Saturday, July 30, 2011

New York: Mid-Summer Abundance

In preparation for an all-local dinner - well, almost; you really can't find local mozzarella di bufalo, anchovies, baking powder and soda or tapioca - I made a trip to the Union Square Greenmarket today. The Saturday market is always best, but we are now in high summer and it was the best ever: sweet corn (my favorite food), heirloom tomatoes, sugar plums (my wife's favorite food), apricots, greens and herbs, and even a leg of lamb. Truly overwhelming.

Here are just a few images.

Carrots and more carrots

Radishes and onions

Eggplant and fancy radishes

Basil plants and flowers

Bobby Jay

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dried Fava Beans

One of my best discoveries of recent months is dried fava beans, which I saw Mario Batali make on television. Unlike fresh favas, they are available all year round, at Kalustyans (Lexington Avenue between 28th and 29th) and the Ninth Avenue International Market (Ninth Avenue between 40th and 41st Streets) at least. They are easy to cook. And, most of all, they have a subtle taste that is a little like cannellini beans but . . . well, with a delicate fava taste.

To cook, cover with water and soak overnight. Then rinse, cover with water again, bring to a boil, now salt and simmer for about an hour, until they get very tender and fall apart. Add a little olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, mix with a hand or standing blender and you're good to go. Mario suggests serving it with bitter greens on really good grilled or toasted country bread, and this is in fact a great way to go. (I used chopped kale sauteed in a little water, with olive oil, salt and pepper.)

Bobby Jay