lemon pork chop; golden beets on lettuce bed, horseradish

The pork chop was as superb as it looks, as was the vegetable, which was half root and half green, and both roasted and fresh.

The root, which lay on a few leaves of a purple lettuce, amounted to segments of a single beet, but it was a very special, new orange-yellow mild and sweet varietal, the ‘Badger Flame’, created by Irwin Goldman, a horticulture professor at the University of University of Wisconsin-Madison (hence the ‘Badger’ in the name). It’s broadcast and production was undertaken by Row 7 Seed Company, itself the creation of New York’s Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the seedsman Matthew Goldfarb, and the plant breeder Michael Mazourek. I found it on Friday, at Zaid and Haifa Kurdieh‘s Norwich Meadows Farm stall in the Union Square Greenmarket.

The beet is described as being as delicious raw as it is cooked. Having tasted a slice before roasting one of the two that I had brought home with me, I can attest to that. On Tuesday I will be serving the second one as a part of what will probably be a room-temperature meal, mostly of salads.

  • two thick, bone-in loin pork chops (approximately 12 ounces each) from Flying Pig Farms, dried thoroughly, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-rough-ground black pepper, seared on both sides inside a dry heavy enameled cast-iron pan, half of an organic Whole Foods Market lemon squeezed over each and left sliced side down in the pan between them while they roasted in a 400º oven for about 12 or 13 minutes altogether, but flipped halfway through and the lemon squeezed over their surfaces once again, arranged on 2 plates, the pan juices, to which had been added a couple tablespoons of sweet tomato juices from Saturday’s meal, first heated and partially-reduced, ladled over the top from a sauce boat, which was brought to the table for further service, the chops garnished with micro red amaranth from Windfall Farm

  • one ‘Badger Flame’ beet from Norwich Meadows Farm, trimmed, washed and scrubbed, cut into 16 or so wedges, placed on a small unglazed Pampered Chef oven pan, tossed with a tablespoon or so of olive oil, one halved clove of an immature head of Rocambole garlic from Keith’s Farm, all of the leaves shredded from several branches of thyme from Stokes Farm, sea salt, and freshly-ground pepper to taste, covered loosely with foil and baked for 20 minutes or so inside the same 400º oven, after which the foil was taken off, the beets turned on another side and roasted for 25 or 30 minutes longer, or until they were tender, when they were removed from the oven and arranged on 2 plates on top of the well-washed outer leaves of a small head of purple romaine lettuce from from Echo Creek Farm of Salem, NY, in the Saturday Chelsea Farmers Market (on the north sidewalk of 23rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues), a little olive oil and drops of a good Spanish Rioja vinegar drizzled on the beet segments and lettuce, but with the greens also sprinkled with salt and pepper, the beet salad finished with some horseradish root from Gorzynski Ornery Farm freshly grated on top [I added more horseradish after snapping the picture, and note that the recipe mostly follows one on page 36 inside the hard copy of the excellent book of simple kitchen formulae, ‘Italian Easy’; Recipes from the London River Cafe‘]
  • the wine was a California (Lodi) white, F. Stephen Millier Angels Reserve White Blend Lodi 2016, from Naked Wines
  • the music was the album, ‘Ludi Musici – The Spirit Of Dance 1450-1650