Sometimes it seems like our plate is packed so full that it hurts to breathe. I love what we do and I love the life we have chosen but man oh man sometimes I just need a break. This past weekend I took that much needed break at Farmer Lee Jones' house. The Chef was cooking an all vegetarian dinner on the farm to raise money for the Culinary Vegetable Institute. Normally I like to escape to these dinners by my lonesome. I cherish meeting new people who support things we love (hi Ryan!!) and I love to enjoy the Chef's food. This time however, we were without a sitter so I called up the good farmer to see if the kids could sit in. He happily obliged and the kids and I headed up to the farm.
When we arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find that Farmer had arranged for two local high school girls to hang out with the mini's in the luxurious upstairs loft of The Culinary Vegetable Institute while I didned with the big kids downstairs. The Chef filled up my glass of wine and soon I was off on a crazy and delicious all vegetarian adventure. Here's what I ate:
Greenhouse Tavern Spreads, Smears & Breads
Noodlecat Tsukimono Platter
Lettuce Soup with Spring Herbs
Beet and Sorrel with Radishes, Almonds and Poppy
Tomato Miso Jam Rangoons with Cream Cheese
Sauteed Ramps and Fiddleheads with Garlic Shoots and Bernaise
Spring Supple Quinotta with baby Fennel, Favas, Pecorino, Peas, Poached Egg, Fresh mint and
Ramp Gnocchi with Morels and White Asparagus
Mustard Greens Salad with Thai Basil, Apple Kimchee and Ponzu
Ramp Rice Cake with Spicy Peanut and Tofu Puree
Udon with Spring Onion Confit, Fiddlehead Ferns, Vin Braised Boomers, Garlic Scapes and Miso Pistou
My favorite dishes were the lettuce soup (recipe to come soon!) and the ramp gnocchi. SO. FREAKIN'. GOOD. The lettuce soup was so light and airy I felt like I immediately lost ten pounds while eating it. The gnocchi was not as delicate as I normally like it but the ramps added in made each piece I ate, a pop of crunchy earth. Super yum to the max.
The Earth to Table Dinner that the Chef does is easily one of my favorite events of the year. I love that the Chef is really really good at is cooking vegetables in ways that every person would enjoy. He cooked 105 vegetables that night and 110 people left the farm happy, healthy, and full.
The Culinary Vegetable Institute is an inspiring place. If you have the opportunity I highly recommend checking out an Earth to Table dinner or their annual Veggi U Food & Wine Festival. Super fun time, crazy chefs, and wicked awesome food. Team Sawyer will be representing this year in July and we would love it if you could join us on the farm!