meatballs and sage; beans and tomatoes; fennel


This meal used the second half of our freezer stash of some wonderful rose veal meatballs from Gaia’s Breath Farm.   I picked them up from Summers End Orchard at New Amsterdam Market this summer.   Because of the corrupt marriage of corporate money and politics, the New Amsterdam Market is no more, at least for now, and since I don’t expect to be making my own balls, I’m going to have to find another, presumably even more local source.

  • eight perfect sage leaves from Phillips Farm, cooked in butter in an enameled cast iron pan over moderately high heat until crisp, before transferred to a plate, then six rose veal meatballs from Gaia’s Breath Farm, purchased at the New Amsterdam Market this summer with the good graces of their friend Summers End Orchard in Unadilla, New York, lightly floured, cooked in the same butter over moderate heat until lightly browned, transferred to another plate and kept warm, white wine added to the pan and simmered until almost evaporated while scraping the brown bits from the bottom, a few tablespoons of good vegetable stock added and simmered two minutes, the meatballs transferred to the serving plates, their juices and the sauce poured over them, the sage leaves added as garnish
  • fresh canary beans from Berried Treasures, rinsed and placed in a saucepan under two inches of water along with sage from Phillips Farm and a fresh bay leaf from West Side Market, slowly heated for about 25 minutes, then added to a mixture of sautéed shallots from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm and halved cherry tomatoes (yellow and red) from Berried Treasures, finished with lemon juice, and parsley from Phillips Farm
  • a small collection of fennel stems, from the fennel bulb in the meal of the night before, from Norwich Meadow Farms, sautéed over medium high heat with garlic, chiles, and fennel seeds in a large iron pan until the fennel began to color, then, with the heat lowered and the pan covered, cooked for ten minutes, a very generous amount of chopped fennel fronds added at the end
  • the wine was a light red from the Südtirol (northern Italy), Egger-Ramer Schiava Gentile – Edelvernatsch, Trentino-Alto Adige 2013  (I think this is actually what I should have used as the link for that wine;  if you go to the video, you’ll understand why I write that)