Why not combine with some of Honey Locust’s quince preserves which would add panache to any cheese tray.

Demetra of Kontoulis Olive Oil  –  is just back from harvesting in Greece – with her seminal oil and balsamic vinegar. As if these nectars weren’t delicious enough on their own, the amphora-shaped bottles are so beautiful they can be reused in a million different ways. I put my dishwashing liquid in one and just looking at it takes all the drudgery out of doing the dishes (well, not quite but…)

Who wouldn’t want a gift box of exotic (yet locally-made) Bombay Emerald Chutneys? Flavors include royal mint, royal pomegranate and royal tomato – and all are 100 % fat-free. The mint chutney is divine on lamb and the others add a touch of class and spice to any poultry dish.

Ready, Set Sharp, the knife-sharpeners are in the house and offering a 20 percent discount off of all sharpening services. What’s more they’re selling gift certificates worth $25 of sharpening for only $20. How’s that for an original stocking stuffer or Hanukah gift?

Our new gluten-free baker By the Way Bakery is also back this week, as is Big Girl Bakery – one of our market’s best-kept secrets!

As luck would have it Stone Barns is back with their quality line of meats and fowl. So many of you have written us to comment on the deliciousness of their chickens. And they’re so reasonably priced!

Mountain Smokehouse – famous for their chipotle-laced bacon is also back for a visit this week.  They will have smoked salmon and smoked trout for only  $6 per package.  All their smoked chicken sausages will be priced at $9/package. Half hams and smoked ham steaks for $5.95/lb (Bone-in) will also be available. And boneless hams will be $6.95/lb for a super holiday deal!

Finally,  we are introducing a new vendor this week: Rochester-based Flour City Pasta which makes about 15 different varieties of pastas each so flavorful that they require nothing more than splash of Demetra’s olive oil. Some of their fettuccini flavors  include pumpkin-chipotle & wild mushroom. They will also feature a few different types of orzo pasta including a sweet cranberry-pistachio orzo, the perfect holiday side dish. I recently tried (and loved!) their Rasta Pasta – a combination of shapes, each one a different flavor: sweet potato shells, carrot-thyme radiatore;  spinach/lime rigatone – cayenne fusilli  all with a hint of cinnamon spicing. Crazy flavorful and festive…

See you at the market….Happy holidays everyone!

Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/author/farmers market director

December 8, 2011

Dear Shoppers,

Raise your hand if you’ve ever tried veal pastrami!
After 20 years of food writing I’ve never tried it. So I’m very excited that Gaia’s Breath will be selling some, along with their organic greens, at the Chappaqua Farmers Market this week. Gaia’s Breath is our alternate organic meat vendor who will be at the market every second and fourth Saturday, when Stone Barns is not. Their farm “265 acres of pure organic bliss” is situated between the Catskill and Adirondack mountain ranges. When owner Mark Santoro, isn’t farming, he spends his days dreaming up all sorts of charcuterie products. “In the summer we’re too busy to get creative in the kitchen,” says Tara Santoro, Mark’s sister. But in the winter “that’s when Mark gets really creative.” So, in addition to beautiful cuts of organic free-range lamb, pork, veal and chicken you can expects lots of high-end flavorful sausages and charcuterie as the winter progresses.

Or course, Roaming Angus, always has beautiful cuts of grass-fed beef and pork at a great value. This week he’s particularly proud of his thick pork chops.

There will be plenty of fresh fish this week. Roast some monkfish. Make fish tacos with flounder or lemon sole. Bake some hake!

As promised, By the Way Bakery will make her first appearance at the market this Saturday. I know many of you are not yet familiar with her product, but I promise you that once you take a bite of her sour cherry coffee cake you will be hooked. Oh and “by the way” everything that comes out of Helene Godin’s bakery is 100 % gluten-free, though that barely seems relevant it’s all so delicious.

Renee’s Jams is also back this week with her tantalizing (local!) fruit preserves in adorable homespun jars. Grab some for yourself, and then pick up a trio of jams as a gift for someone sweet in your life. Clean Ridge Soap will also be there on Saturday, so you can cross some more names off of your gift list with her natural homemade soaps in lovely gift baskets.

Fork & Glass will be back next week. This week in our live cooking corner,  personal chef Maria Reina will be making a couple of recipes using proteins from our vendors to show you how easy farrm-to-table cooking can be.

The knife sharpeners will be back on Dec. 17th with a 20 percent off sale. They will also be selling gift certificates (which will include the discount) — a great gift for any foodie on your list.

We know there are many markets to choose from in the area, we appreciate you making Chappaqua your weekly habit!

Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director