I've waited all year for this moment. Spectacular fresh black currants, red currants and gooseberries, $3.99 a pint, gorgeous as can be, from Richter
in Fife (his raspberries are some of the best and sweetest in the country, stocked by Dean & Deluca and Zabar's).
I found these beauties at my local Metropolitan Market (Queen Anne) but I imagine the other locations might have them too. Best to call ahead. In any case, Richter sells their gorgeous fruit at local farmers markets so keep an eye for their little, colorful, shimmering and tasty gems.
Red, white or black currants, paired with fresh honey and Greek yogurt, it is one of my favorite things to eat, anytime of day or night. Add them to a tart or serve with fresh whipped cream on angel food cake.
Currant season is very short (4 weeks) so don't delay. Take them home and make jam, jelly, currant sauce for glazing poultry or to serve as an accompaniment with pork tenderloin or game. Or infuse good vodka with them. And look for his Tayberries (Woodring makes an excellent spread) and Nectarberries (my favorites!).
Among the many gems found yesterday at Columbia Farmers Market here are three for you to consider (from friendly and fabulous farmer Wade Bennett of Rockridge Orchards):
Fig leaves: Dark green, large leaves that blanched cwill become the vessels and coverings of anything you can imagine, beautifully. I plan to use these over the weekend to wrap fresh chèvre and homemade fresh fig compote with roasted lamb. 10 for a dollar.
Shallot Blossoms: Sprinkle in salads, pasta, sandwiches and dips for a mild shallot flavor. 50 cents each.
Garlic Blossoms: Use instead of garlic. I tossed these in a Roasted Beet, Walla Walla, Portabello and Pepper salad last night and the flavor was just lovely--not too pungent and a lot of fun to work with. 50 cents each.
Also taken home: Fresh butter ($5.00) from Monteillet Fromagerie in Walla Walla (we slathered it on the bread with dinner), gorgeous and plump beets (a dollar a bunch), sweet cherries and delicious bread from Columbia City Bakery (scheduled to open in August).
They have not opened their Columbia City bakery yet but their Jewish Rye, Walnut Loaf, Baguette and pastries are already a hit at Columbia City Farmers Market. Look them up, they have samples and the bakers are very friendly.
It could not be easier or tastier: ham, cheese, béchamel and added tomato, grilled in organic, just baked bread. Melted cheese bliss for $6.43.
The coffee here is drip only--at least for now-- so in lieu of a steamy hot Café Crème, a short vanilla soy latte ($3.00) from across the street (Uptown Espresso) hits the spot and it is perfectly okay to bring in.
If pink is the new black and 30 is the new 20 then Walla Walla is on its way to becoming the new Napa. What until the other day was the best kept secret around these parts is getting so much buzz these days that somewhere in the near future it's bound to become perhaps the premier wine country destination in the USA (Shh, keep it in the vault).
New York Times writer R. W. APPLE Jr. has let the cat out of the bag with a wonderful article on Walla Walla, its food and wine scene. Read it! You'll want to plan a weekend holiday of wine, cheese and fabulous food VERY soon.
Here is a link to a fabulous article written by Sara Schneider for Sunset Magazine (April 05) also on Walla Walla (with my favorite Monteillet featured in it). Bookmark it and be inspired to make this your next wine country travel destination this summer.
Planning a trip to our Emerald City? Take a look at yesterday's New York Times Travel Section. There is a nice article by Christopher Salomon on our piece of paradise with a few great recommendations on where to stay, play, eat (our new favorite restaurant, Volterra, is mentioned) and drink.
Crêpe Forestière (mushrooms, diced ham, Emmenthal, parsley and garlic. $7.25) and a cup of their French hot chocolate ("a l'ancienne"- $2.35) which is a bit too wimpy and not as hot as I expected it to be.
Lovely space, friendly service and the crèpe is so scrumptious I've already devoured most of it by the time it ocurred to me to take a snapshot. My apologies. :-D