Hey there, EscapeMakers! Welcome to the very first edition of Plate & Escape! We are thrilled to share this new digital cooking series with you, which will aim to connect the dots between shopping locally, cooking seasonally, forming relationships with your local farmers, and ultimately taking a trip to see for yourself where your food comes from. Follow along as we shop for fresh ingredients from NYC Greenmarkets, cook and share simple and delicious recipes, and provide information on when / where/how to go visit these hard-working farmers and gorgeous farms in action!
We visited the Union Square (Friday) Greenmarket for the first Plate & Escape shopping excursion. October in the market is absolutely abundant! The produce is plentiful, juicy apples are everywhere you look, giant squash and pumpkins dot nearly every table, full bundles of greens are stacked high, the scent of warm apple cider fills the air…there’s just nothing like it! It’s impossible not to circle the market five times in order to decide just what to buy.
After a long walk through the market, I was completely inspired by the amazing ingredients at Migliorelli Farm and Lucky Dog Organic. From Migliorelli, I selected one giant fennel bulb ($2), a voluptuous bunch of dark green Lacinato kale ($2), and a fluffy bunch of fragrant dill ($2). From Lucky Dog, I scooped up about 2.5 lbs of an assortment of small rainbow colored potatoes: purple Magic Mollys, German Butterballs and Red Potatoes (all $2.50/lb). I spent less than $12 on the entirety of my shopping trip — an absolutely great deal for local, farm fresh, gorgeous produce!
Once I got home, it was time to cook! A very important step in cooking with farm fresh produce is a very thorough wash. Although farmers normally wash their own bounty before loading them onto trucks and into market, fresh can often times mean there is some remaining dirt and grit. I like to fill up a giant bowl with water and submerge my leafy greens completely in the bath. Let them soak for a few and the remaining dirt will sink to the bottom of the bowl. Then it’s straight into the salad spinner — let me tell you, this is the most useful kitchen gadget that exists if you’re working with farm fresh ingredients. Especially if you’re not using everything immediately, this is the best way to make sure your bounty is squeaky clean, but also dry enough to live a long fridge life. Items like potatoes can just be scrubbed under the faucet and dried with kitchen towels.
Once all the ingredients are washed and dried, preheat the oven to 375F and let the chopping begin. Chop the potatoes into bite size wedges – the smaller potatoes can be quartered, the larger ones cut into 6 or 8 pieces. Place all of the potatoes in a single layer on a sheet pan, toss with enough extra virgin olive oil to coat each piece (about 1/4 cup) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Take your washed and dried fennel bulb and remove the stalks/fennel fronds (reserve these for garnish!) and trim the base. Stand the fennel bulb up on its base and and cut 1/4″ slices all the way through. (My fennel bulb was enormous, so I only used 1/2, but feel free to use as much as you want!) Lay the slices out flat on a sheet pan, brush each with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place the pans of potatoes and fennel into the 375F oven and bake until browned for 35 minutes (turn the fennel once halfway through the cook time and give the potatoes and toss 1-2 times for maximum browning/crispy edges).
While your potatoes and fennel are baking, chop your kale. First, remove the woody stems. An easy way to chop kale neatly and efficiently is to stack the leaves on top of each other, roll them up into a large cigar shape, and chop into thin ribbons. Set aside 4 cups (store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for salads or smoothies later). Roughly chop about 1 cup of dill (I like a ton of dill, if you’re not a huge fan, feel free to scale back to 1/2 cup or so). Set aside. Now, it’s time to make the vinaigrette. In a mason jar, add the zest and juice of 1 lemon; add 1 clove of garlic, minced; add 1 tbsp of whole grain mustard; drizzle in about 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil; salt and pepper to taste. Put the lid on the jar and shake vigorously until all ingredients are emulsified.
Once the fennel and potatoes have cooled for 5-10 minutes, break apart the fennel into smaller bites (optional) and combine them with the potatoes into a large bowl. Add the chopped dill, kale, and pour in half of the vinaigrette. Toss the salad so everything is coated by the vinaigrette. If it is too dry for your liking, feel free to add more/the rest of the dressing. If you aren’t going to eat right away, you can wait to add the kale and dressing until you are ready to serve. However, the entire mixture will stay fresh (in an airtight container) for a few days in the fridge. Garnish with roughly chopped fennel fronds if you wish. ENJOY!
*scroll to the bottom for a printable recipe
So now that you’ve cooked your delicious meal from a variety of farm fresh ingredients, plan your escape to see right where these potatoes, kale bunches and fennel bulbs were grown!
The Lucky Dog Farm, store, cafe, and Hamden Inn Staying House are located in Hamden, NY in Delaware County. Lucky Dog is dedicated to providing high-quality, nutritious, organic produce, food, and fun for its immediate community and downstate neighbors both on the farm and in the store. The 160-acre organic farm produces a wide variety of certified organic crops, including lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, onions, blueberries, asparagus and small grains. Before settling on the banks of the West Branch of the Delaware River in 2000, Richard and Holley lived in Brooklyn. Richard was no stranger to farming and had managed large farms in East Mississippi and West Alabama in his earlier years. A visit to the Catskills turned into a move for them and Lucky Dog Farm was born. The store is next door to the farm in a circa 1870 general store building. You can find all kinds of fun stuff there including organic produce, groceries, baked goods, and even some antiques and vintage clothing.
TO VISIT: Plan a road trip through the beautiful fall foliage of the Hudson Valley and Catskills regions with ReachNow, a convenient car-sharing service from Brooklyn! Make a weekend out of it and pick one of the cozy B&Bs, country inns, or even farm stays in Delaware County within the Great Western Catskills. While you wait for your getaway to arrive, you can shop Lucky Dog’s delicious products at a GrowNYC Greenmarket near you or at Fulton Stall Market in the South Street Seaport.
Migliorelli Farm is a family-run fruit and vegetable farm located in Northern Dutchess County in the Hudson Valley Region of New York. Migliorelli Farm is committed to providing fresh fruit and produce that is exceptionally healthy and of the highest quality. It is their personal goal to deliver superior products at an affordable price. All of their produce is less than 24 hrs young from harvest to point of sale – the pride of the farm is to provide unsurpassed quality, flavor and freshness. Cooking greens, salad greens, root vegetables, legumes, squashes, corn, tomatoes, garlic, onions, melons, apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots…the list goes on. All picked fresh and brought straight to the marketplace each day. Plan a visit to the farm in Tivoli, NY and/or their bountiful farm stands in Rhinebeck, NY and Red Hook, NY.
TO VISIT: While you can always plan a quick road trip up to the Hudson Valley for a weekend getaway or even a day trip, it is super easy to get to Dutchess County car-free! Take AMTRAK to Rhinecliff; or take Metro-North Railroad to Poughkeepsie. You can explore the charming towns you land in and then take short cabs over to Migliorelli Farm/Farm Stands. Check out some of the quintessential Hudson Valley lodging options, farm fresh activities or craft beverage adventures to fill up the rest of your weekend. You can shop Migliorelli products at a GrowNYC Greenmarket near you!
ROASTED FENNEL & POTATO SALAD WITH LEMON MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE
For the vinaigrette:
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic glove, minced
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
For the salad:
2-3 lb potatoes (assortment of small potatoes, chopped)
1 medium fennel bulb, chopped in 1/4″ slices
4 cups kale, chopped into 1/2″ ribbons
1 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
approx. 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, separated
salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Place all of the potatoes in a single layer on a sheet pan, toss and coat completely with extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Lay the fennel slices out flat on a sheet pan, brush each with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place the pans of potatoes and fennel into the 375F oven and bake until browned – approx. 35 minutes (turn the fennel once halfway through the cook time and give the potatoes a toss 1-2 times for maximum browning/crispy edges).
- While the potatoes and fennel are baking, make your vinaigrette. In a mason jar, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper to taste. Put the lid on the jar and shake vigorously until all ingredients are emulsified.
- Once the fennel and potatoes have cooled for 5-10 minutes, break apart the fennel into smaller bites (optional) and combine them with the potatoes into a large bowl. Add the chopped dill, kale, and pour in half of the vinaigrette. Toss the salad so everything is coated by the vinaigrette. Feel free to add more dressing to your taste or reserve the rest for serving.