Wednesday, July 21, 2010

For real, summer, you make me love you.

Now that I'm back into posting action, and it's summer, get used to me blabbing on and on about local, farm-fresh produce. I just can't help it! Last Saturday I had off, which is unusual after working every weekend. I roused myself early and made a trip to the Glass Shop, a darling coffee shop at which a friend works. We shared ice coffees and a chocolate-cinnamon sticky bun, a breakfast treat even stickier than and as rich as it looks, but worth every bite!!! Then I left, and headed to the Grand Army Plaza farmers market. This market is the second largest market in NY, a stat that meant and still means nothing to me. But what really stood out to me was the good vibes that filled this market. In NY, people talk about how the Union Square greenmarket is the best in the state, maybe even in the US. I've always thought this was nonsense. Visiting the Grand Army Plaza market confirms my hunch that this claim is hullabaloo. Fooey. That's right! Nonsense!

The Grand Army Plaza market just felt right! Not hustle and bustle and overwhelming garbage one encounters while in Union Square. This market had tons of variety, great options, friendly vendors, and good deals to be had all around. I bought a ton of things, staying within my self-imposed $30 budget, including greens, nightshades (my favorites), cheese, plums, and berries.

I want to share with my readers my mid-evening meal. Tonight, feeling peckish after a snack of jerk chicken from Peppa's, I roasted some of my leftover market treasures in some olive oil in a cast iron in the oven, set to 400: cloves of spring garlic, a whole sweet pepper, three sliced 2-inch baby eggplants, and halved heirloom tomatoes. The veggies cooked for 20 minutes, till juices were bubbling from each, and I ate the platter, with bread and cheese. Just fantastic. New York, summer, you do make me love you.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Finally, finally back

Has it really been since May that I posted here? I guess it has. Summer's been busy! I moved to Crown Heights, Mr. Ripe came in from the Bay Area, and I started working at a restaurant in Manhattan. I didn't want to post, I guess, because I was a tad embarrassed about the blog. Truly, I was. But now that everyone seems to know about it at work, I say fuck it. As exhausted as I am from working the past seven days straight, I came home happy today, excited for my three day weekend on an actual nationally recognized weekend!
And despite scarfing down some veggies at work before I left, I feel hungry. So I'm in the process of making a simple summer green quinoa salad. It's gonna rock, I know this already.

The ingredients are green by accident, but they are so amazing looking and so exciting as they are all either from the greenmarket in Union Square or from the farm my brother is working on in Connecticut on and off this summer. Knowing where my food comes from makes it that much more exciting for me. And working in the restaurant makes me exponentially more inspired to create!

Here you have it, summer quinoa salad made simple, with no measurements whatsoever--those ratios are up to you:

Cooked quinoa
sliced small zucchini
blanched romano beans, cut into 1" lengths
2 garlic scapes, cut into small pieces
red wine vinagrette (simple: dijon, rw vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper)

Toss all ingredients. Eat with a smile, because it's summer and your food is glorious.