raab/pork sausage, mustard; potato, pericón; puntarelle

It may be looking a bit less like summer around here, but nothing in the image above is really not a summer thing.

Sunday night we were able to enjoy, for the first time, a fresh sausage created by some venders new to the Union Square this year.

I also managed to have come up with a second, very different puntarelle dish, using a single large ‘head’ of puntarelle, also from the Greenmarket, and I learned a good deal about this extraordinary vegetable in the process.

And I just happened to have a few potatoes that could balance the very different strong flavors of each.

  • “simmer then sear”, read an admonition I spotted somewhere that day (I usually stress over how and for how long to cook sausages), and it became my guide with 4 ‘Summer Broccoli Raab’ pork sausages (1.05 lbs) from Hudson Vally Charcuterie at Raven & Boar farm, made in collaboration with Jacuterie, an artisanal charcuterie company (located just south of them, in Ancramdale, Columbia County): after being placed inside a large pot and filling it with cold water, just enough to cover, they were heated over a medium-high flame until the water had reached a gentle simmer, by which time they were fully cooked, then removed, drained, and dried on a paper towel before being place inside a seasoned cast iron pan over high heat (after its surface had been brushed with a very small amount of olive oil), seared, turning frequently, until colored on all sides, then arranged on the plates with dabs of a rich shallot, garlic, paprika and turmeric mustard, also from Hudson Valley Charcuterie
  • four medium ‘Lilly’ German Butterball new potatoes from Savoie Organic Farm, boiled with a generous amount of salt until barely cooked through, drained, halved, dried while still in the still-warm vintage large Corning Pyrex Flameware glass pot in which they had cooked, rolled around inside in a little more than a teaspoon of Whole Foods Market house Portuguese olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, sprinkled with flowering pericón (‘Mexican tarragon’) from Norwich Meadows Farm
  • the outer leaves, reserved from the large head of puntarelle purchased from Tamarack Hollow Farm, whose central section had been prepared in a classic Roman fashion that day, trimmed, thoroughly washed and drained several times, and prepared more simply by being wilted, stirring continuously, inside a large antique copper pot in a little olive oil in which 2 medium cloves of ‘Chesnok Red’ garlic from Alewife Farm had first been allowed to soften and begin to color over a low to medium flame, followed by the addition of a few rinsed and drained Sicilian capers from Buon Italia and 6 or 8 Kalamata olives from Flatiron Eataly, seasoned with salt, pepper, and finished on the plates with a drizzle of olive oil
  • the wine was an Australian (Victoria) red, Jen Pfeiffer The Hero Shiraz 2018, from Naked Wines
  • the music was an album of works by the 18th century Bohemian composer, a student of Vivaldi, František Jiránek: ‘Concertos and Sinfonias’, performed with period instruments by Collegium Marianum (period instruments) under the direction of Jana Semerádová