Each Sunday, I like to visit the farmers’ market in Abbott Square. (Occasionally, I make it to the mid-week Ohio Street market as well!) I always like to pick up some fresh chicken eggs (and duck eggs whenever possible) from Common Wealth Farm, as well as occasionally a few chicken wings (spicy wings are a weakness of mine) and sometimes even backs for making rich, flavorful stock. But aside from such staples, I also like to see what’s fresh and ready at the moment.
Right now, for me, it’s all about garlic scapes, early greens like spinach, and young, tender Hakurei turnips! Hakurei turnips, to me, resemble a radish in flavor more than a turnip; they are excellent raw, sweet and a little bit spicy, but they also lend themselves well to roasting, or a quick saute with their greens. Garlic scapes are fantastically versatile. You can steam them up like green beans, toss them into stir fries or other asian-inspired dishes, or in this instance, turn them into a zesty pesto. And I don’t think I need to tell you how many different ways there are to use spinach — this season alone, I’ve made fettuccine with pureed spinach in the dough, stuffed pasta shells with sauteed mushrooms and spinach mixed with farm-fresh ricotta cheese, and tucked leaves of it into sandwiches, omelettes, quiches, and of course, used it raw in salads.
Sauteed Hakurei Turnip with Bacon
- 1 bunch fresh Hakurei turnip
- 4 slices bacon
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
Separate greens from turnips, trimming stem and root ends. Quarter turnips, trim long stems from greens and chop roughly. In a deep saute pan, render bacon until crispy and set aside to cool. Add garlic and red pepper flakes to bacon grease; when the garlic becomes fragrant (but not brown) add the turnips and greens. Cook until greens are wilted and turnip has become slightly browned. Salt and pepper to taste. Chop reserved bacon to garnish.
Spinach Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing
- 1 lb tricolor pasta
- 1/4 lb. fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 can solid white tuna in olive oil (do not drain!)
- 1/2 oil-cured Morroccan black olives, pitted and halved
- 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
- 5 oz. seasoned chevre spread (we like “Pretty” and “Sensational” by Olde Oak Farm in Maxfield, available at the Orono and Bangor markets!)
Boil pasta in salted water to your prefered doneness and drain. While it’s still warm, add the chevre and tuna, mixing well. (The heat from the pasta should help melt the cheese and the oil into a creamy dressing.) Add in olives, tomatoes and spinach, and toss. Serve chilled.
Garlic Scape Pesto
- 1/4 lb garlic scapes, flower ends trimmed off
- small bunch of basil
- 1/2 c. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Combine scapes and basil in a food processor with salt, streaming in olive oil until you have reached the desired consistency. Mix in grated cheese and toss pesto with pasta, use as a sauce for pizza or a dip for crusty bread, mix with scrambled eggs to add some green to your breakfast, or let your imagination run wild.
For more recipes from my kitchen to yours, please visit http://forkable.net.