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.

Interesting Art + Refurbished Mill + Baller Pizza = Perfect Saturday Day Trip. Wassaic is one of my favorite places to go just outside New York. This weekend their festival will have all kinds of fun events.

quinciple:

Weekend Away: The Wassaic Project Festival

The Hudson Valley is already at the top of our list of idyllic easy-to-execute getaways. Just a quick train-ride up the river, you’ll find charming towns interspersed between rolling plains of farmland, where Quinciple producers such as Monkshood Nursery and Hudson Valley Harvest are based.

But this weekend in particular is a plum window for visiting: the Wassaic Project festival is taking place from August 1 to 3 in Wassaic, NY, bringing the rising stars of the arts community into the proverbial and literal barn for an itinerary of art instillations, bonfires, film screenings, live music, and yes, even a late night dance party.

The festival’s magical intermingling of agrarian and artistic isn’t limited to this single weekend. The hosting organization, the Wassaic Project, is a manifestation of this smashing of worlds. In 2008, an old grain elevator was saved from demolition by Tony Zunino and Robert Berry, two New York developers who bought and restored the space. They offered it to a group of artist friends to use it as temporary gallery: Now it boasts a year-round artist residency, exhibits and educational programs, as well as serving as home base for the festival.

The most recent addition to the growing community is the re-opening of The Lantern Inn, a sleepy bar that the owners of the Wassaic Project have morphed into a restaurant, with wood-fired pizza using local ingredients that takes its cue from Roberta’s in Bushwick.

So pack your tent (camping on the property is encouraged) and your appetite for the best of the city in the environs of the farm.

Before you go, don’t forget to order your box for next week

Feast on our last night in the south of France. Grilled red snapper, caprese, smashed olive oil potatoes, eggplant and haricot verts.

Feast on our last night in the south of France. Grilled red snapper, caprese, smashed olive oil potatoes, eggplant and haricot verts.

Maybe the best fruit we had on the trip. I found these nectarines at the market in Bandol. This woman had a fancy wine set up and then off to the side she had a couple of trays of nectarines, which looked pretty scarred. I was excited because I knew the woman must have grown them herself. In France many markets aren’t “producer only” so people can bring stuff they’ve grown but are also allowed to bring stuff they’ve bought at a wholesale market. It can be tough to figure out what people have grown themselves (unless it’s marked with a sign saying “notre production”). I asked for a kilo of nectarines in what I thought was semi-competent French. She must not have been convinced that I really believed the nectarines were good, because she launched into a long speech about how the scarring was just cosmetic. Or at least that’s what I’m assuming she was talking about, since I couldn’t understand a word. And to prove her point she bit into one of the most scarred nectarines, and declared it tasty. And tasty they were. We took them on the plane to Paris and ate them on our first night there with a simple dinner of cheese and bread. 

Maybe the best fruit we had on the trip. I found these nectarines at the market in Bandol. This woman had a fancy wine set up and then off to the side she had a couple of trays of nectarines, which looked pretty scarred. I was excited because I knew the woman must have grown them herself. In France many markets aren’t “producer only” so people can bring stuff they’ve grown but are also allowed to bring stuff they’ve bought at a wholesale market. It can be tough to figure out what people have grown themselves (unless it’s marked with a sign saying “notre production”). I asked for a kilo of nectarines in what I thought was semi-competent French. She must not have been convinced that I really believed the nectarines were good, because she launched into a long speech about how the scarring was just cosmetic. Or at least that’s what I’m assuming she was talking about, since I couldn’t understand a word. And to prove her point she bit into one of the most scarred nectarines, and declared it tasty. And tasty they were. We took them on the plane to Paris and ate them on our first night there with a simple dinner of cheese and bread. 

Oil Slow, Whisk Fast: A Guide to Vinaigrette

I had so much fun writing this piece about salad dressing for the Quinciple blog. There is no food I love more than a salad. And making the dressing is half the fun.

quinciple:

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A proper vinaigrette can make or break a perfectly good salad, elevating it to the status of simple perfection or drowning it in an abyss of wilted leaves. The technique to nailing your vinaigrette is simple and malleable; it all comes down to emulsification, that magic act of suspending water in oil. 

The only real rule: add your oil slowly while whisking quickly. Beyond that, consider vinaigrette your canvas, adding the ingredients of your choosing to achieve the flavor you and your vegetables desire.

Here are some tips from Quinciple co-founder Kate Galassi:

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Cranberry beans at the market in Bandol, south of France.

Cranberry beans at the market in Bandol, south of France.

Donut peaches in the market in Antibes, south of France. 
More photos are on my Instagram.

Donut peaches in the market in Antibes, south of France. 

More photos are on my Instagram.

Buying Reine Claude plums at the market in Bandol. You’re not allowed to touch delicate fruit or tomatoes. This is so genius. It means that you don’t get busted fruit that has been touched by a million people. Also the person helping you will usually pick out choice fruit better than you ever could. 

Buying Reine Claude plums at the market in Bandol. You’re not allowed to touch delicate fruit or tomatoes. This is so genius. It means that you don’t get busted fruit that has been touched by a million people. Also the person helping you will usually pick out choice fruit better than you ever could. 

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