On the first sunny weekend after the last frost date in southern New England I brought a flat of seedling six packs to my community garden plot, ready to plant them. It was a garden clean-up day, and my fellow … Continue reading
I’ve been craving seafood lately, but with my bounty of veg from the farm share, farmer’s market and my garden, I rarely had to go to the grocery store (yea!). However, that meant that without a special trip I wouldn’t be able to satisfy my shellfish itch. So, I figured I would stop by Whole Paycheck and pick up a few staples while perusing their seafood section, which is well-labeled with sustainable local and wild catch options.
Luckily I found some (rather expensive) locally caught scallops. I bought only 8 of them – richer flavor equals needing less to satisfy.
For dinner I heated some olive oil (but you could use local butter) in a cast iron skillet and tossed in the salt and pepper seasoned scallops. After no more than 2 minutes I flipped them, and then took them out 2 minutes after that. These were large scallops – 8 of them was about 3/4 lb – so the time would be even shorter with smaller scallops. You definitely don’t want to overcook.
For the pesto sauce I threw celery leaves, dill and a bit of leftover basil leaves into the processor (but you could use whatever fresh herb odds and ends from your garden or fridge) with 2 cloves of fresh garlic. I drizzled in olive oil until it was the consistency I liked, and then seasoned with salt and pepper. I like to squeeze half of a lemon in as well for brightness. Drizzle over the scallops and serve – perhaps with a nice caprese?
I was never a fan of celery growing up – the ants on log, so beloved by afterschool snackers everywhere – were left with the logs licked clean. Even into adulthood, I eschewed the watery, stringy vegetable.
Until a few summers ago when my farm share gave me a fresh head (are they heads?). I fell in love with the fresh, clean, almost spicy flavor of good celery. It’s still a bit early for actual celery in the farm share, but this past week I was offered a bunch of the herb lovage. I read about it when I returned home – it is a hearty perennial plant with a strong celery-like flavor. And its stalks are hollow (I’m thinking bloody maries!).
I chopped some finely and added it to a purple potato salad (1 1/2 lbs cooked potatoes, very thinly sliced spring onions, chopped dill, and just enough mayo to cover it all with salt and pepper to taste). Honestly, I erred on the conservative side after reading internet warnings of how pungent the herb is – but I could have added another tablespoon and had even more of that celery punch. I will definitely plant some next year because (I have to say it!) I lovage lovage.