Borough Hall’s Tuesday Market

A few stands sprouted at Borough Hall’s Tuesday market today. (Supposedly, it’s open all year, just like the Thursday and Saturday ones, but finding any during the cold months was like searching for urban morels.)

More precisely, there was three sprouts: Wilklow Farm (Highland NY) with cider, baked goods and some of the last apples of the season (hopefully the last, they are getting mealy) and Baker’s Bounty (Linden, NJ) with their usual array of breads, muffins, pastries, knishes and stromboli. The final stand was decked out with spring flowers, both potted and cut. Hiding behind the blossoms were basic veggies: onions, leeks, a motley of potatoes, butternut squash, carrots and other root vegetables. (Tip: The freshest spinach is under the table, hiding from the sun.) For $14, I snagged enough veggies to get us through the next week. Borough Hall, no matter the day of the week, operates sans protein and dairy providers, but I am hopeful that the pretzel man, the mushroom gurus and other veggie jugglers will rejoin the weekday markets soon.

For a dinner side dish, I made a puree with my turnips. The below recipe would work just as well with parsnip or celery root, too. It is good with roast… anything. Or for a major contrast, try it with the vegetarian beet entrée below.

Porcini-Turnip Puree

Serves two as a side dish

2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into rough ¾ inch piece
~ 0.3 oz dried porcini
3 cloves of garlic, cut into thirds
broth to cover; about 2 cups (I used a mix of chicken and the portabella I made here.)

4 Tbs heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
top with chopped parsley (optional)

Boil vegetables in broth until very tender, allowing the majority of the liquid to reduce. Blend or puree. Stir in cream and seasonings. Allow to simmer out liquid, stirring frequently, until reaches desired consistency.

Alternatively, for a soul-satisfying soup, add a cup broth or water. Either way, serve hot.

Beet, It’s What for Dinner

Serves two

2 large red beets

2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, cut in long strips
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
2/3 cups shelled broken walnuts
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
1/2 cup fresh marjoram leaves*

Set oven at 350 degrees.

Boil whole beets for about 35 minutes, until easily sliceable with a knife. Remove from water and cool at room temperature. Peel, quarter and slice ¼ inch wide. Set aside.

Spread walnuts on sprayed pan. Place in oven, for ten minutes or until browned. Set aside.

Sauté onions in oil. When slightly softened, add garlic. Sauté thirty seconds. Add beets. Cook until beets reach desired softness, stirring often. ( I prefer slightly chewier then al dente, about 20 minutes.) Add walnuts. Heat through. Turn off heat. Toss with vinegar and marjoram. Serve with a salty puree.

*It was Deborah Madison who turned me on to the beet/marjoram combo. Boy, was she right!

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