Friday, April 2, 2010

Farmers Market Brunch

I'm a big proponent of making brunch at home. Even though going out for brunch is a New York City thang, it's an activity I rarely indulge in. Somehow I've faithfully kept up the routine of shopping at my local farmer's market nearly every Saturday, going on three years now. When you have access to eggs and other farm fresh ingredients that shine in simple breakfast preparations at home, it's hard to see the value in spending more at a restaurant.

Since Jay is also enamored with our nearest Greenmarket, I thought it would be fun to get together for a brunch of foodstuffs bought from farmers that morning, and our schedules finally coincided last weekend for an afternoon of eating, drinking, dog carousing, and Brooklyn story swapping.

What can you feast on from early spring farmers market fare? Fresh young vegetables had not yet made an appearance (though I've since heard rumors of ramps), but there were still trusty hearty vegetables on offer that have made it through the winter in storage. I prepared home fries from local potatoes sliced thinly, chopped into small pieces, and cooked in a thin layer of oil in a hot skillet until browned. My no-knead bread didn't have enough time to rise, so I bought a sourdough wheat boule at the market instead, to toast and top with Lynnhaven goat cheese and scrambled local eggs and leeks. I followed Molly's recipe for leek confit, but I think I could have saved myself some effort and just sauteed the leeks. Jay was a trooper and shucked a zillion oysters for us to enjoy. These bivalves plucked from the waters off Long Island tasted salty like the sea, like oysters should.

The drinks were not so local, but sourced somewhat sustainably: bloody marys with our micro-distilled vodka of choice, Tito's Handmade Vodka and organic tomato juice; and well as very strong sparkling screwdrivers of vodka, fresh squeezed organic orange juice, and soda.

Finally, there were gluten-free beet brownies for dessert, using local beets, honey, and eggs. I have been experimenting with the right recipe - the first try was too intensely chocolately and the second too overcooked and dry (sorry!). Hopefully the third time will be the charm, and I will have an amazing indulgence to share with you soon.

One of my greatest joys in life is entertaining, and sadly, I haven't done enough of it in this apartment. I feel bad subjecting guests to the chaos of 150 pounds of overly excited canines. So thank you to Jay and D for braving the dogs. It's given me the determination to forge ahead with plans for many more parties and barbeques now that spring is here.


  1. It's great that you're eating as locally as possible! We have begun a similar quest lately in Bloomington, IN. We've always bought mainly organic food at the local co-op, but with the recent realization that every time we buy something that's been pre-packaged and shipped thousands of miles, we're contributing to the environment's demise, we've been more conscious about what we buy at the co-op. I've even given up fresh tomatoes for the time being because they're all being shipped here from Mexico or elsewhere in Latin America. In fact, most of what you'll find in the produce section of any grocery store is shipped from another country. I just have to wonder how the produce can last so long, especially when it's organic! Farmers' Market has become so important to us for this very reason!

  2. Mmmmm. Ramps are local cuisine for me. We actually go out into the woods and dig them fresh at this time of year. And, oh my, are they good with scrambled eggs. It's so funny to see people all over the place using ramps now. Used to, folks would come in here on vacation and see all the signs for ramps (laying out in the beds of pickup trucks for sale) and ask what the heck they were. Now everyone knows!

  3. so lovely! the brownies look amazing, and i have to admit that I'm not really a brownie girl!

  4. So silly! Those brownies weren't too dry at all, although after two huge heapings of everything else, I couldn't even finish one because I was so stuffed.

    It was such a treat to come over!! Thank you so much again!

  5. Brunch oysters! So fancy! Everything looks awesome and I LOVE making brunch at home too.

  6. Nom nom, brunch. My favourite meal! Definitely best had at home, where the coffee/tea is neverending, and you can spill whatever you like down the Sunday paper.

    Only exception I can think of is this place at home (Trinidad) that does a mostly local, all-out bonanza. Oh, the delights of brunch.

    And dude, those brownies look awesome.

  7. Juliana - that's great that you're taking such an interest in local eating. it's hard giving up fresh tomatoes, but you'll enjoy them all the more come july and august.

    Miz.November - ooh have fun digging ramps! they are all the rage here in nyc farmers markets. and they really are best in scrambled eggs.

    Jay - okay phew glad it wasn't a total brownie fail.

  8. beautifully done. and gluten free beet brownies? or did you mean gluten bee feet brownies? i may be in love with you.

  9. i looove the farmer's market. that top breakfast looks amazing.

  10. I love the farmer's market, I've been trying to eat more locally and sustainably, it's hard works sometimes but it feels great!

    Love your blog!