Yesterday I woke up in a world covered with a dusting of snow and the promise of more (lots more!) to come. And yet, despite the chill and the barren view of leafless trees and grey skies from the window, I decided it was a farmer's market kind of morning. Well, I think every morning is a farmer's market morning but only on Sunday am I allowed the privilege of going.
So I bundled up and set off towards Dupont Circle. There was a cheerful hustle and bustle as market-goers rifled through bins of beets, turnips, apples and winter greens. The mushroom lady was there in her a cave of a tent filled with mysterious fungi. The flower sellers were there with big buckets of lilies with unopened buds, and Ranunculus, which look like wild, romantic peonies. The smell of mulled cider wafted through the crowd. The folks from Eco-Friendly were there, smiling in the cold and gently explaining the benefits of humanely raised, organic meats to customers. I love Eco-Friendly Foods for their truly friendly attitudes and their incredibly tasty meats. Every visit yields some great meat, good cooking suggestions and a feeling of satisfaction.
I usually do not approach this booth with a recipe in mind, instead I choose based on the cuts available. I've ended up with many varieties of sausage, spare ribs, beef shanks osso-bucco style, pork loin and other treats. Once I've chosen something, I fill in the gaps from the vegetable stands.
On yesterday's trip, I was filling in the gaps around a duck breast procured earlier from The Organic Butcher of Mclean, an adorable little spot in Mclean, Va. In the end I left the market with fresh brown eggs, french breakfast radishes, half a loaf of Spelt, sweet potatoes, erba stella, pork sausages, and half a young chicken, frozen, not to mention the empanada and cider my young man and I consumed while walking around. Not a bad haul, but in the end not the gap fillers I meant to snag.
Sunday dinner ended up being duck breast and salad. Saving the duck breast for later, I'd like to share this easy salad and dressing with you. I borrowed from this Food + Wine recipe. I changed a few things based on the contents of my pantry, and the fact that I looooove frisée, that bitter, thorny looking cousin of Endive.
Frisée Salad with Garlic-Anchovy Dressing
3-4 big handfuls of Frisée (I made this for two people, but you know how much lettuce you need)
6 French Breakfast Radishes, sliced
2 Ribs celery, chopped
1/2 Seedless cucumber, cut lengthwise then sliced
Toss all veggies together in a bowl.
4-5 Anchovy fillets, minced
1/4 good olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a saucepan, combine oil, anchovies and garlic over moderate to low heat. Stir occasionally until the garlic is golden brown, making sure not to burn it. Add lemon juice and pepper and pour over the vegetables. Serve immediately.
The nutty, salty flavor of the anchovies mixes in so nicely with the spiciness of the garlic, creating a complex flavor. The lemon adds a little bit of bite. And combined with the crunchiness of the vegetables, it ends up being a very light and flavorful salad. It got rave reviews from my dining companion, who gobbled it all up and asked for more. This might be my new favorite salad...and yours, too!