lemon-herb veal; tomatoes, ramps; garlic scapes, tarragon

I’ve lately been enjoying the challenge of picking out meats in the Union Square Greenmarket from one of my favorite cheese makers (cow and goat milk), beginning with the serendipity that goes with it: The exercise seems a bit like hunting, since they have a limited supply of animals, and at they are only occasional available, since the farm’s main occupation is making cheese.

But it’s always rewarding.

On Monday I picked out 2 small frozen veal chops; on Wednesday evening I took them out of the freezer; last night we enjoyed them, immensely.

I used a terrific, and very simple recipe that I cobbled together from several on-line sources.

The vegetables were also pretty special. Some beautiful red-orange cherry tomatoes from a new arrival at the Greenmarket, Neversink Organic Farm, and a handfull of tender garlic scapes from one of the oldest, Keith’s Organic Farm.

  • a tablespoon of olive olive drizzled onto a small oval platter, then mixed with whole sage leaves from Keith’s Farm, whole rosemary leaves from Phillips Farm, and one chopped garlic clove from Lucky Dog Organic Farm, the platter set aside while 2 small but quite thick veal rib chops (8 ounces each) from Consider Bardwell Farm, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper and drizzled generously with olive oil, were placed on an enameled cast iron grill pan pre-heated above a moderately high flame and cooked, turning once, about 6 minutes per side for medium doneness (with a tent of aluminum foil for much of the time, because of their thickness), transferred to the platter with the garlic, oil, and herbs, and turned to coat, more olive oil added, the chops allowed to rest for about 3 minutes, again tented with foil, this time to keep them warm, while several thick slices of an organic lemon from Whole Foods Market, brushed with olive oil, were added to the grill pan, cooked until warm and beginning to char, turning once, the veal chops arranged on two plates, along with much of the sage/rosemary oil, and the lemon slices placed on top
  • fourteen or so orange-red cherry tomatoes from Neversink Organic Farm, each punctured several times with a thin poultry lacing pin to help them cook evenly and to keep them from exploding when cut on the plate, rolled inside a high-sided tin-lined copper pan in which half a dozen sliced ramp bulbs from Berried Treasures had been allowed to soften and become fragrant, the pan removed from the heat as soon as the tomatoes had shown signs of softening themselves and sprinkled with sea salt and freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, tossed with chopped lovage from Keith’s Farm and torn basil from a plant purchased from Stokes Farm
  • a few garlic scapes from Keith’s Farm, tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper, then pan grilled, arranged on the plates and garnished with tarragon blossoms from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • the wine was a really wonderful California (Amador) red, made with the Portuguese Touriga grape, Ana Diogo-Draper Amador Touriga 2015, from Naked Wines
  • the music was the album, ‘Le Concert Spirituel’, Jordi Savall conducting Le Concert Des Nations [the album title is a homage to the 65 years (1725-1790) of eponymous Paris concerts which were the first public concert series in history (“..to provide entertainment on religious holidays when the other spectacles {the Paris Opera, Comédie-Francaise and Comédie-Italienne} were closed.”]