Is it just me, or are there for sure a lot of pink-to-red-to-purple foods around at this time of year?
Over the last several weeks I’ve recently seen, prepared and served at home, in addition to tuna, of course, the usual meat suspects (including the smoked or cured) and the red or purple berries and fruit now only a memory, red beets, red chard, red mustard and kale, the red stems of beet greens, radicchio, pink, red or purple radishes, red onions, purple tomatoes and red potatoes, red sweet potatoes [see the Japanese sweets above, from Lani’s Farm] red cabbage, purple cauliflower and purple broccoli, and even purple kohlrabi. And then there was also the bounty of the season just past: tomatoes (red and sometimes even purple) available much later this year than in others, purple lettuces, red or purple bell peppers, and both purple string beans and purple okra.
I only became consciously aware of the red thing going on after plating several meals this fall. The color scheme of last night’s dinner was similar to many of them, although, as with most, I managed also to include at least some green.
When it includes meat or fish I usually serve the main course of a meal with only one, possibly two vegetables, both for simplicity and to concentrate attention on complementary choices I hope I’d chosen judiciously.
On Saturday night however, I had a larder slightly swollen after a splurge with the bounty of the late fall Union Square Greenmarket. To accompany a small 10 oz. Newport steak from Citarella which would serve both of us, I found I had some Purple Peruvian Potatoes from the stall of Paffenroth Gardens, a bouquet of what we learned was some very sweet red chard from that of Lani’s Farm (formerly known as Yuno’s Farm), and some late-season San Marzano tomatoes from, I think, Bill Maxwell’s farm, which had finally ripened sufficiently on our north windowsill.
They all came together to make one of the most vibrantly-colorful plates I’d ever seen, in a “one-dish meal” that was also totally delicious.
- Italian oil-cured black olives and Roberto Torinese breadsticks, both from Garden of Eden
- Newport steak pan-grilled and finished with oil and a squirt of lemon; accompanied by Purple Peruvian Potatoes baked in the oven with oil, sprigs of rosemary and plenty of sea salt; braised red chard finished with oil and lemon; and grilled seasoned halves of plum tomatoes finished with Balsamic vinegar
- wine: Obra Prima, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2005 from Mendoza, Argentinia, Familia Cassone, the generous gift of a friend, from Chelsea Wine Vault