2/8-2/10/2018: Excuses for yummy meals (or, my thought on Valentine’s Day)


Some quick things:

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    • Last week I was excited about three colors of beets, this week I’m excited about baby beets with adorable greens. Never was there a sign that the corner will turn on winter like this. (Uh. Not that we’re out of the woods yet.)
    • BABY SPINACH is the real news of the week. Extra sun means extra greens, so the price has come down on the baby spinach, and we’re able to offer it in 1/2 lb bags at the same price the big spinach has been! (And the normal smaller bags at a nicer price, too.)
    • Good salad green options all around, really: we’ll have an excellent supply of mesclun mix (my personal favorite)a slightly smaller supply of lettuce mix, and a decent amount of green leaf lettuce.
    • Salsify returns, this time in white. I’m calling salsify “the asparagus of winter”, and think it deserves a place on your Valentine’s Day dinner plate. Butter, lemon juice, and white wine are your friends here (and pretty much everywhere else, amirite?).

Scroll down for the full list of what we’ll have this week!

Old business first: We made the sweet potato hummus I mentioned last week for the Super Bowl, and were favorably impressed. I should say, we doubled the garlic, so it had a pretty strong roasted garlic flavor, and I used preserved lemons instead of lime juice (because it’s what we had), but! I was worried the whole thing would be too sweet or something, and it wasn’t, it was delicious. I mean, so were the wings and the blue cheese dip and the chili and the watermelon radish toasts, and the pizzas and the tortilla chips….but the sweet potato hummus was the thing that felt most experimental, and also like it might be most reasonable to incorporate into your regular life.

But — regular life? what’s that? Just when one eating occasion passes, another crops up on the horizon. This time: Valentine’s Day. One might start to think that eating were important to our well-being, or at least to our culture.

Last year’s V Day spread.

Last year Dusty and I went the cozy route for V Day, opting for a charcuterie and cheese board in front of a fire (with a healthy amount of wine, of course). This year, we have not yet figured out what we’re going to do. I’m feeling torn between going out (especially because we’d have to do it the day before, so probably won’t have trouble getting reservations) or eating in and making some kind of elegant winter feast. We’ve been a little obsessed lately with the classic Mediterranean preparation of spinach with pine nuts and raisins, and this seems like a great week to incorporate it into a menu in a deliberate way. It’s a great side for a fancy-ish meal, because it’s banginglooks beautiful, and is dead simple, which is great when you’re out on a limb with everything else you’re making. (If you’re using baby spinach, it’ll wilt almost instantly, so be aware and be careful!) On the other hand, there’s also a very similar dish on the menu at Suba, so maybe we should just go there? The last time we did that for Valentine’s Day might have been 2012, before we were even engaged, so that might be a thing that’s cycling back around.

Or maybe a hybrid — an early-ish happy hour at somewhere that offers a good one (Bricco. Rubicon. Home 231. Cafe 1500. Millworks. So many places!), and then home for a simple but elegant dinner. Alternatively, I suppose, a nice little relaxing snack of chevre and crackers at home, and then a chilly walk or quick Uber to a dinner cooked by someone else.

Of course what’s important is that we’ll set aside an evening to spend together. We don’t do V Day gifts, and I’m not expecting Dusty to pull some grand plan out of his sleeve, but it is important to me that there are a few times a year we make a point just to have a special night, and Valentine’s Day — or, for us this year, the day before! — is one of those. For us, and I think a big swath of humanity, “special night” is synonymous with “yummy meal” — and I’ll take any excuse to share a yummy meal with Dusty. I hope that you also have a chance, even if not on Valentine’s Day, even if not in a romantic way, to share a yummy meal with your favorite dining partner. That is an occasion worth celebrating, whenever or wherever it is.

-Julia

P.S. That spinach with pine nuts and raisins thing is so easy there’s no reason it has to be reserved for a special meal. I intend to make it at least once (maybe twice) in the next week no matter what we do for V Day.


Produce

Braising Greens

  • Baby Chard

Fruit

  • Fuji Apples (IPM)
  • Granny Smith Apples (IPM)

Herbs

  • Chervil
  • Cilantro

Mushrooms

  • Cremini
  • White
  • Oyster
  • Shiitake

Onions & Garlic

  • Garlic
  • Red Onions
  • Yellow Onions
  • Shallots

Other

  • Green Cabbage

Potatoes

  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes

Roots

  • Baby Red Beets with Greens!
  • Red Beets
  • Gold Beets
  • Chioggia Beets
  • Carrots
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Celeriac
  • Parsnips
  • Black Radishes
  • Watermelon Radishes
  • Rutabagas
  • Hakurei Salad Turnips
  • Purple Top Turnips

Salad Greens

  • Baby Spinach
  • Mesclun Mix
  • Belgian Endive
  • Lettuce Mix
  • Green Leaf Lettuce

Squash & Pumpkins

  • Seminole Neck (very limited quantity)

Bread

McGrath’s Brick Oven Bakehouse
(fresh Friday & Saturday)

  • McGrath’s Original
  • Sesame Original
  • Irish Oatmeal Pan Bread
  • Pepita Prairie Bread
  • American Harvest
  • Everything
  • Baguettes (fresh Saturday only; available frozen every day)
Talking Breads
(fresh Thursday)

  • Batard
  • Ciabatta
  • Miche
  • Seeded