Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Comes Early to the Market...

Spring Daffodils Blaze Forth at the 2011 Flower Show

Step into Spring enjoying the new produce that is beginning to appear on the shelves at the Reading Terminal Market.

Animated by the inspirational Philadelphia Flower Show, we scouted around for all things green (and purple and red!), and interviewed the new chef at Molly Malloys the soon-to-be-unveiled new gastro-pub at the Market to get his spin on Spring food trends.

A universal comment from a number of chefs and produce merchants we spoke to,is that one of the best things about Spring is the welcome appearance of local Jersey and PA-grown produce.  This is good news for all because it means cheaper veggies!

One of the items missing from menus for many a Winter month is the eggplant.  According to Chef Bobby Fisher at Molly Malloy's: "Eggplant is just too expensive right now.  It's flown in from Mexico and it's been a bad growing season.  We can't wait for the Jersey eggplants to come in."  Not only is the eggplant a good looking veggie, it is also extremely versatile and grounds many a dish, including Moussaka and Vegetarian Lasagne (if you're trying to avoid carbs, then you can slice the eggplant thicker than usual, layer these slices between the Bechamel and other veggies and replace the lasagne pasta sheets altogether.)  It works, honest.

This artful array of purple and green (check out those two-tone string beans!) was snapped at Iovines -- the bounty of their produce is a sight for sore eyes during these long, cold months. 

For those in the know, Iovines produce will shortly be appearing on the menu at a brand new gastro-pub which will open at the Market, as a replacement to The Beer Garden.  More details to follow in a later post...

Needless to say, we nabbed the new chef who is designing an artisanal menu based on the Farm to Table concept, working directly with local meat producers and farmers to source local organic ingredients for the pub.  The full scoop will be shared in a later post, but for now, suffice to say, the pub will feature local craft beers, including Keri's favorite (Victory Golden Monkey) and will of course sell Guinness and other specialty Irish brews.

Over the next two weeks, we'll be focusing on veggies, salads and new produce at the Market.  Look out for recipes for Claire's Duck Salad, Fish Salad, advice on how to choose the best cuts of beef for beef salad, Keri's Caesar Salad , and a startingly novel recipe for Zucchini Pizza (we are always on the look out for ways to entice kiddiewinkles to eat more greens!)

Munch on...

No comments: