Blue Heron Local Cuisine

Cooking, Eating, and Drinking on the North Shore (and beyond)

A Tale of Sausage and Fairy Tale Eggplants September 18, 2008

Filed under: In Season,Recipe — blueheronlocal @ 2:02 pm
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So, you have fabulous artisan sausages from the farmer’s market – pork, portobello and asiago, or – our favorite at the Marblehead Farmer’s Market — lamb, red wine and feta sausage.

This is a special meat product – better sounding than scrapple (the Queen Mother of breakfast meats), a bit drier than pork sausages, juicy without being too greasy, and with the suggestion of feta cheese and wine.  And the little fuzzy sausage donors are raised in Vermont, where natural food was invented.

When I lived in Philly a decade ago, I used to go to fantastic markets and get really nice sausage; here’s a great way I learned to enhance the flavor and preserve the juices.  Sausage itself is a flavoring agent – the juices and even the glaze on a pan from browning them add vital meat essence to otherwise poisonously boring vegetarian sauces.

No Egret’s Beautiful Wine Sauce

3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 lb. sausage
1 cup decent Merlot or dry red wine (Spanish wines are really nice in this)
¼ cup (mixed) of fresh oregano, fresh basil, fresh rosemary
2 cloves of garlic
½  cup chopped heirloom tomatoes
½ cup chopped red peppers
8 oz. feta cheese or goat cheese
Your favorite Pasta

Lightly brown the sausage in the oil, and then add herbs and garlic (add more oil if necessary).  When it’s sizzling, deglaze with the wine and simmer for 10 minutes or so.  Then, add the feta (we used Israeli sheep’s milk feta from Trader Joe’s, because we forgot to buy local goat cheese from the goat cheese folks at the farmer’s market) and cut the heat.  Serve with raw tomatoes and peppers sprinkled overtop.  Serve with Pasta and fried fairytale eggplant.

 

Fried Fairytale Eggplant

 [Ed. note: Fairytale eggplant won the All-American Vegetable Selection in 2005. The last time an eggplant won that award was in 1939. You think I make these things up?]

Halve about 10 fairytale eggplant – the little light-purple ones – and coat in egg.  Roll in corn flour and fry until crisp and brown on each side.

 

-no egrets

(photos by Mike Martin)

 

The Beginning June 18, 2008

Filed under: Farmers market — blueheronlocal @ 2:33 pm
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Beet greens at market

(photo from Tinyfarmblog, thanks!)

 

I’m pleased to begin this blog with the first farmers’ market of the year in Marblehead, Massachusetts. I’m the person picking through shriveled apples in late November, trying to eke out my supply of fresh local vegetables for another week. One of the things I loved about living in Boston was the sheer number of farmers’ markets. It was City Hall on Monday and Wednesday; Copley Square on Tuesday and Friday, Thursday was Brookline, and Saturday was the farmers’ market in my very own JP. Sunday was the day to cook up all my lovely vegetables before I ventured out again to buy more. Now that I live on the North Shore I go to the farmers’ market on Saturday, but the quality of the Marblehead Farmers’ Market makes up for the fact that it only happens once a week.

 

The first farmer’s market of the season is always about greens. Back in the days I lived in North Carolina (sigh…the Carrboro Farmers Market was better than any Yankee market I have seen thus far….) greens season began in March. There would be collards, kale, mustard greens, arugula, red-leaf lettuce, beet greens, turnip greens, and watercress. The good folks of Marblehead have their greens in mid-June. I saw three kinds of lettuce, along with some spinach, and garlic snips, which are sprouts from the garlic bulb. They have a mild garlic flavor and taste very good sautéed in olive oil and served over fish (or anything else). I bought a cup of fair trade coffee to console myself for the lack of mustard greens. Our favorite Vermont cheese lady was there and we cheerfully stocked up on Cambridge cheese and the best lamb, rosemary, red wine, and feta sausages I have ever eaten.

 

Marblehead Farmers’ Market is open June 14 through October 25, 912. It is located at 217 Pleasant Street in Marblehead (take a dramatic 165-degree turn onto Vine Street just past the middle school to enter the middle school parking lot). Or just park in the shade across from the school on Pleasant Street.

 

-goldlentil