Back at the market at last. I missed my semi-regular Sunday morning ritual of going to the Dupont Market. During spring and summer, I focus on markets which are closer to me, but when they close for the season, Dupont is where I head to. The market has a good vibe-a kind of energy where food and people come together and create something so rustic right in the heart of the city.
At Next Step Produce, I bought a large bunch of cardoons. I’ve only eaten them once, at Vermillion. I believe it was a gratin dish, and I loved it. I found a recipe for cardoon soup from Mario Batalli, and set out to make it. After prepping, chopping and simmering the cardoons in salted water for about 30 minutes, I decided to check them for taste and tenderness before I went ahead with making the recipe.
They were, in a word, bitter. Perhaps I should have soaked them for a couple hours beforehand. Conquering cardoons would have to wait for another day. Undeterred and still in the mood for soup, I dug out a large bag of frozen broccoli from my freezer, some scallion and cheddar cheese and made a broccoli cheddar soup, served up with sourdough bread that I purchased from Atwater Bakery. Man, that is good bread!
Success with a market salad
While making the soup, I threw a couple beets in the oven to roast and made a simple vinaigrette for a salad. Here’s the recipe for this market salad that truly tasted fresh and wonderful. The beets (New Morning Farm) were earthy, the Allegheny chevre from Firefly Farm was slightly piquant, the cress (Next Step Produce) was peppery and the vinaigrette had a slight licorice taste that went well with the cheese.
Roasted Golden Beet, Chevre and Cress Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette
Serves 4 generously
2 golden beets
1 bunch cress, washed and dried (arugula would also work well in this salad)
1 log fresh chevre
2 Tablespoons champagne vinegar
6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
5-6 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon dried tarragon, or 1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped fine
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash beets and dry thoroughly. Place beets on foil and/or parchment paper (I wrapped them in parchment, followed by foil) that has been placed on a baking sheet. Drizzle beets with olive oil and coat completely. Generously salt beets with kosher salt. Wrap beets and roast in the oven for 1 hour. Allow to cook and cut top and bottom of beets. Peel skin and chop beets into small cubes.
For vinaigrette, use a bowl and whisk. Pour vinegar in bowl, along with a pinch of kosher salt, several grinds of pepper, mustard, tarragon and honey. Whisk to combine. Continue whisking and stream in olive oil. Check for seasoning.
To assemble salad, lightly dress the cress. Plate cress and top with 2-3 slices of chevre and beets. Drizzle additional vinaigrette on the plate. I like to add a small pinch of good salt crystals and a bit of ground pepper just before serving.
Enjoy the photos, and until the next At The Market, eat and buy local when you can.