Countryside Conservancy was yesterday. As I stood at the entrance of Howe Meadow visiting with old friends, and admiring the spectacular outdoor kitchen brought by Ohio Proud, and the new tents the Conservancy was able to purchase through donations, I remembered that just a few short years ago, the market was a lot different than it is today.
Last year the market moved to much roomier outdoor location at Howe Meadow. Tons of parking, even when there is a co-hosted event at the site, which gets a lot of horse/camping events, and plenty of room for the vendors to spread out, set-up and sell.
In addition to a lot a familiar faces, this year several new vendors are at the market, including a gluten-free baker, Mrs. P's Gluten Free Bakery.
Award for the best makeshift market basket goes to Kris Rosenfeld, from Eat a Rainbow, Make a Body Smile, who put this box from her car to good use. (No the mouse was no longer in residence).
It was good to see fresh, delicious food, old friends and new friends. I hope to see you too at the market, which is every Saturday from 9 am - noon. The Thursday market held at Stan Hywet will debut for the season on June 3rd, where yours truly will be doing the chef's demo.
To celebrate the beginning of the season, and the beautiful day, I decided to grill a steak, quick roast my asparagus, and do a riff on a Crushed Potato and Watercress Cake recipe from Fine Cooking. Since I bought a bunch of the beautiful green garlic, show above, I used that, instead of the garlic, and I substituted Lucky Penny Creamery's fresh chevre for the mascarpone. Awesome!
Here's my version of the recipe:
Crushed Potato and Watercress Cakes (Inspired by Nancy Oakes at Fine Cooking.com)
1 1/2 pounds of small, thin skinned waxy potatoes, such as Yukon Gold
Kosher Salt, Fresh Ground Black Pepper
5 T. olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia, diced
1 small bunch of green garlic, chopped
1/2 # pound watercress, stemmed and chopped (Basketeria now carries the root on packages - I used the whole package)
1/2 c. fresh, local Lucky Penny Creamery chevre
Preheat oven to 367 with rack in center. Scrub spuds and pat them dry. Place on baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake ti tender when poked with a fork, about 30-40 min. Remove and set aside in large bowl to cool.
While potatoes are cooling, heat 2 T. of oil in large skillet over medium. Add onion, green garlic, pinch of salt and saute until softened, 5 min or so. Add the watercress, season, and toss til wilted.
Squish the potatoes with the back of soup spoon and break them into chunks. Add the mix from the skillet, the chevre, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Divide and shape into patties about 2" across and 1/2" thick.
Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium and saute cakes in batches til golden.