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Archive for 'spring'

SHY-SMILE BEET GREENS: A MARKET STORY

The beet greens I typically encounter at farmers markets play second fiddle to the actual beets. That stands to reason: Most people regard the thick leaves as something to be discarded, asking the seller to remove them before tucking the shorn, diminished root vegetables into a market bag. I have viewed this phenomenon with puzzlement for ages; in […]

STRAWBERRIES THREE WAYS

Nothing compares to the rich, profound flavor and fragrance of perfectly ripe strawberries. And since June’s full moon, which occurs tonight, is commonly called the Strawberry Moon, you can guess what’s been on the menu chez Lear. A couple of days ago, I greedily overbought at not one, but several farm stands, and a good […]

A SPRING LEEK GRATIN

In May, there are days when the sun beats down like summertime. And then there are days when the temperature hovers in the 50s, and mist turns into a drizzle so gradually you don’t even notice. Until you are soaked to the skin, that is, and chilled to the bone. I am not complaining for […]

I BRAKE FOR LOCAL ASPARAGUS

It looks like spring, smells like spring, feels like spring. And now that local farm stands are proudly displaying the first asparagus of the season, it really is spring. I busted loose at Latham’s, run by a family that has farmed this part of the North Fork of Long Island for generations. All that separates the sturdy […]

ASPARAGUS WITH PANCETTA AND PARM

In the realm of spring vegetables, asparagus is the cook’s greatest ally. It can be steamed, boiled, sautéed, stir-fried, roasted, or grilled. It comes elegantly thin or fat and juicy. It’s impressive on its own, as a first course; as a side to chicken, fish, ham, pork, or beef; or worked into pasta primavera, risotto, […]

POT-ROAST COD STARTS HERE

When: Saturday, May 25, at the start of the long Memorial Day weekend. Where: Whole Foods, Union Square. Eddy, my favorite man behind the meat counter, threw a doleful glance at his array of kebabs, steaks, and ribs. “It’s too cold and rainy to cook out,” he said. “So far, everybody’s been asking for meatloaf mix and […]

GARLIC CHIVES: A MARKET STORY

I cantered around the Union Square market on Saturday like I was warming up for the Preakness. I came to a screeching halt, though, at the tented tables staffed by Lani’s Farm, from south Jersey. Something smelled really, really good. Sure enough, I found Eugena Yoo (who manages the farm with her brother, Steve Yoo) behind […]

QUICK FIX: GLAZED CARROTS

There aren’t enough hours in the day or enough days in the week, it seems, but that’s life. What keeps things on track in the kitchen are things I can make quickly, with little effort yet a big payoff. The simmered asparagus I wrote about last week is one example, and another is glazed carrots. […]

FINALLY, ASPARAGUS: A MARKET STORY

I busted loose at the Union Square market this week. Lilacs. Crabapple blossoms. Buttercups, one of the world’s most joyful flowers. And the first local asparagus, which was mesmerizing. The California stuff I picked up at Easter was perfectly fine, but not in the same league at all. James Beard wrote about the first stalks […]

LINGUINE WITH NEW ZEALAND COCKLES

The little bivalve mollusks called cockles are found in sheltered estuaries and tidal flats throughout much of the world, and a flourishing cockle bed may be packed with more than a million of them to the acre. Most of those we see at American seafood markets are New Zealand cockles (Austrovenus stuchburyi; known to the […]