Farmers Market Kitchen

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Farmers Market Cocktail: Apples x Apples x Apples

Posted By on Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Apples x apples x apples - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Apples x apples x apples
October means many things in Vermont: cutting corn, hauling pumpkins and winter squash, digging potatoes,  processing vegetables, cutting the cabbage patch into kraut. And picking apples.

As orchardists press cider and prep their fields for the coming cold, we wander through the trees, picking fruit. Once home, we transform our pickings into pies or preserves. Any way you slice it, harvest is a busy time.

So how about a seasonal cocktail? Here's one to celebrate the apple, making use of the fruit in three ways — with  Malvados apple brandy from Mad River Distillers and ice cider and fresh cider from Champlain Orchards.

Apples x Apples x Apples
Makes two cocktails


  • 2 ounces apple brandy
  • 2 ounces ice cider
  • Juice of one lemon
  • A few leaves each of sage, lavender, thyme
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Fresh apple cider, to top
  1. Muddle the brandy, lemon and herbs in a pint glass or cocktail shaker. Strain the mixture into another glass or shaker; add ice cider and maple syrup and stir well.
  2. Fill two Collins or rocks glasses with ice to the top; pour mixture over the ice and top off with fresh apple cider. Jostle with a spoon or cocktail stirrer to mix. Garnish with fresh herbs. 

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Farmers Market Kitchen: Wild Grape Jam

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 3:07 PM

  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Wild grapes
Wild grapes are kind of a pain to work with — each individual fruit is more than half seed and skin, so you need to collect a lot in order to do anything with them. Picking the fruit from the stems is tedious and requires many hands, or many hours. Still, I love their decisively sour character, their subtle musk and saturated, grape flavor. And gathering them is often a small adventure, requiring climbing trees or braving vine-choked thickets, basket in hand, just as the autumn leaves begin to turn.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Farmers Market Kitchen: Now-and-Later Summer Salsa

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 3:32 PM

Harvest ferments: dilly beans, salsa, kimchi-kraut, oh my! - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Harvest ferments: dilly beans, salsa, kimchi-kraut, oh my!
I'm inclined to deny autumn an early start. But as peak produce season shifts into foggy nights and cool, dewy mornings, I've been processing summer vegetables with undeniable urgency. In the last week, I've canned tomatoes and kimchi-kraut, and partnered with friends and neighbors to squirrel away dilly beans and salsa, too.

On Sunday, a girlfriend and I made this spicy, fresh-flavored pico de gallo, using garden tomatoes and garlic, plus poblanos and onions that I grabbed from  Putting Down Roots Farm at Chelsea farmers market last Friday. It's fab the moment you make it, so ladle some off and enjoy it right away. But given a few days to develop, the salsa's flavor deepens to a tart, extra-spicy (and extra-healthy, probiotic) mélange.  

For folks who are new to making their own fermented foods, this is a really nice newbie recipe. Unlike kimchi or even sauerkraut, it's a snap to make, and the resulting salsa is familiar and accessible to every palate. 

Once you've fermented it at room temperature for several days, stick it in the fridge. It'll last about a month, for continued summer-y enjoyment, even after the first frost.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Farmers Market Kitchen: Currant Whiskey Smash

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 4:39 PM

Currant whiskey smash - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Currant whiskey smash
Many drinkers stick to clear, clean liquors like gin or vodka when the weather is hot. But with ample ice and a shot of tart fruit, whiskey can make a cocktail as light and refreshing as any greyhound or gin fizz around. 

A few months ago, Stonecutter Sprits released its Heritage Cask Whiskey According to co-owner Sas Stewart, it's "distilled like bourbon, aged like Irish whiskey and finished like Scotch." Whatever the process, it's a smooth, woody  spirit with a vanilla nose and notes of dark fruit and clove, with an off-dry, spicy finish.

Since the bottle retails for about $60, I like to savor it as a sipping whiskey. But it also makes a fine cocktail.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Farmers Market Kitchen: Thai Basil-Coconut-Cashew Pesto

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Thai basil-coconut-cashew pesto - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Thai basil-coconut-cashew pesto
Making pesto is one of summer's most joyous pleasures. It's a snap to prepare — the recipe below takes 15 minutes — and eating it is always a special treat. 

I'm a fan of the classic Italian blend of basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and Parmesan. But taking that recipe as a basic equation — green leaves + (garlic) + oil + nuts + (something creamy) + (a splash of citrus) + salt — opens up endless combinations of deliciousness. 

So ask yourself: What green leaves do I have on hand, and what would they combine well with? 

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Farmers Market Kitchen: Sweet-and-Sour Pea-kles With Wild Chamomile

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 4:56 PM

Peas + salt + time = pickles! - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Peas + salt + time = pickles!
Ever meet a dilly bean you didn't love? Well, you can pickle peas, too. One of my girlfriends made lactofermented snap-pea "pea-kles" last summer, and they're still flavorful, crispy and sour a full year later.

So, with a few pounds of extra sugarsnaps on my hands, I threw some into jars with fresh onions from Cedar Circle Farm, a little wild chamomile (also called pineapple weed, this grows all over my driveway, and in compacted soils everywhere) then covered them in salty maple brine.  

Lactopickling is super simple — my pea-kle ordeal took about 30 minutes including boiling and cooling the brine — but it's critical to follow a few important rules. 

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Farmers Market Kitchen: Italian Kale Salad

Posted By on Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 1:07 PM

Fixings for a summer kale salad - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Fixings for a summer kale salad
After spending the holiday weekend visiting family in New York, I returned to a garden overgrowing with kale and broccoli rabe and bushing basil that demanded picking. The thing about leafy greens that need picking is this: If you don't pick now, you'll have less to pick later. So I picked and picked and picked, half-wondering what I'd do with so much roughage.

Then I remembered a recent conversation with my cousin, who reminded me that kale can be tenderized with a bit of rough handling, so I ripped up a bunch, and twisted and squeezed it. With some chopped herbs and a splash of oil and vinegar, a hearty, summery salad was born. And, if you're one of the hundreds of Vermonters who receives piles and piles of kale in your CSA share, you can make it tonight in 10 minutes or less.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Farmers Market Kitchen: Tom Cat, Thyme and Tonic

Posted By on Tue, Jun 21, 2016 at 2:19 PM

Tom Cat, Thyme and Tonic - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Tom Cat, Thyme and Tonic
If there's one thing my kitchen garden does really well, it's grow herbs. Like clockwork, thyme blooms around the summer solstice, sending up charming little columns of flowers that seem to last for weeks. To eat, these blooms are somewhat milder than the leaves, tender and sweet, with light tannic notes (thyme is, after all, a woody herb) and a hint of licorice. 

In April, Caledonia Spirits released a limited run of its Barr Hill Reserve  Tom Cat gin, which was aged in Vermont white oak barrels made by a cooper outside of Plattsburgh. On my way through Hardwick earlier this month, I stopped at the distillery and snapped up a bottle. It's a sipping gin — golden in color, smooth and honey-sweet with herbal, woody and nut-brown flavors that you can unpack for hours.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Farmers Market Kitchen: Radish Greens Frittata

Posted By on Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 2:17 PM

Radish greens! - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Radish greens!
Radishes are a book-end vegetable, one of the first freshies of spring, and one of the last veggies standing come fall.  I love the crunchy little roots served fresh or in salad, and they're fab on the grill or sautéed. And don't get me started on the greens, which make a fine pesto base or spinach substitute. 

I planted some in mid-April (remember how it snowed  just a few weeks ago?), and expected to harvest them this week and next. But following several 80-degree days and Sunday's rain, they bolted yesterday afternoon. I saved a few, but mostly I got a sink full of greens, since the plants had converted their bulbous roots into flower stalks in a single day.

This morning, I took a bunch of those greens and cooked them into a fluffy, frothy frittata with fresh herbs,  asparagus from 4 Corners Farm and a handful of cow's milk "feta" from Neighborly Farms, over in Randolph. 

And life was grand...

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Farmers Market Kitchen: Beer-Marinated Chicken of the Woods

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2016 at 3:22 PM

Oyster mushrooms and chicken of the woods - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Oyster mushrooms and chicken of the woods
After a cool spring, summer mushroom season is finally here. I've been too busy to hit the trail myself, but if my Instagram feed is any indication, it's been a bumper year for morels. Last weekend, a friend of mine stopped at his usual morel spot on his way home. It was devoid of morels, but he did find a huge cluster of chicken of the woods, and grabbed enough to share. Lucky me!

Last night, I bathed the fungi (along with some oyster mushrooms my mom brought over) in a slap-dash marinade for 15 minutes, then passed them off to the grill man, who charred them briefly for a sumptuous supper side. 

My marinade was simple — a splash of olive oil, a bigger splash of beer (I was drinking an IPA from Harpoon Brewery, but anything with some flavor —  white wine, rosé or cider — would work), and a little salt and garlic. Also, this would work with other types of mushrooms, so you could use a portobello or even some big button mushrooms, if you're not into or can't get the wild stuff.

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