crab cakes, salsa, dandelion; potatoes, lovage, scallion

Crab cakes from the Union Square Greenmarket: They’re an invitation to improvise, incredibly simple to ‘cook’, and always delicious.

The fishers were unable to bring anything to the market on Monday, because the intense cold had meant they wouldn’t be able to go out on the ocean, so I reached into the freezer for my small reserve stock of crab cakes.

  • two crab cakes from PE & DD Seafood (crab, egg, flour, red & green peppers, garlic, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, milk, celery, and parsley), defrosted earlier in the evening, heated with a drizzle of olive oil inside a heavy oval enameled cast iron pan, 3 to 4 minutes to each side, served on a salsa composed of 8 or so chopped Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, a bit of a powdered proprietary seasoning blend, L’eKama, a small bit of dried peperoncino Calabresi secchi from Buon Italia, chopped winter savory from Stokes Farm, and a number of really tiny chopped scallions from Willow Wisp Farm, garnished with a sprinkling of micro amaranth from Two Guys from Woodbridge, the salsa itself arranged on the plates partially on top of some leaves torn from a live hydroponic plant from Two Guys from Woodbridge

  • small ‘Peter Wilcox’ purple-skinned white flesh potatoes, boiled inside a large vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot, along with a generous amount of salt until barely cooked through, drained, halved, dried inside the still warm pot, tossed with a tablespoon or so of olive oil, and one chopped Japanese scallion (a bit like a leek) from Norwich Meadows Farm, sprinkled with a little sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and chopped lovage, again from Two Guys from Woodbridge, arranged on the plates and garnished with homemade breadcrumbs which had first been browned in a little olive oil with a pinch of sea salt

There was a cheese course, and this time it included both fruit and toasts, plus one extra tidbit.

  • Consider Bardwell ‘Rupert’ goat cheese and a soft goat, a chevre, from Ardith Mae that our neglect since purchasing it farther back than I can recall, had inadvertently – and pretty surprisingly – allowed to mature beautifully
  • one Seckel pear from Caradonna Farms in the Union Square Greenmarket
  • toasts from a She Wolf Bakery polenta boule
  • beet chips’ (thin slices of oven-dried beet) from Lani’s Farm