scallops, milkweed buds; tomato, garlic; wild cress salad


it was one of those dinners that work out so well it makes up for any number of indifferent outings that may have preceded it.

Milkweed was the star, first, because I had never heard of its use in cookery; second, because I came upon it by chance in our local Greenmarket, offered by the local farmer himself; third, because the buds were so beautiful, both before and after arriving on our plates; and, fourth, because they were absolutely delicious and a perfect accompaniment to the scallops I already had in my insulated ‘creel’ when I spotted them.

Their flavor is described somewhere as a cross between that of green beans and asparagus; I’m only introducing that reference because Barry and I may be the only people we know within range of this post who now don’t have to rely on a description, especially one which denies their individuality.



  • fourteen small-to-medium scallops from Blue Moon Seafood, washed, drained and very thoroughly dried on paper towels (twice), generously seasoned with salt and pepper, pan grilled for about 90 seconds on each side, finished with a squeeze of a organic lemon from Whole foods, milkweed buds from Down Home Acres (in Unadilla, N.Y.) scattered on and around them, and a drizzle of good olive oil poured over the mix
  • two sliced juicy fresh garlic cloves from Stokes Farm, gently heated for a minute or two in olive oil, joined by a number of small very sweet cherry tomatoes from Scopes Farm, each first punctured a couple of times with a thin pick, the tomatoes heated until they were barely cooked, some chopped wild mint from Berried Treasures and chopped basil from Tamarack Hollow Farm added and stirred into the mix
  • a salad [not in the picture above] of semi-wild flowering cress from Lucky Dog Organic Farm, mixed with chopped baby shallots from Lani’s Farm, chopped summer savory from Stokes Farm and chopped parsley from Phillips Farm, salt, and pepper, dressed with good Campania olive oil and a little white balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper
  • the wine was a California (Sonoma) white, Jac Cole unoaked Chardonnay Alexander Valley 2015
  • the music was Counterstream Radio, streaming, and it included Nicolas Collins’ ‘It Was A Dark And Stormy Night’