bresaola; smoked pork chops; roasted red turnips; sprouts

There was a lot of red, and off-red, but, in our defense, it was Valentine’s Day.

The color began, even before any of the food had arrived, when I put this Transvaal native Gerbera daisy and its red-painted ancient iron cachepot on the table (like almost everything else connected to the meal, the plant had come from the Union Square Greenmarket).

The first course was arranged around some very fine locally-produced dried beef.

  • slices of a really extraordinary deep red-colored local bresaola from a 94-year-old business in our neighborhood, Salumeria Biellese (4 ounces), purchased from Flatiron Eataly, drizzled with a small amount of Trader Joe’s excellent Italian Reserve extra virgin olive oil described as “unfiltered, unrefined, and cold pressed”
  • arugula from Phillips Farms and wild cress from Lani’s Farm (I didn’t have quite enough of either alone, so I used all that I had remaining of each, allowing necessity to improve the the salume’s compliment), drizzled with the same olive oil, seasoned with Maldon salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • slices from a loaf of Philadelphia’s Lost Bread Company’s ‘Seedy Grains’ (wheat, spelt, rye, and barley organic bread flours; buckwheat; oats; flax, sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds; water, and salt)
  • the wine was a California (Sonoma), sparkling rosé, W. Donaldson Rosé 2015, from Naked Wines

With at least one eye on the holiday, the idea for the main course had begun with a pair of pink smoked pork chops, also locally-sourced.

  • chopped sections of one celery stalk from from Phillips Farms, some of the tender leaves reserved for the end of the warming-up process, softened over a low to moderate flame in a tablespoon or so of Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’ that had been heated inside a heavy medium size tin-lined copper skillet, two 8-and-a half-ounce smoked loin pork chops from Flying Pigs Farm added, the pot covered with a universal copper lid and kept above a very low flame (just enough to warm the chops through, as they were already fully-cooked), turning the meat once, then, near the end of the cooking time (about 7 minutes, I would say), a few more thin slices of celery added for a minute or so, the chops arranged on the 2 plates and the celery leaves that had been set aside earlier, now chopped, sprinkled on top, finished with a topping of a bit of horseradish jelly from  Berkshire Berries [I got too excited at this point and added more jelly than I should have]
  • micro red chard from Windfall Farms, arranged near the chops as a garnish for the plate

  • fifteen ounces of red turnips from Norwich Meadows Farm, scrubbed, peeled, and cut into half-inch-thick slices, tossed with olive oil, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and a generous amount of fresh rosemary leaves from Phillips Farms, roasted inside a large Pampered Chef unglazed ceramic pan for about 30 minutes at 425º
  • sunflower sprouts from Windfall Farms
  • the wine was an Australian (South Australia/Mount Lofty Ranges/Adelaide Hills) red, Lucy Margaux Pinot Merlot (PM*) 2017, from Copake Wine Works

*referring to the unusual Pinot Noir and Merlot blend