Fresh & New, September 5-11, 2013

Alex Jones, Farmstand Product Manager

Summer is unofficially over, but you wouldn't know it from the heaps of sweet corn, tomatoes, plums, melons, and peaches on display at the Farmstand. ORGANIC SUGAR BABY WATERMELONS are finally here, and they're perfectly sized for the commuter or cyclist to carry home and enjoy - three to four pounds on average.

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Deeply colored, heart-shaped DUARTE PLUMS are here - best for eating out of hand - and we've got more ITALIAN BLUE  PLUMS for baking, drying, and preserving.

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And, of course, Giovanni brings us dozens and dozens of his beautiful PARADISO FIGS - use them in this Yotam Ottolenghi salad with SWEET POTATOES and SHARP CHEVRE.

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PEPPERS are at their peak - we've got GREEN and RED BELLS, long red CORO DE TORO sweets, BABY YELLOW BELLS, and a variety of hots - ORGANIC POBLANOS fro  m Lancaster Farm Fresh, MIXED RED ROASTING PEPPERS from Plowshare Farms, and scary-hot GHOST PEPPERS from Oak Grove Farm. (Here's a little experiment I did with my ghosts this week. My ratios are one pound sea salt to one halved pep - we'll see how that goes).

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We're still swimming in tomatoes, too - RAINBOW CHERRY TOMS and fat RED SLICING TOMATOES from Sunny Harvest Co-op, supersweet SUNGOLDS and quarts of petite MIXED HEIRLOOMS from Taproot Farm, and a gorgeous variety of full-sized HEIRLOOM TOMATOES from Plowshare Farms (who also bring us basil to go with all these). For a few new favorite recipes, check this list of quick and easy preparations for heirlooms. I'm definitely playing with some tomato water cocktails when I do my big annual canning.

And we have a few exciting additions to announce: For the first time, the Farmstand will be stocking sustainably caught New Jersey seafood from Shore Catch! Jim LaPrete sources sustainably caught netfish, linefish and scallops from the fishermen at Viking Village in Barnegat Light, NJ. This week, look for tender JUMBO SCALLOPS (about 10 to a pound), SUSHI-GRADE YELLOWFIN TUNA, SWORDFISH, and flaky, sweet GOLDEN TILEFISH in our freezer. Each package identifies where the fish was caught - something that's hard to come by for many types of seafood. We're happy to support sustainable practices and NJ's coastal economy while providing our customers with the "clean fish" and local sourcing they seek.

We also welcome Pipe Dreams Fromage to our cheese  case! Farmer-cheesemaker Bradley Parker's tiny Gettysburg-area operation produces very limited quantities of artisan, old-world-style goat cheeses from the milk of his herd of heritage breed Saanen goats. Try his famous ASH LOG, a 12-ounce cylinder dusted in vegetable ash for a peppery, nutty, edible rind and citrusy, snow-white interior. We're also stocking his DEMI-SEC CROTTIN, a bumpy, surface-ripened button with an almost flaky, "dry" paste and subtly earthy flavor, and tubs of his French-style DILL-GARLIC SPREAD. Since Pipe Dreams mostly distributes in the D.C. area and a few spots in New York, chances are, you haven't tasted this before, so step up to our counter and try something new!

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