Sunday, June 6, 2010

Farmers Market Challenge 1: Scapes, Parsley, Asparagus

One of the great joys of summer here in Somerville is the Farmers' Market in Union Square. Yesterday was the first market of the season and I made sure to get there as early as possible in order to have the best selection and avoid the afternoon rush. I'm a planner, so it is rare that I like to shop without an idea of what I'm cooking, but the Farmers' Market is a great motivator. I just picked up whatever looked good and figured I'd be creative when I got home. Yesterday's purchases included: fresh brioche, strawberries, garlic scapes, asparagus, fresh parsley, kale, and hot Italian lamb sausage from Stillman's Farm. Since the kale will keep for a bit (and I'll probably just make crisps anyway), I prioritized the scapes, asparagus, parsley and sausage. The results are the following three recipes! Enjoy!

Linguine with Hot Italian Lamb Sausage & Parsley
Serving: 2 generous portions
  • 3-4 links hot italian lamb sausage, sliced
  • 2 tbls. olive oil
  • 3 tbls. white whine
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (yes, you can use fresh---but I had no tomatoes on hand--I don't recommend using more than one can, however)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves (whole)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 lb -1/2 lb. linguine
  • black truffle oil (optional)
1. Brown the sausage in the oil for five minutes over medium heat. Then add the wine, allowing the sausage to "poach" in the wine, oil and its own fat.
2. When sausage is browned and somewhat cooked, add the tomatoes and the parsley leaves. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.
3. Meanwhile, start the boiling water for the pasta. Simmer the sausage mixture for as long as it takes the water to boil.
4. When water is boiling, turn sausage mixture down to the lowest setting (to keep it warm), and cook the linguine until al dente.
5. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add sausage mixture. Toss with some black truffle oil for additional flavor and serve!

Sautéed Asparagus and Garlic Scapes
  • 1 bunch of fresh asparagus
  • 1/4 lb. garlic scapes
  • 2 tbls. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • salt to taste
  • white truffle oil (for tossing)
1. Cut asparagus and scapes in short 1-2 in. pieces. Sautée in olive oil, pepper and salt over medium heat until they become bright green and the asparagus is tender to the bite, but not mushy.
2. Toss in white truffle oil and serve.

And, assuming you've got some leftover scapes and parsley, you may want to make a jar of this wonderful summery and unique pesto:
Parsley Lime Pesto with Garlic Scapes
  • 1 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/8 lb. scapes
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian flat leaf parsley leaves (whole)--do NOT use cilantro.
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (possibly more depending on your desired texture)
  • 2 tbls. pine nuts
  • salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor--starting with the pine nuts, and adding each ingredient one at a time. Mix oil in gradually until you've achieved your desired consistency. This has a more subtle flavor than pesto with basil and garlic cloves, but works really well as a spread for hors d'oeuvres or even for a pasta salad in the summer.