Garlic scapes made an appearance at a minimum of three farmers’ market vendor booths a couple of weeks ago. The scapes (pictured above) are just the tops of the garlic that stick above the ground. They are a bit mellower than garlic and have a nice crunch, similar to a green onion.
I purchased some garlic scapes and broccoli from Roots Down Farm, one of my favorite vendors at the market. Roots Down is located in Milton, Wisconsin. You can follow them on Facebook here. Make sure to visit their booth when tomato season hits. Their selection of heirloom tomatos is incredible.
Anyhow, I decided to blanch the broccoli and make a garlic scape vinaigrette. I chopped the scapes and mixed them with some extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice (I make my vinaigrettes, especially ones with citrus as the acid, at a 4:1 ratio of oil to juice). The broccoli was blanched for about 2 minutes then shocked with cold water. They were semi-soft but still retained their bright color and their crunch. The scape vinaigrette brightened the flavor and added some more texture to the side dish.
I served this with a flat iron steak, which was not from the farmers’ market. No matter what kind of meat you are making, I’ll share a killer technique I learned from Adam Perry Lang’s “Serious Barbecue” cookbook (he details the technique here under the “final thoughts” section). The tip works well for all meats but is probably best for meat that you are slicing like a flat-iron, skirt, or flank steak, tenderloin, racks of lamb or prime rib. What you do is take some herbs and garlic or shallots (I used more of the scapes) and chop them up on the cutting board you plan on slicing your meat on. Drizzle the board with some olive oil and maybe even some balsamic vinegar or citrus juice (I used some lemon leftover from the vinaigrette). Crack some black pepper and some sea salt on the board as well. Then when you take your meat off the grill, set it atop the herbs and oil on the cutting board. Let it rest for a while (5 min for steak, 10 for tenderloin) and then slice. Drag each piece through the cutting board mixture, which now has been infused with the juice of the meat. This adds a while other layer of flavor. When you are done drain the remaining juice/herb mixture into a bowl and drizzle over the meat. You’ll be impressed at how much flavor this technique yields.
I’ll confess that I am addicted to food magazines. I currently receive Bon Appetit, Saveur, and Food and Wine. I also had subscribed to Gourmet for years until its demise in 2009. Every once in a while I’ll page through an issue and be amazed by how many recipes look so good that I just have to make them. The June 2010 issue of Bon Appetit is one of those issues.
One recipe in particular caught my eye. It was a recipe for Grilled Asian Chicken, Bok Choy, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Radishes. The idea was that you make this Mango Sesame dressing and you use it as a marinade and serving sauce for the dish. You also can use it as a salad dressing later in the week or (my idea, not Bon Appetit’s) as a dipping sauce for vegetables.
Here are links to the recipes
MANGO SESAME DRESSING
GRILLED ASIAN CHICKEN & VEGETABLES
ASIAN CHICKEN NOODLE SALAD WITH SUGAR SNAP PEAS
I had some zucchini in the fridge so I used that instead of the peppers. The rest of the stuff I gathered up at the Waukesha Farmers’ market. A nice size bundle of Bok Choy set me back $1, same with the green onions I added to the recipe. A bunch of radishes were only $2 (I think). The most costly element were the Shitakes. I had expected to go to the grocery store to procure them, or used the dehydrated ones in my pantry. I was excited when I found a vendor that was selling fresh, Wisconsin grown Shitakes. I grabbed the last carton of them for $5. I also spotted the first sugar snap peas of the season, perfect for dipping into the extra sauce or making the salad suggested by Bon Appetit.
I should have snapped a picture because all of the grilled vegetables and chicken looked awesome piled atop a heap of Basmati rice. It tasted even better than it looked. If you like grilling and love Asian flavors combining sweet, salty, and a tad spicy (depending on how much crushed red pepper you add), I think you’ll find this is the perfect recipe for your early season farmers’ market purchases.
Some of you may not venture down to the far West End
(of Main Street) as much as other parts of downtown but if you don’t you are missing out, especially this weekend. That that area is starting to see even more reinvestment from recent projects like the Maple & Main building, which houses Katydids
and two incredible (and available) condos that I was able to finally see last weekend, to the recent expansion of Magellan’s (M2) which is serving pizza some are calling some of the best in Waukesha
. Well you can add two more businesses at the West End to the mix.
First up is the Waukesha Tattoo Company @ Galleria Edge also check out their blog at http://koolfooltattoo.blogspot.com/
) located at 463 West Main Street, who will hold its grand opening and ribbon cutting on Saturday May 22. The place will open at 10 with the ribbon cutting at 10:30. The open house is from 10am to 5pm and the opening reception, featuring the Katie & Andy Show, an art exhibit opening featuring local artists Katie Musloff
and Andy Fletcher
. The show will run from 5-22 to 6-26. The Waukesha Tattoo Company @ Galleria Edge had the incredible Flux Design
do their interior, which I think is a first for Waukesha. Crazy Train beef and dogs will also be out in the parking lot all day. The serve up some Chicago-style dogs, gut-busting beef sandwiches slathered in Nacho Cheese and some awesome fried pickle wedges.
Next up is the Moxie Beauty Lounge
which is a salon and spa also located at the West End of Main Street. They will also be having a grand opening on Saturday from 12pm to 8pm. They’ll be having food, drinks, and specials on services and products with a cook-out from 5pm-8pm.
Also its Week 3 of the great Waukesha Farmers’ Market!
The weather will be great so get out and enjoy downtown Waukesha this weekend.
The Farmers Market was pretty well-attended given the freezing cold temps and intermittent rain. There were a couple of new vendors out there and this is probably the first year I think you could actually get a decent amount of produce this early in the season.
Lots of spinach and greens were available as well as a new vendor selling ramps and morels. I had never had ramps so I bought a couple of bunches and paired them with some pea shoots (also purchased at the market), asparagus, and peas in a spring vegetable risotto for dinner. A little lemon juice and lemon olive oil enhanced the fresh flavors of spring. The ramps were pretty tasty, kind of mild like a leek.
I served the risotto with some Rushing Waters Trout, purchased from their new stand at the market. They have fresh farm-raised trout, a variety of smoked fish products, and salmon patties. At 8 bucks a pound, the trout is a pretty good deal for fish this fresh. I seasoned the fish with salt, pepper, and a dash of Penzey’s Northwoods seasoning. As it cooked I basted it with some butter which also had some more Northwoods seasoning in it. I also grilled up some cherry tomatoes and artichokes for a topping for the fish.
I know that farmed fish sometimes gets a bad name but that’s primarily because the public only partially pays attention to these kind of issues. Yes there are a lot of fish farms that are doing environmental damage to our lakes, rivers, and oceans, however there are some farmed fish that are sustainable and are recommended by the leading authority on sustainable seafood, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation’s Seafood Watch program. They list US Farm Raised Rainbow trout as the best trout choice. If you are a real sustainable food nerd, here is their full report on farmed Rainbow Trout.
It seems that every season the market gets bigger and better and it looks like 2010 will continue that trend.