I had a cooking demonstration scheduled yesterday at FRESHFARM’s Dupont Circle farm market. My alarm went off at 6:15 after less than 6 hours of sleep. I stood in the shower for half an hour hoping the water would clear the allergies from my bleary-eyes. It didn’t. I wandered down stairs and stumbled around starting to pack pots and pantry for a freestyle menu since I had no idea what ingredients would be available. The late spring had delayed the arrival of asparagus and strawberries, which left me with greens, mushrooms and eggs (I know, this sounds like a wonderful brunch, right? but I’m complaining here so don’t harsh my buzz). I mis-printed cards for recipes I wasn’t cooking anyway because there weren’t any ingredients ready, but I wanted to have handouts. And parking at this market is an incredible pain in the butt.
I did not want to go.
Then my husband Jason came downstairs and, being even more patient with me than usual, jumped in to cut the sheets of recipes into individual cards and helped me out the door.
I was still grumpy.
I pulled up to the market to unload for my demo and start off in search of that elusive parking space. Molly, the market manager walked up to me with the biggest, bright-eyed smile I have seen in a long time, gave me a hug, told me how happy she was that I was there, helped carry my equipment over to the tent and said I should just leave my car right where it is. I asked about ingredients and she pointed to a farm stand, just 20 feet away, saying, “they have asparagus and strawberries. There are also lots of sprouted greens*, you should use some of those.”
I was dumb struck and almost started to laugh. The recipe card misprint, the lack of ingredients, the difficulty parking, everything was wiped away in one instant. I paused and said in the general direction of the sky, “thank you, and I get it. I’ve got a job to do today, to bring people joy. I’ll get right on it.”
If you believe in a higher power, then she, he, them, it just answered my unspoken prayer with a bit of a wink. “You know this is why you’ve been given your gifts,” they said, “we’ll make it easy for you. Oh, and here are some incredible French Breakfast radishes, and some tarragon. You’re welcome.”
If your beliefs suggest this was all mere coincidence, there is still power in that. It is the power in believing that all of the fears tripping you up as you head into work, or a new project or a conversation with someone you love may be completely unfounded and simply disappear before you. So why give them any more of your time?
Either way, it was an amazing morning of smiles, storytelling and delicious food. Especially the sprouted kale sautéed with Oyster mushrooms and tarragon. You might say I was blessed. Or sprouted.
*Fall greens left in the ground over winter will sprout flowering stems in the spring. The flowering kale was sort of like Chinese broccoli with thick stems and flower buds that quickly turned tender.
Sautéed Sprouted Greens and Oyster Mushrooms
Start by sautéing some chicken and make this one dish meal or serve over quinoa for a vegan dinner. All of this, from the butter to the leeks, tastes better fresh from the farm market, but don’t let that get in the way of cooking at home this week. With whatever ingredients, equipment and experience you have, get in the kitchen, have fun and be proud to serve the people who join you at the table.
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced leek or onion
- 1/2 lb Oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 2 tbs chopped, fresh tarragon
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 lb sprouted kale, Chinese broccoli, or kale leaves, cut in 1″ pieces
- 1 tbs butter
- Sherry vinegar
- Warm 2 tbs olive oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook 30 seconds until just starting to brown around the edges. Add mushrooms and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add tarragon and wine. Toss through and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan while the wine reduces. Reserve mushrooms.
- Return pan to medium heat with remaining 1 tbs olive oil. Add sprouted kale and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add reserved mushrooms and toss through. Season to taste with salt, pepper, butter and a splash of vinegar.