Today was opening day for the Cambridge, MA, Winter Farmers Market. It was also the first time I have been to this market, in any year.
Last week when I looked over the list of vendors, there were two in particular I wanted to visit: Rhode Island Mushroom Co., and Birch Tree Bread Company. Even though it is almost an hour’s drive, I am glad I did. The entire neighborhood surrounding the Community Center was restricted to Resident Only parking, so I parked briefly on a main street around the corner and zipped in and out after searching out what I wanted.
Since we leave on our next trip on Tuesday, I limited my purchases to what I would use in three days (or, in the case of the pasta, would freeze):
- a handful of each of three wild mushrooms — Chanterelle, Black Trumpets, and Pioppino, plus about six nice, fresh Shiitakes.
- a loaf of Rosemary-Ciabatta, baked this morning
- one small watermelon radish and two golden beets
- two packages of Valicenti Organico pasta — Lemon-Basil Linguine, and Moroccan Braised Carrot and Chickpea Ravioli
I was able to get home early enough to make a marvelous lunch, featuring pan-roasted and then braised wild mushrooms, Ciabatta heated in a 375º F. oven, and both of the Caponata dishes from yesterday’s cooking (and blog).
For the wines I started with a glass of Estate Argyros Assyrtiko (also used to braise the mushrooms). Then I opened a bottle of Terra Damia from Odoardi, one of my favorite producers among the gems in Jan D’Amore’s portfolio. It’s a Calabrian blend of Gaglioppo, Nerello Cappuccio, Magliocco, Greco Nero grapes, rich and dark — superbly matched to the wild mushroom blend and the spicy Mario Batali Caponata. It was stunning how it picked up and mirrored the flavors of cinnamon, hot pepper flakes, currants and cacao from that dish. Note to myself: add Odoardi to my must-visit places in Italy soon. And remember to bring back some of their olive oil, too. Thank you, Jan!