Saturday morning, I checked out the Grand Army Plaza green market by Prospect Park. It’s gigantic, I soon found out. Within twenty minutes there, I had a ton of stuff and had dropped a fair amount of cash. ($10 on scallops and $16 on ground turkey made a dent.)
What I got:
Arugula, chives (with the yummy purple flowers), cilantro, green onions, red & white onions, thyme, parsley, asparagus, broccoli rabe, carrots, 3/4 lb scallops, a pound of ground turkey breast & a pound of ground light/dark turkey. After reading the Amateur Gourmet’s post on “forcing yourself” to buy something new at the Farmer’s Market each time you go, I took that idea to the extreme. While I’ve eaten chives, broccoli rabe and arugula before, I’ve never bought a huge bunch of any of it. Arugula? The tame Whole Foods loose baby arugula. Chives? Used em, but rarely bought them. Broccoli rabe? I’ve had it recently at a few different restaurants and liked it, but I’ve never bought it before.
But, seeing the gigantic bunch of rabe, the bouquet of chives with the gorgeous (and delicious) flowers, and the same out of control bunch of arugula, I knew I wanted them all. I figured at a few bucks an item, the cost for the risk is minimal.
Let me tell you, tonight’s dinner has an already semi-permanent farmer’s market fan a permanent one. The scallops were at the edge of being good, so they had to be fixed tonight. After reading the same AG post about a raw asparagus salad, and then today’s Smitten Kitten’s asparagus, goat cheese and lemon pasta, I had a basic idea in mind. Simple seared scallops and pesto, goat cheese asparagus.
Sear scallops – I followed trusty Cooks Illustrated. Basically, dry the scallops, salt and pepper each side liberally, sear 2 min on one side, 1-2 min on the other in butter or olive oil. I made a basic pesto (also from CI) in my Magic Bullet and blanched the sliced asparagus (a bit too long, unfortunately). The pesto wasn’t blending well because I only had a little bit, so I added a fair amount of lemon juice to loosen it up. Considering that so often I eat asparagus with lemon, it worked. In a bowl, I tossed the asparagus with the pesto and a spoonful of garlic herb goat cheese. Mix well until the goat cheese distributes evenly.
Once I plated it up, I added more toasted pine nuts and snipped a chive on top, along with the chive flower. The flowers are intensely flavored, delicious.
The scallops were so sweet and melt in your mouth tender. I kept them fairly medium in doneness because that’s my preference. Overdone seafood just has no appeal to me. The scallops are simply delicious, the asparagus is flavorful and has a tart kick from the lemon and goat cheese. I’m quite impressed with myself, if I do say so!