I have been feeling a bit under the weather lately from an inner ear condition and so I have been spending a lot of time when I can in my garden. I started this garden series all shot on my iPhone 5s, these are some of my favorites. Follow me and the series on instagram @valrizzo.
I photographed a Crawfish Boil, the first of The Butcher Paper Dinner Series at Brooklyn Grange. It was a beautiful way to start off the Summer. Chef Mike Ciardi (formerly of Radish) started everyone off with classic beignets before his Louisiana Style Crawfish Boil with Andouille served with farm fresh veggies. Dessert was rhubarb hand pies made by Nora Lidgus from Runner and Stone Bakery and wine was served by Heron Hills Winery along with cold drafts from Big Alice Brewing in LIC. Tunes were spun by DJ Neal Sugarman co-owner of Daftone Records.
To find out more about future farm dinners as well as the farm's other events click here.
Every spring my good friend, landscaper, chef, singer and songwriter, Laura Comerford forages for ramps in the deep woods of Connecticut.This year I accompanied her to harvest the ramps, which she just about single handedly harvested while six months pregnant. I have to admit my husband Ivan (drummer in the band) was a big help as well, he learned how to harvest ramps, but unfortunately also brought home an unwanted friend burrowed in his leg, which I luckily managed to pull out easily before any damage was done. Ticks, one of the occupational hazards of ramp harvesting.
Back in Brooklyn Laura showed me how to clean the ramps and separate the green tops from the bulbs. The green leaves can be sautéed and used very much like spinach, you can see my recipe from a couple years ago here. Laura uses the bulbs to make her Pickled Ramps, which she is known for, you can see that recipe here. This time I made Ramp Dressing with the leaves using the recipe from my collaboration with Chef Camille Becerra (Navy NYC) for Chickpea Magazine, it can be used on top of all sorts of salads.