Hope you don’t get too depressed about this being the last week or two for peaches this season. Fear not, we’re coming into what is probably my favorite season at the farmers’ markets: Early fall.
Our friends at Bloomingdale Market (Sunday mornings at 1st and R Sts, NW) sent us another one of their mouth watering overviews of what’s in store for this weekend, including fall lamb. Most of us associate lamb with spring, but the autumnal version is one of the best kept culinary secrets. The meat at this time of year is more mature, meaning it has a richer and more flavorful taste. However, it still delivers a packed punch of protein, selenium (which is thought to provide protection from cancer, asthma and other conditions) and zinc.
After the market overview (and by the way most of this is not only available at Bloomingdale but also available at all our local markets) , a simple and excellent lamb recipe with wine pairing. What a delicious way to get your zinc!
“For this week at least, we have REID’s superjuicy late summer peaches (the best peaches of the season, in my opinion), tiny flavor bursting pink grapes, seedless and seeded grapes, Italian plums for baking and a huge variety of apples — both antique and modern. Yes, she has the insanely popular Honeycrisp, but also heirloom varieties like the yellow fleshed, spicy Smokehouse and Cox Orange Pippin. This is a classic English apple, developed in the 19th century and a lot of apple fans think it is the best- flavored dessert apple. Caitlin is an apple maven — describe the taste you like and she will find you the perfect apple.
Lamb Lamb Lamb at NEW ASBURY. Every cut you want, their coolers are full. And just in case you have run out of ideas for their tender, flavorful but never gamy lamb, look here for some inspiration: Indian Lamb Kebabs, Swedish Lamb Meatballs, Grilled Lamb with Tomato Mint Marmelade, The Greek- inspired Braised lamb and Greens with egg and lemon sauce, Cumin based spice- rubbed breast of lamb, Boned lamb baked with veg and cheese in phyllo and now that it is cool enough to turn on your oven and walk away, the Seven Hour Spoon Lamb. No fuss, no muss, just pop it in the oven….. and lamb you can eat with a spoon seven hours later. http://www.theatlantic.com/food/archive/2010/09/the-atlantic-lamb-menu-a-dozen-recipes/62265/
LUKE at NORTH MOUNTAIN PASTURES will have Pickled string beans, pickled beets and their specially fermented Tomato Salsa! Plus Tesa bacon, Bresaola and maybe some prosciutto.
READY FOR PASTA AGAIN? No one makes lighter and more flavorful pastas than Stefano at Copper Pot. Potato Gnocchi cooks up in 30 seconds after they throw them into boiling water, Country Ham Parmesan tortellini, Duck Ravioli are just a few of his choices, all his sauces and those jams with attitude are back.
SANDY had a great Labor Day goat roast at PAINTED HAND FARM and you can, too! Goat is THE meat this year: tender, lean and very flavorful. Ask her for a recipe.
Plus Sweet Potatoes at Garner, and lots of tomatoes at SnowBear, Garner, Truck Patch and Reid. The cooler weather makes for lots of Truck Patch’s excellent baby arugula and other greens (and mine lasted all week). Corny corn, Green, yellow and Romano beans, REAL Celery (SnowBear), cucumbers, squash, okra, lima beans and maybe some shelled cranberry beans this week. Winter Squash is the face of Fall. Garlic. Onions. Peppers.
We are really lucky with our bacon and chicken producers here at BFM. Truck Patch bacon is delicious and I have been really enjoying their steaks and chicken this week. Lots of good sausages, too.
Don’t forget the cheddar cheese to go with those apples and the feta and yogurt at Keswick. And the gelato at Dolcezza. And the lemon bars (Classic or Vegan) at Chez Hareg. Mel keeps promising me apple pies!”
And now for the recipe! Nothing could be easier than popping a boneless leg of lamb into the oven then, 2 hours later (and along with a few choice sides – try fried green tomatoes with that tomato glut you are likely having out back), there’s dinner. One of my all time favorite wines to pair with lamb is Cave la Vinsobraise Emeraude 2007 ($18) . The Emeraude is made from grapes from vines at least 40 years old and is restricted to years of better growing conditions. It is also aged for 12 months in wood and so has slight vanilla undertones. And – just in – the 2007 was an excellent year for wine grapes in Vinsobres, and the 2007 Emeraude has more deep ripe fruit flavor than the 2005, as well as a little more spice.
Boneless Roast Leg of Lamb
1 boneless short leg of lamb, rolled & tied (4 lb. size)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
2 cups plain yogurt
Salt & Pepper
1/2 cup red wine
Combine lamb, yogurt and rosemary in a large bowl and let marinate covered in the refrigerator.
Just prior to cooking, preheat oven to 475°F.
Remove lamb from marinade, season with salt and pepper, and place in your roasting pan. Place roasting pan on your oven’s middle rack, and cook for 10 minutes at 475°F. Reduce heat to 400°F and continue cooking for another 40 minutes or until the roast reaches an internal temperature between 140°F – 150°F depending how you like it.
Remove roast from pan and place on platter. Cover with tin foil to keep warm. Tilt the pan to one side and spoon off the excess fat. Place the roasting pan over medium heat, add wine, and bring to a boil. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release the brown pieces stuck to it.
Reduce the liquid by half and add any juices accumulated on the platter holding the roast. If so desired, add a tab of butter for a little more richness.
Cut the lamb into 3/4 inch slices and serve with gravy on the side.