I love spring at the farmers’ market!!! I can spend hours just strolling the aisles, dazzled by the wild rainbow of colors, aromas and textures–exciting ingredients I’ve never before experienced.
This week I didn’t exactly reinvent the wheel but for my Sunday brunch I picked up morels(!), komatsuna (a Japanese green similar to spinach but more herbal, less tannic), a candy onion (sweeter than vidallia but with the bite of a typical yellow onion), duck eggs and some black cherries. Oh, and a baguette from my favorite bakery.
While I was cooking, I decided to experiment with the rich, green fluff preventing my carrots from fitting in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer. I made a quick carrot top pesto as a dip, helping to make use of the overabundance of mini spring veggies in my market basket. (And to help with space conservation in my fridge!)
Scrambled Duck Eggs Over Morels & Komatsuna with Grilled Cherries and Toast
1 1/4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp chopped candy onion
5 fat morels, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
1 tsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1 1/2 c fresh komatsuna leaves (or fresh, baby spinach)
2 duck eggs
1/4 tsp fresh chives, finely chopped
salt to taste
Crack eggs into a small bowl and thoroughly whisk. Set aside.
Melt 1/2 tsp butter in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft. Add morels, season with salt and cook until mushrooms begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in tarragon.
While mushrooms are cooking, add komatsuna with a splash of water to another pan. Cover and cook over medium heat until greens are limp, about 2 minutes.
Divide the komatsuna between two plates and top with mushrooms. Return mushroom pan to heat and add remaining 3/4 tbsp butter. Turn heat to medium low and add eggs. Stir constantly until eggs are cooked, approximately 4-5 minutes. Season with salt if desired. (You will need no seasoning if using salted butter!) When eggs are about set, stir in chives, remove from heat and divide between two plates, topping the mushrooms and greens. Serve with toast and a side of grilled cherries.
To grill cherries, wash a handful of black cherries. Heat grill to medium high and grill cherries for 4-5 minutes, turning once, until grill marks show on both sides. Let cherries cool for a few minutes before serving as their sugar will become burning hot.
These cherries are super sexy and can be served any time of day, as a snack, with an aperitif, accompanying grilled pork, etc. Use your imagination!
Vegan Carrot Top Pesto
I never know what to do with the tops of my carrots. I hate to waste them but I don’t really love their taste on its own. So I tried making a carrot top pesto, which is totally vegan, easy and surprisingly good!
1/4 c unsalted walnuts
1 tbsp + 1/4 c olive oil
1 tbsp onion, roughly chopped
1 bulb garlic, roughly chopped
1 bunch carrot tops, thoroughly washed and roughly chopped
Toast walnuts in pan or oven until golden. Set aside.
heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft. Add garlic and saute an additional minute before adding in carrot tops and a pinch of smoked salt. Cook until carrot tops wilt, about 1 minute.
Transfer to blender, adding toasted walnuts and 1 tbsp water. Blend, adding olive oil in a slow stream until mixture becomes a coarse paste (the texture of pesto!) You may not need all the olive oil or you may need additional.
Season with additional smoked salt to taste.
Serve as a dip, salad dressing or over pasta.