Lovage Me Tender

Photos of unusual and heirloom vegetables and fruits, local farmers' markets and the sights along the daily path of being a produce buyer in Brooklyn.
The French manage to make everything beautiful, even iceberg lettuce. At the Bastille market. 
More photos of unusual and interesting vegetables and fruits on my Instagram. 

The French manage to make everything beautiful, even iceberg lettuce. At the Bastille market. 

More photos of unusual and interesting vegetables and fruits on my Instagram

The vines at Chateau Pradeaux in Saint Cyr Sur Mer. They make some of the most exceptional Bandol Rose. 

The vines at Chateau Pradeaux in Saint Cyr Sur Mer. They make some of the most exceptional Bandol Rose. 

I’m not used to seeing olives at the market. It took a lot of self control to not buy ten pints of olives. At the market in Antibes, France

I’m not used to seeing olives at the market. It took a lot of self control to not buy ten pints of olives. At the market in Antibes, France

Summer Picnic Primer

My thoughts on picnicking. Over on the Quinciple blog. 

quinciple:

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By Kate Galassi

I love a good picnic in the summer. I prefer to bring a small knife with me and do most of the work when I get there, because what’s the point of a picnic if you spend an hour in the kitchen? My current menu is a greatest hits list of the season, and as about as easy as it gets. The instructions that follow will set you up nicely with a meal for two, but it’s easily scalable for a larger group. 

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We visited the spectacular Domaine du Bagnol in Cassis. The cliffs above the fields are just magnificent. The wine is pretty tasty too.

Artichokes at the Marche D’Aligre in Paris.
More photos from the markets on my Instagram.

Artichokes at the Marche D’Aligre in Paris.

More photos from the markets on my Instagram.

Love these rustic lemons. At the market in Cagnes Sur Mer, France.
More photos are on my Instagram.

Love these rustic lemons. At the market in Cagnes Sur Mer, France.

More photos are on my Instagram.

A Cheesemonger’s Tips on Burrata

We interviewed my friend Gizella about burrata. Her tips are below.

quinciple:

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(Photo: Frederique Voisin-Demery

Burrata, a kissing cousin of mozzarella, is one of our favorite simple luxuries. Met with bread and the summer produce of your choice (we’d vote for tomatoes or peaches), the creamy, salty cheese is all you need to make a fantastic no-cook meal.

To stretch our knowledge on the subject, we tapped Gizella Otterson, general manager at BKLYN Larder, which boasts one of our favorite cheese counters in the city. Read on for her tips:

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NOW INSTAGRAMMING AS QUINCIPLEKATE
When I founded Quinciple, I was too busy to take photos. A year and a half later I’m happy to say that I’m back at it. You can also follow me on instagram as @quinciplekate.
I’m currently in France, so you’ll get a taste of markets and food from there. These are berries in the market in Antibes.

NOW INSTAGRAMMING AS QUINCIPLEKATE

When I founded Quinciple, I was too busy to take photos. A year and a half later I’m happy to say that I’m back at it. You can also follow me on instagram as @quinciplekate.

I’m currently in France, so you’ll get a taste of markets and food from there. These are berries in the market in Antibes.

Entertaining Tips from The Yellow Table’s Anna Watson Carl

Quinciple is mostly great because of the farmers that we work with and our amazing customers, who role with the punches, cooking and eating whatever we send them. Anna Watson Carl is a particularly talented and we’re excited to feature her on our blog this week.

quinciple:

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(Photo left: Nate Poekert | Photo right: Jeanine Donofrio) 

We all have that friend who makes a casual Tuesday night dinner look like a spread out of Kinfolk. We’re sure that her days have a few extra hours than ours, allotted for trimming flowers to make a perfect casual centerpiece or making ice with mint or berries suspended in the cubes. These types of friends are cut from the same cloth as Quinciple subscriber Anna Watson Carl, a food writer and cook who combines thoughtfulness, taste and hospitality into a blog called The Yellow Table.

Anna’s been busy. She just wrapped up a very successful Kickstarter campaign to publish her first cookbook, which focuses on recipes meant for gatherings with friends, and has spent the last few weeks on the road, hosting dinner parties in eight cities, including Austin, Seattle and Los Angeles. We caught up with her to get her tips on successful entertaining.

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Quinciple: The Yellow Table is an actual table, right?

Anna Watson Carl: Yes, it’s my dining table! It actually belonged to my mother first; she bought it in 1975 (which probably explains the bright yellow design). She bought it before she was married, and then brought it with her when she and my dad moved in together. I grew up eating every meal around that table. When I look back on it, that table not only changed my childhood but my whole life. My mother wasn’t a passionate cook, but mealtime was really sacred to her, and that was always very strongly ingrained in me. 

When I finished college, she gave me the table as a graduation present, because she knew how much I loved it.  It’s traveled with me from Pittsburgh to Nashville to New York. I live in a 6-floor walk-up, so my husband and I had to bribe a few friends with pizza to help us get it up the many flights of stairs.

Q: Who are your ultimate host/hostess icons?

AWC: Well, from a nonprofessional perspective, my mom. She is the epitome of Southern hospitality, and entertains with such grace, though she’s more passionate about design and decorating than food. From a cooking perspective, probably Ina Garten. When I first started to really get into cooking, one of the first books I ever bought was Barefoot Contessa Parties ($20; amazon.com). Her philosophy on how hosts should plan the evening so that they can enjoy the party rather than stressing during it has really stuck with me. For your guests to feel at ease, you have to feel at ease.

Q: Where do you like to shop for your dinner parties?

AWC: I’m always thinking about a few different factors when it comes to shopping, mostly weighing between quality and cost. I’ve loved being a subscriber to Quinciple because it allows me to try out so many different products that I otherwise might not have. And of course, the convenience is a huge draw. Trader Joe’s, on the flip side, is great from a cost perspective, so that’s where I go for most of my staples—things like olive oil, grains and coffee. I supplement with produce at Whole Foods and the greenmarket. For seafood, I love to shop at Eataly—I think they have the best seafood offerings in the city.

Q: What are your top 3 tips for a successful dinner party?

AWC: The first one is obvious: plan ahead. I love having people over spontaneously but it’s so much less stressful when you’ve done some of it in advance. I have learned the hard way so many times where I’m shopping one hour before dinner and guests are arriving before I’ve had time to shower or get ready. It’s not fun.

Second, be realistic with your time. One of the biggest dinner party downfalls is biting off more than you can chew. Your friends come to see you, not to live in the pages of a magazine, so prioritize your time wisely.

Third, I’m a huge proponent of collaborative dinner parties, where every attendee has a role. Not necessarily a potluck, but more like playing to the skills of your guests: if one guest loves wine, let them pick up the bottles for the evening. Let your friend with great music taste put together a playlist, and task your friend with the awesome handwriting to make place cards. It’s not just a help to you, but a way to highlight the gifts and talents of your guests.

Let Quinciple inspire your next dinner party; click here to see what’s in next week’s box.