Jerusalem Artichoke: Beacon of Hope

Maggie and a J. Artichoke

Last fall when root vegetables were a-boomin’ I stumbled across a Jerusalem artichoke at the farmers’ market. It’s a charming little veg with a winning spunk that looks a bit like ginger root. I’d eaten Jerusalem artichokes in its cooked form, but never seen it in its raw and was delighted to get to take one home and experiment. IMG_7549As with my purple kohlrabi incident, I knew I wanted to try and cook with my newfound artichoke, but hadn’t any idea what. So after a comedy of errors in the peeling department, Ev and I simply sautéed it in a pan until it was soft.

IMG_7556We added a purple (!) pepper that we’d also found at the market with this stunning lime green interior. It was slightly more bitter than your average pepper, but beautiful and tasty nonetheless.

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Then we plopped our artichoke and pepper on a soft taco with greens. Probably not how nature intended, but a divine little treat nonetheless. The Jerusalem artichokes were heavenly and sweet. I might not be looking forward to root season returning, but I’ll keep this little reminder in my back pocket as a beacon of hope.IMG_7573 IMG_7575

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Montpellier Farmers Market

IMG_2200The local food movement in Vermont is impressively (almost oppressively) high-functioning. It is greatly inspirational and makes me really bitter with New York for not catching up… But we’ll get there. On a breezy Saturday morning Chelsea brought us to the Montpellier Farmers Market where we perused piles and piles of beautiful vegetables grown from Chelsea and Nate’s cohorts and neighbors.

IMG_0668 IMG_0664IMG_0673 IMG_0674 Additionally, there were buttery cheeses to try, sheepskins to rub ones face into, pierogi to nibble upon, and a dynamite green tea milkshake made with rice milk and Vermont maple syrup.IMG_0679 IMG_0682 IMG_0689

As well as the spectacular (and multitudinous) farmers markets, Chelsea and Nate also brought us to market-markets dedicated exclusively to local – often organic – produce, some beautiful local bakeries full of scrumptious treats, and inundated us with local beer and cheese – and not just Cabot (!), although Cabot definitely held its own.
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Way to be awesome, Vermont.

**And come on, NYC. We got this.**

 

The Dimpling of Dumplings

Dumplings

After a brilliant jaunt at the Union Square Farmers Market, Sam and Shosh took us back to their apartment to teach us how to make dumplings! We had all kinds of tasty veggies to work with from the market and we made a ridiculously hefty pile that we were encouraged to freeze for later. And for the sake of not looking like repulsive bingers, I’m going to pretend like we still have some left…

But we don’t.Evan Chop

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IMG_7316IMG_7319Dumpling WrapsFirst, Sam, Shosh and Evan chopped a crazy amount of vegetables. Then they decided on three different dumpling varieties:

  • Edamame, mushroom, and onion
  • Carrot, ginger, onion, and cilantro
  • Tofu, bok choy, scallions, and chives

Sam added whichever concoction to his dumpling presser, squeezed the sides together, and presto: dumplings! Well… kinda. That’s a vast simplification that hides just how long it took. For each flavor, we laid out dumpling wraps across a floured counter, twice. To do three flavors it really adds up, but since the longest part is the prep and set-up, it makes sense to do a huge batch and save leftovers.

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Since the wraps are made to resist sticking together, you need a flour/water paste to use as a glue so they stay closed after pressing. It all becomes a bit of a factory line operation, with one person gluing, one person stuffing, and one person pressing (giving dumplings little dimples). But once the process is going it’s just a matter of sticking it through to the end.

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Sam Dumples 2

IMG_7423 Sam and Shosh

Then we pan-fried them in olive oil while preparing a few dipping sauces:

  • mega-lime, cilantro, and honey
  • peanut sauce
  • mango chutney
  • and hoisin sauce
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And then we ate. A lot.

Bruehl Shosh Loves Dumplings MBT2

Obviously, as evidenced from the giant man on the floor, it was an exhausting procedure. But I can tell you a week later, having just eaten the next and final serving, it was well worth it.And done

Tomato Season!

Lest we should ever forget Annette Bening’s famous Kids Are All Right rant about heirloom tomatoes: “I just can’t.  With fucking hemp milk and the organic farming and if I hear one more person say they love heirloom tomatoes, I’m going to fucking kill myself, okay? And did you know that we’re composting now? Oh yeah. Oh no, don’t throw that in the trash. You have to put it in the composting bin where all of the beautiful worms will turn it into this organic mulch and then we’ll all feel good about ourselves.”

Well, sorry Annette. I flipping love heirloom tomatoes. (And you.)

It is officially tomato season! And what better way to start the celebration off then by visiting the farmer’s market and surveying the lumpy, bumpy, freaky-deakies and bringing them on a picnic with us for lunch?

Tomato Picnic Lunch

Paired with Humboldt Fog cheese, a scrumptious rye, and some mesclun with balsamic, tomato has never shone so bright.

Heirloom Tomato Insides

And in related news, our own window garden granted us our very first ripe cherry tomato this week! It’s of the less-bumpy variety, but just as juicy and just as quirky. Next year, we’ll give heirlooms a try.

(You’ll live, Annette.)