Saturday, July 3, 2010

Farmer's Market Haul, 7/3/10

Super-big midsummer haul!

yellow crookneck squash
squash blossoms
red carrots
lemon cucumbers
maroon snap peas
flat-leafed parsley
bush basil
Rocambole garlic (with attached scape!)

black currants
golden raspberries
Tristar strawberries

milk from Milk Thistle Farm
yogurt from Milk Thistle Farm
butter from Ronnybrook Farm
mozzarella from Tonjes Farm
eggs from Flying Pig Farm
hot Italian sausage from Grazin' Angus Acres (for July 4th, just doing our patriotic duty!)
goldenrod honey from Tremblay apiaries

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday cat blogging, true love edition


 This is still Oscar's favorite rug, even when it's rolled up to make way for a little house cleaning.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thursday: It's been so long, beans


Long beans cooked with mustard seeds and red pepper, served with toor dal and basmati rice.

It's been quite a while since long beans last appeared on the blog - but it'd be more often if we could find them more frequently!  These relatives of black-eyed peas have a deep, delicious flavor with less of the harsh greennness of green string beans, and have an almost dry but chewy texture.  In this recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East, they were flavored with asafoetida, mustard seeds, cumin, toasted urad dal, dried red chilies and cayenne pepper, and at the end of cooking we added grated coconut.  If you have those ingredients on hand, you could try this preparation with normal green beans too.  We really loved this dish.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 7/1/10

Today Lizz picked up yellow sweet cherries from the Columbia greenmarket.  (Not Queen Anne cherries, the ones that are bright yellow with blush-red patches - these are a different variety which are a solid, slightly translucent light yellow.)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday: Trouts and tarts

Rainbow trout baked with fennel, carrot and sweet peppers.

We improvised this bake to take advantage of the sweet, fatty flavor of upstate rainbow trout, which bears some resemblance to salmon.  (On the basis of that resemblance, we also added a generous amount of dill.)  We sauteed the vegetables with some onion before layering them over the fish in a casserole, and then baked it at 350F for about fifteen minutes.  We probably could have gotten away with a minute or two less - but this all depends on the size of the fish.

We also had a special dessert tonight: a red currant tart, cooked in the brand new ramekins we acquired thanks to Giselle's end-of-law-school Westlaw Points redemption extravaganza.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/30/10

Today's supplement, from the Union Square Wednesday greenmarket: eggs, three whole rainbow trout, sweet yellow and purple peppers, green and purple long beans (!), red raspberries, black raspberries, and red sweet cherries.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday: Spaghetti alla carbonara....sort of

"Spaghetti alla carbonara" with summer squash.

This recipe, from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, substitutes summer squash and an onion for the bacon or pancetta that gives spaghetti alla carbonara its artery-clogging goodness. Never fear, cholesterol lovers: this recipe still calls for some eggs and Parmesan, so we trust it's not TOO healthy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday: Re-Roti


Warm black-eyed pea and golden chard salad, served with roti.

Elizabeth Schneider's Vegetables: From Amaranth to Zucchini attributes this recipe to Cyprus.  Chard leaves and stems are just simmered briefly and tossed with black-eyed peas, lemon juice, and olive oil.  We were enamored of the roti we made on Friday (why haven't we made it in so long??) so we made another short stack.  Roti is really not that hard:


Put 1 cup whole wheat flour into a bowl, and slowly add up to 1/2 cup water, mixing until the dough adheres and you can knead it.  Knead 7-8 minutes.  Then roll into a ball, put it back in the bowl, and cover with a damp cloth.  Leave it there for 1/2 hour to 3 hours.

Put a cast iron skillet on a medium flame to let it heat up.  Meanwhile, knead the dough again and then divide it into eight balls.  Roll each one out on a floured board until it's about five inches in diameter (it should be pretty thin).  Then place each roti directly on the skillet and within about 30 seconds it should start to puff up.  If this doesn't happen, the griddle probably isn't hot enough yet.  Flip the roti and let the other side cook about 30 seconds again.  Remove and gorge.

PS: this recipe, from Madhur Jaffrey's Invitation to Indian Cooking, is technically for "chapati."  But that is apparently the same as roti.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/26/10

golden chard
Treviso radicchio
Rocambole garlic

sweet cherries
black raspberries
purple gooseberries
red currants

milk from Milk Thistle Farm
chocolate milk from Milk Thistle Farm

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday: Caldo Verde


Caldo verde, made with lamb's quarters.

"Caldo verde" is a Goan, Portuguese-influenced dish, which calls for kale along with the potatoes, but here we substituted lamb's quarters instead.  You basically simmer the vegetables together for a long time and then puree - the only seasoning is onion and a huge amount of garlic.  It had a very thick, viscous texture because of the starch of the new potatoes.

We also made fresh roti - an unleavened flat bread, cooked on a cast-iron skillet - as an accompaniment.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday: Barley salad

Pearl barley salad with summer squash and almonds.

This tasty grain salad actually included two types of summer squash: some left-over Cousas, as well as the shiny green "avocado" squash.  You can see the distinctly yellow flesh of the avocado squash in the picture above.  Up until now, we had really only used barley in soups, but we thought its chewy texture was nice here punctuated by crunchy red onions and toasted almonds.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/24/10

Today's supplement from the Columbia greenmarket: fava beans, "avocado" (or "Korean") squash, whole wheat sourdough bread from Buon Pane, milk and yogurt from Ronnybrook Farm, red sweet cherries and blueberries.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday: "Snow" peas?? In the middle of June? Take that, Al Gore!


 Stir-fry of purple snow peas, carrots, crimini mushroom and tofu, served over rice.

If you have vegetable odds and ends on hand, a stir fry is usually within reach.  We actually bought these beautiful purple snow peas in contemplation of a stir fry, so we picked up some mushrooms as well.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday: Summer squash for a summer night

Yogurt with cousa squash.

In this World of the East recipe, Madhur Jaffrey directs you to cook shredded summer squash with onion and mustard seeds, and then stir the mixture into yogurt.  It's a bit like a large raita or a yogurt and cucumber soup - appropriate for a very hot day.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday: Simmered flounder and kohlrabi

Simmered flounder with sauteed kohlrabi shreds and white rice.

This fish recipe comes from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, although it was intended for a whole fish rather than a fillet.  Garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and vinegar are brought to boil in a shallow skillet, then lowered to a simmer and the fish is added and cooked for ten minutes.  For the simplicity of the recipe, we actually thought this fish turned out beautifully - simmering on only one side of the fillet produced a pleasant "crust" of strong flavor.  The shredded kohlabi was just sauteed with a little ginger to serve as a crunchy foil.  It would probably have been a bit plain on its own, but it went well with the strongly sesame-flavored fish.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/20/10

A small supplement from the Columbia greenmarket: flounder from Pura Vida, strawberries, and purple kohlrabi.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday lunch: Saag story

Saag and hulled moong dal, served with basmati rice.
We're a little shocked that we haven't made saag for an entire year, since it's a classic and one of our favorite comfort foods.  It can take many forms: made with spinach (as we did here) or some other local greens; pureed or merely cooked down to a soft texture; studded with paneer, meat, or something more unconventional, like tofu.  This spinach had a particularly deep, rich flavor - it seemed to be a different variety than the usual one you find in salad mixes, as it had slightly lance-shaped, angular leaves.
Dessert was this beautiful bowl of black raspberries (not the same as blackberries), which are so soft and easily ruined in transit that they are hard to find in grocery stores, but are widely available at the farmer's market during this season:

Farmer's Market Haul, 6/19/10

lamb's quarters
red snow peas
new potatoes
multicolored carrots
Cousa squash
crimini mushrooms

black raspberries
Queen Anne cherries

milk from Milk Thistle Farm
yogurt from Milk Thistle Farm
Russian Olive honey (apparently similar in taste to Tupelo honey, which is only made in Georgia and Florida)
more beeswax lip balm (good stuff!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/17/10

From the Columbia greenmarket: spinach, shelling peas, and cherries.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday: Twist and trout


Puntarella salad with smoked trout and lemon juice, served over quinoa.

We spiced up our normal puntarella salad by substituting smoked trout for the usual anchovy.  This truly delicious trout from Max Creek Hatchery comes in the form of a whole fish, which can be flaked into a salad or eaten over toast.  We highly recommend it to our New York readers.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday: Mind your p(ea shoot)s and q(uiche)s


Pea shoot quiche.

You can make a quiche approximate a balanced meal by adding in a generous quantity of greens, as we did here.  You may want to precook any greens that will release liquid, so that they don't change the baking time.  Same goes for frittatas.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/9/10

Mini-supplement from Union Square Wednesday: cherries, eggs, and one packaged whole smoked trout from Max Creek Hatchery.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday: Gingery watercress-topped tofu


Gingery wild watercress-topped tofu.

This recipe comes from Elizabeth Schneider's Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini:  we simmered tofu slices in a mixture of dashi, soy sauce and sesame oil, and then set the tofu aside.  The cresses were tossed in a bowl with cornstarch and a little sugar, and then added to a skillet in which we had already fried ginger and scallion.  Finally we added the stock back in and allowed it to thicken, adding sesame seeds as a final touch.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday: Pea is for porgy


Pan-fried porgy, served with peas with mint.  

Fresh shelling peas are a refreshing treat at this time of year - they don't need much other than a very brief saute in butter, and here we added some fresh spearmint and a little sugar to play up their sweetness.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/6/10

Supplement from the Columbia market: porgy from Pura Vida Fisheries.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Saturday: The other "C" word

Delfino cilantro pesto.

As we mentioned previously, we recently learned that the original pesto may in fact have been cilantro rather than basil.  When we picked up this lacy varietal of cilantro, we decided we'd try taking pesto back to its roots.

Otherwise, this is just a standard pesto with Parmesan, garlic, walnuts and a generous amount of olive oil.  Despite her cilantrophobia, Lizz gave this dish her seal of approval.

Farmer's Market Haul, 6/5/10

pea shoots
Delfino cilantro
kentucky spearmint
garlic scapes


milk and yogurt from Milk Thistle Farm

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday: An oldie but a goodie

Cucumber-purslane salad with chickpeas and pink radish. 
This is our first purslane of the season - we like to make this cool salad with it, dressed in some lemon juice and olive oil.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/4/10

From the Union Square market: wild watercress, shelling peas, and San Francisco sourdough bread.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursday: Jackson Pollock soup

Chilled sorrel and spinach soup (with a little drizzled yogurt).

For this recipe, the greens are simmered together for about five minutes:

The sorrel turned a pretty olive-green color after a few minutes in the pot.

When the greens are soft, they are pureed.  Finally, the soup is reheated and thickened with a little cornstarch, and flavored with some nutmeg, lemon juice and a little zest.  As you can see above, we "decoratively" drizzled in a bit of yogurt to serve.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 6/3/10

Today's supplement: spinach, purslane, "burpless" cucumbers, eggs and cheddar cheese from Millport Dairy, milk and yogurt from Ronnybrook Farm, and strawberries.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wednesday: Udon and fishballs


Sardine "meatball" soup with pink Asian radish, mibuna and udon noodles.

We found this recipe for a noodle soup with mibuna, which is apparently a characteristic vegetable of Kyoto, Japan.  The meatballs are made of chopped sardine (we used tinned, but fresh would probably have produced a better texture), flour, miso paste and ginger.  The vegetables are simmered in a dashi broth, and then the "meatballs" are added and simmered until they are warmed through.  The soup broth is finally flavored with a bit more miso.

Dashi is one of the basic ingredients in Japanese cuisine - it is a stock made of simmered seaweed and bonito fish flakes.  We purchased an "instant" dried dashi powder to save a little labor, but one of these days we should probably invest in the real ingredients.  For what it's worth, we had been making miso soup for years with just miso paste added to the water, and it REALLY is better with the dashi.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday: Springtime standard

Roasted asparagus with a white bean salad with almond, scallions and dill.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Farmer's Market Haul, 5/29/10

long pink Asian radishes

sweet cherries!

milk and yogurt from Milk Thistle Farm
buttermilk from Tonjes Farm Dairy
"Rambler" aged farmstead cheese from Tonjes Farm Dairy
whole wheat levain bread

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday: Left behind

Fried rice with bok choy, garlic chives and pink radishes.

Lizz was out of town for her college reunion, so I threw together an easy dinner which had the bonus of using up leftover rice: a quick stir-fry of day-old rice and fresh veggies, with a beaten egg mixed in to transform it into fried rice.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/26/10

On the way home from bar review, just picked up a bunch of bok choy from the Union Square Wednesday market.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday: A frittata for Caitlin (in spirit)

Broccoli rabe frittata.
We quickly blanched the broccoli rabe for this recipe before mixing it into the eggs and cheese and putting it in to bake.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/24/10

A little supplement from the Union Square Monday greenmarket:  green garlic, strawberries, and organic spelt bread from Bread Alone.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday: Tentacle tagine

Squid and chickpea tagine, served over couscous.

We modified this recipe from Paul Johnson's Fish Forever.  This was our first experience cooking squid at home, and we have deemed it a success.  Squid is tricky - it has a tendency to get too tough and chewy, because the proteins in the tissue can form tight bonds when it's cooked.  To compensate, Paul Johnson says you must either cook it extremely briefly over high heat (so that the tissue doesn't have enough time to toughen up) or for a very long time over low heat (so that it tightens, but then becomes soft again over a long period of cooking). 

This tagine, a North African stew, employs the second method, allowing the chopped squid to simmer until it is tender and has picked up the flavor of the spices in the tomato broth.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/23/10

Supplement from the Columbia market: red radishes, milk and yogurt from Milk Thistle Farm, eggs, sun cheese from Raindance Farm, and cleaned squid.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Farmer's Market Haul, 5/22/10

garlic chives
broccoli rabe
yellow potatoes
mixed lettuce
lamb's quarters

trefoil honey
beeswax lip balm (!  from the honey place, of course.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday: Cold cuke salad

Cucumber-dill-yogurt salad.

This was our improvised cool dinner for a rather hot evening.  We ate it with some crusty bread and Pawlet cheese, and followed up with strawberries.  It's quite similar to this soup, except we didn't bother with marination and didn't add quite as much liquid.

These "burpless" cucumbers had a funny gradient-like coloration.

Friday cat blogging, baghab edition

Oscar finally kicked the box habit, but sadly now he's into bags.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday: Asparagus pasta

Whole-wheat pasta with purple asparagus and Parmesan, tossed with lemon. 

After many weeks of being foiled by the early-morning greenmarket shoppers, we finally got our hands on some beautiful purple asparagus.

yes, asparagus too can be purple.

Elizabeth Schneider, in her Vegetable Book, claims that she has found purple asparagus to be uniformly good, and indeed we thought this bunch was particularly sweet and tasty.  It was good in this pasta, but if you happen to get your hands on some we recommend that you just roast it and eat it plain in order to experience its full flavor.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/20/10

Today's supplement: just milk from Ronnybrook Farm.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday: Yet another vegetable that can be purple, continued

Stir-fry of purple bok choy, tofu, and roasted cashews.

Bok choy (which you may also encounter as "pak choi" or other variations thereof) is yet another member of the illustrious brassica dynasty.  We think all the brassica go well with cashews, so we roasted a few and threw them in to this improvised stir-fry, which was also flavored with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. 

We couldn't let these particular bok choy go because they were purple:

We had never encountered this color before.  Like many purple veggies, these leaves shed their color into the dish during cooking.  As you can see up top, the tofu ended up a little worse (or maybe just weirder) for the wear. 

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/19/10

Today's supplement, from the Wednesday Union Square market: purple asparagus and purple bok choy, strawberries, and eggs.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday: Tamago

Tamago (Japanese sweet omelet) with mizuna in sesame oil and soba noodles.

Mizuna is a type of mustard green which originated in China, but is most commonly found in Japanese cuisine.  Smaller leaves can be eaten raw, but large mizuna benefits from cooking, and - like other mustards - can stand up to braising or boiling.  We boiled this mizuna until tender, chopped it fine, and then tossed it with some good sesame oil and soy sauce to taste.

Tamago (just the Japanese word for egg) may be well-known to you as a type of nigiri sushi, but it also does well on its own.  We followed this recipe and it turned out delicious and light.  Don't be intimidated if you don't have a "tamago pan" - we just used a standard frying pan.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday: Skating along

Skate with brown butter, served with roasted asparagus and couscous.

A skate is a type of ray, and the cut seen here is skate fin.  It's sometimes sold with the cartilage layer still included, but this fillet had been cleaned for us by the good folks at Pura Vida Fisheries.  In this recipe we poached the fish in wine vinegar and water, and topped with with crushed capers and brown butter.  (Brown butter is just butter that is heated until it darkens.)  The skate was interesting - its texture was more like that of lobster than a normal fish.  It was a little rich...though of course that could be because we poured butter all over it.

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/17/10

Big supplement today at the Monday Union Square market...

green garlic


organic whole wheat sourdough bread
local apple cider vinegar (the first time we've seen this!)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/16/10

Just a mini-supplement from the Columbia greenmarket today: skate wing from Pura Vida Fisheries and milk and yogurt from Milk Thistle Farm.

Sunday: Radical radishes

Braised heirloom radishes with moong dal on basmati rice.

These mixed heirloom radishes were too pretty not to buy: the bunch contained red, purple, pink and white small radishes, plus a few that were light brown and had a rough texture, like a "golden russet" apple.  We didn't realize until now that radishes are actually a spring vegetable.  To tone down their spiciness, we braised the radishes along with their tops, which were in good shape.  Balsamic vinegar is not a traditional Indian ingredient but this still worked well as a vegetable dish to pair with moong dal.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday: Re-pesto

Sorrel-garlic chive pesto.

We've been making a lot of pestos, including one with sorrel, but this was another nice variation: we threw in garlic chives, instead of garlic or ramps.  As part of our pesto experimentation, we've just been substituting whatever allium we happened to have around the house for the standard garlic cloves.  So far they've all passed muster.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday: Emptying the winter larders

Braised celery root with chickpeas, almonds and saffron, served on basmati rice.

We supplemented this recipe with almonds, which we thought would pair well with the somewhat Mediterranean flavors of chickpea and saffron.  The saffron dyed everything a warm yellow.  These knobs of celeriac were some of our last overwintered vegetables.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday: Tap that bass

Black sea bass fillets braised with olive and lemon, served with roasted asparagus and brown rice.

This recipe comes from Paul Johnson's Fish Forever.  Like the Vegetable Book, it's both a comprehensive reference and a reliable recipe source.  We absolutely loved this dish, in which this very strongly-flavored fish is balanced by the acidic lemons and the salty bite of olives.  This is definitely one to make again.

As you can see, asparagus season is now in full swing, and we will be taking advantage of it while we can!

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/9/10

Today's supplement: milk and yogurt from Milk Thistle Farm, spelt bread, and black sea bass fillets from Pura Vida.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Farmer's Market Haul, 5/8/10

Lizz had an event today, so I did the marketing solo this morning.  For a change, I decided to hit up the Abington Square market, not too far from Union Square, which is where Bodhitree Farm goes on Saturdays.  If I keep following them around like this, I think they might begin suspecting that I'm a farm groupie.

garlic chives
mixed heirloom radishes

strawberries!!  (first of the year!)

eggs from Bodhitree Farm
Pawlet cow's milk cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday: Mac and cheese, Esq.

Friday cat blogging, affirmation edition

Oscar has finally found a bag that encapsulates his philosophy.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday: Beet + goat cheese + X = tasty

Salad of beets, goat cheese, and wilted chickweed, served on quinoa.

We improvised this second use for chickweed: a simple sautee in olive oil with some garlic, to which we added pre-roasted beets.  We also crumbled in some goat cheese.  Beet + goat cheese + greens is a pretty standard combination which is easy to change up by throwing in seasonal foraged greens.

For leftovers the next day, we actually supplemented this dish with some sauteed left-over wild arugula we hadn't used yet. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday: Kinpira redux

Carrot-burdock kinpira with pan-fried tofu and rice.

Kinpira has already appeared on the blog: we're officially on the market for another burdock recipe, though this one is pretty great. 

In other burdock-related news, we were walking through the park the other day and realized that a few plants looked strangely familiar.  In fact, they looked just like the burdock tops we cooked recently.  As it turns out, burdock is growing all over the park!  We found several first-year plants, with their smaller, edible leaves, as well as a few second-year plants, which send up a huge stem and grow flowers and burrs.  One of them is about our height. 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday: Escarole soup

White bean and escarole soup. 

We weren't quite sure what to do with escarole, but vegetable soups like this one are pretty foolproof.  Escarole, a type of chicory (which puts it in the daisy family), stands up well to braising or being thrown into soups.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday: Dinosaur food

 Baked monkfish with chive-topped boiled fiddlehead ferns and wild rice.

Fiddleheads are the curled-up young form of the ostrich fern.  In other countries, some other types of ferns are used as well, but apparently some of them are a little toxic.  There is just a brief window each year in which fiddleheads are available, so they are a special treat.  We thought they smelled very similar to asparagus, but the texture is a little firmer and they have their own unique taste.

The monkfish was dredged in flour and herbs, then browned in a pan, after which we added some stock and put the whole thing into the oven to bake.  Monkfish has an interesting lobster-like moist texture.

eating ferns makes you feel like a dinosaur

Farmer's Market Supplement, 5/2/10

all-blue potatoes (overwintered)


monkfish fillets from Pura Vida Fisheries
Doolan goat cheese from Ardith Mae Farm

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saturday lunch: Sprout sandwich

Sandwich of sheep's milk cheese and mixed sprouts on sourdough bread.

These sprouts were very interesting. The buckwheat sprouts are the ones with bright pink stems - which isn't too surprising, considering that they're related to rhubarb (as well as sorrel, which shares its relatives' sour flavor). The darker purple sprouts were radish, and there may have been some pea shoots and other greens sprinkled throughout.

Farmer's Market Haul, 5/1/10

stinging nettles
wild arugula
mixed sprouts (buckwheat, radish, baby mustard, etc.)

milk and yogurt from Milk Thistle Farm
San Francisco sourdough from Our Daily Bread
Oldwick Shepherd sheep's milk cheese from Valley Shepherd Creamery

Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday: Springtime feast

Sauteed pom pom mushroom and roasted asparagus over couscous.

"Pom pom" mushrooms, technically the hericium species, are a cultivated variety also known as bear's head or Pompon Blanc. These little creatures are truly bizarre: instead of having gills like many other mushrooms, they are spongy globes covered all over with a layer of downy "fingers," giving them a texture (and capacity for absorption) reminiscent of terrycloth:

Roving herd of pom poms

The mushroom man advised us that the pom pom's flavor is similar to that of lobster or other shellfish, and that they're substitutable for the fish in seafood recipes. We elected to do a simple sautee in butter for our first try. Our only advice after our first pom pom experience: don't rinse them first. We did, and they seemed to remain a little waterlogged even after we tried to drain them.

We'd be remiss if we didn't also mention that this was our first asparagus of the year! One of our favorite treatments for asparagus is a simple roasting in the oven at 450F with a little olive oil and salt. If they're good quality and fresh, that's really all they need.

For dessert, in keeping with the springtime theme we cooked up a little stewed rhubarb:

I'm melting! What a world, what a world...

We just sliced it thinly and then simmered with a very small amount of water and a good amount of sugar. It was tasty on yogurt, though some worthy alternate serving suggestions are to use it as a topping for pancakes, crepes or ice cream...