Aug. 21, 2008
By Kim Dannies
Grazin’ in the grass
I had a Vermont ‘staycation’ last week and it was a blast. I visited Shelburne Farms for the Vermont Fresh Network event; learned about primal cuts at a workshop on grass-fed meats; saw the Mary Cassatt exhibit at the Shelburne Museum; biked up ApGap; and ate a maple creemee from the Sunoco station every day. At the Richmond farmer’s market, I splurged on grass-fed porterhouse steak from Maple Wind Farm in Huntington (www.maplewindfarm.com) that was so good it made my eyes roll back in my head. The meat is lean and juicy and herbal tasting. It requires less time on the grill and a 20-minute resting period in foil. I gave it a slather of Laudemio olive oil and a big pinch of sea salt. Paired with a Columbia Valley pinot noir, Helix 2004, (spied at Fresh Market on Pine Street) it was simple perfection.
For side dishes, I lightly mashed some baby potatoes called “cranberry” that are bright purple inside. They looked stunning with snipped chives and a glistening knob of butter. A lightly steamed rainbow of fresh green, yellow and purple beans made for a quick salad.
Who needs an airport? In the summer, among Vermont’s gorgeous green pastures, vacation simply doesn’t get any better than this.
Farmers’ market salad
2 pounds of mixed fresh garden beans
8 cherry tomatoes; sliced in half
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 bunches of fresh baby greens
4 ounces Vermont goat cheese, crumbled
Trim beans and cut into thirds. Rinse. Place in a glass bowl with a film of plastic wrap. Zap in microwave for 2 minutes. Remove wrap, pour beans into a colander and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Place greens on a serving plate. Add beans and top with tomatoes, nuts and cheese. If you have any stray fresh herbs, toss those in, too. Using a zigzag motion, pour desired amount of dressing over the salad. Serves 4.
Sunny maple mustard dressing
The turmeric is what gives this dressing a sunny color. If you don’t have any, don’t sweat it, but it is a fun spice to play with in small amounts.
In a small food processor chop 2 garlic cloves. Add a pinch of turmeric, 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and a large pinch of kosher salt. Blend for 30 seconds. With motor running, add 1/3 cup of olive oil in a stream; blend about 2 minutes, until the mixture emulsifies slightly. Yields 3/4 of a cup.
Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three college-aged daughters. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.