Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Springs Farmers Market at East Hampton's Ashawagh Hall

After taking an enlightening walk through the tidal wetlands of Gerard Point in East Hampton with my old and dear high school friend, Carolyn, we headed over to the Springs Farmers Market at Ashawagh Hall last Saturday.
Located north of the "bustling" towns of Amagansett (via Old Stone Highway) and East Hampton (via Springs Fireplace Road), this quiet and relatively small farmers market shouts "community". Ashawagh is the American Indian word for "place where two roads come together", in this case Old Stone and Fireplace, and the location of many art shows, fundraisers and other events throughout the summer, including the Farmers Market on the lawn in front of the old schoolhouse every Saturday.

I had never made it up to the Springs Market before today so it was fun to be shopping with a year-round "local". I just loved the "fresh, East Hampton, sustainable, OCEANGANIC, free-range seafood" for sale from a rowboat on a trailer hitch and lively sense of humor of this fisherman's merchandising. Carolyn, who knew everyone at the market, snagged the last piece of smoked bluefish for her teenage boys at home to savor.

I got some garlic scapes from Fire Place Farms, which also has a variety of unusual offerings even for a farmers market, such as mung bean sprouts and a large selection of Asian greens, including Mizuna Tatson and Osaka Red Mustard.

Before heading over to the Springs General Store for a cup of coffee and more conversation, I got some radishes from Balsam Farms. 

Basic Garlic Scape Pistou
10 garlic scapes from the Springs Farmers Market
Bunch of Italian Parsley, from my garden
1/2 cup of olive oil
Cut scapes into 3-5 inch pieces, remove thick stems from parsley and chop roughly, measure olive oil. Combine ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Yields 1 1/4 cups. Use what you need. Store the rest in a tightly sealed glass jar for up to 10 days.

Roasted Potatoes with Garlic Scape Pistou
A refreshing alternative to garlic and rosemary roasted potatoes. Boiling the potatoes first quickens the cooking time and makes for a potato that is crunchy on the outside and soft and puffy on the inside.
1 lb. local new potatoes (red or white or both)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup garlic scape pistou made with local ingredients - see recipe above
Kosher salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Boil a large pot of water. Cut potatoes in half or thirds so they are all approximately the same size. Boil potatoes until cooked but still somewhat firm, drain and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a roasting pan and cover with olive oil and stir in garlic scape pistou. Roast for 25-40 minutes until golden brown. When cooked, drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt and serve piping hot.

ASHAWAGH HALL @ Old Stone Highway 
and Springs Fireplace Road
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

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