There are countless reasons to entertain at home and as many styles of entertaining.
We spotted Pascal, Manou and Maelle under the McDonald’s awning. Pascal Lemaitre is my friend and illustrator of my soon-to-go-to-the-printer book. A McDonald’s acolyte, Pascal insisted they were simply staying out of the sun and not exiting from a Big Mac. This was not just any McDonald’s awning, but the one across the street from New York’s Union Square super greenmarket. While it does not rival San Francisco’s Ferry Terminal market, it’s a certified member of my farmers’ markets hall of fame.
Our dear Belgian friends were in Brooklyn for the summer. With my every waking hour seemingly going into the finishing touches of the book and development of the website, social times have been few and far between. Spending time with friends is precious. I feared they would soon fly home with only their brief visit to Philadelphia to count as our time together. So we traveled up to New York.
At eleven AM on this perfect August Saturday the market was bursting. Our plan was to shop the market, return home and after some communal chopping, slicing, dicing and just a little cooking, a perfect summer’s lunch at home. Home happened to be my brother Fred and sister-in-law Nancy’s Tribeca apartment — a sort of home away from home for us.
Our strategy was to circle the entire market once and only then, confident we had targeted our prey, make a return shopping loop. The results of our efforts:
Eve’s Cidery’s Bittersweet Sparkling Cider — quick-chilled in the freezer as we completed our prep work
A salad of multi-hued baby & heirloom tomatoes, bi-color corn, red onion, garlic, a little balsamic vinegar, generous amounts of olive oil, kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper — all tossed by Maelle along with a several of her seven-year-old hand-fulls of torn chervil leaves
Wild arugula dressed with a touch olive oil
Tiny artichokes, trimmed, outer leaves removed, shaved and quickly tossed with lemon and olive oil to prevent discoloring the artichokes
Zucchini blossoms stuffed with a fresh local cheese
Flying Pigs Farm sweet and spicy sausages that I grilled in a grill pan
As a finishing touch, organic eggs cooked in sausage renderings — over easy or sunny-side up — served over grilled bread left-over from our previous night’s at home Middle Eastern take-out dinner together.
Assorted berries & dark pitted cherries tossed with anise hyssop flower
Finally, Eve’s Cidery Essence — a late harvest apple wine
If someone, somewhere was having a better lunch, I’d like to know about it.
You could have this lunch. It’s nearly all just summer shopping in a farmers’ market, a little shared prep work and then, sitting down with friends and enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of your modest labors — at home.
Coming tomorrow–The Winning K-I-S-S is…
Coming Friday–Cold Corn Soup (don’t miss this wonderful four ingredient recipe)
If you enjoyed this post, please pass it along to friends and family.