Monday, July 18, 2011

Working and Playing

The East End of Long Island is renowned for stunning beaches, fertile farmland and relentless traffic jams. I got to experience all three this weekend when I headed out to the Hamptons to see my brother in a production of the musical Working based on the book by Studs Terkel at the Southhampton Cultural Center.

The cast of Studs Terkel's Working. This terrific production, both poignant and entertaining, is playing for two more weekends.

Mecox beach off Dune Road in Bridgehampton was spectacular on Saturday. The sky was crystal clear, with dramatic drifts of clouds dotting the horizon in puffballs of elaborate configurations. On the drive to Mecox I insisted on stopping at my favorite farmstand, Foster Farm in Sagaponack on Sagg Main Street. 

I will let the photos tell the whole farm stand story:

Who could resist?
 Sunflowers with yellow centers, a rare find!
Green beans just need a quick blanch. Dress them in a garlicky vinaigrette and let them marinate in the fridge for a salad.
I brought home one of the white eggplants, sliced it up and sauteed it in extra virgin olive oil. It cooked in minutes, sweet and tender and delicious over pasta.
Hot, sweet, small or large, grab a pepper and whether chopped raw, grilled or sauteed they will add a brightness to your dish.
Radishes sliced very thinly look like little jewels and add a fresh, peppery taste to a salad.

Freshly picked produce looks so colorful and healthy. It is difficult to know when to stop shopping.
Beautiful produce requires the most minimal amount of prep to get a fabulous meal on the table in no time and perhaps even fortify you for those inevitable beach community summer traffic jams!


  1. Very lovely and brings back fond memories of my own trips to Eastern LI in my NYC days. You would also love NC tailgate markets if you ever get a chance to come south.

    I learned of your blog from your post at the Left at the Gate blog and just tried your green beans in dijon vinaigrette w/ pickled shallot recipe over the weekend. It was so good that the beans were all gone pronto and then everyone dipped everything I grilled, from shrimp to zucchini, in the dressing left on the plate. It was a harmonic chorus of mmmmm!Thanks!

    Question - can the pickling liquid from the shallots be reused? Does heating the vinegar twice change it?

  2. Thank you Steve! A NC tailgate market is something I have yet to experience but I know I would love it.
    As for your question- yes indeed re-use the pickling liquid. It will have fantastic flavor. Just keep it in the fridge. You could also reheat it, I guess you mean by cooking it in another dish? I would certainly use it that way, as an addition to a soup or a stew you were cooking, for example or as part of a marinade.


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