Is there anything better than spending a Saturday morning at the farmers' market? The only thing I can think of that equals it in joy is cooking supper later that day with people you love. Mr. Magpie's sister and her husband stayed with us over the weekend, and we did just that. There was much shopping for ingredients at the farmers' market, the fish market, and the Italian market, then later on after a full day of adventuring, much cooking in a sunlit kitchen.
We made several dishes: gnocchi with aglio olio and fresh herbs, steamed fiddleheads, chicken thighs cooked in olive oil with rosemary, shrimp grilled with garlic and chiles, salad with homemade balsamic dressing, and more. But one of my favorite things we made is one of the simplest. For an appetizer, and to smear on fresh-baked luna bread from Micucci's, we made radish butter. All you need to make it is good, unsalted butter and some fresh, organic radishes. Finely mince the radishes and then mix them into the softened butter. Serve it in a cute dish (I used an espresso cup) along with great bread and crackers or raw veggies. I sprinkle it with sea salt and fresh-cracked pepper (and a few snips of chives). It's sweet and peppery and creamy . . . all with a radish-y bite that I love!
The gnocchi were soft and slightly chewy, with lots of parmigiano reggiano and fresh basil. Heaven.
For desert, we macerated raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries in local honey and served it over meringue cups with a drizzle of dark chocolate and a small scoop of coffee ice cream. Summer in a bowl!
It was a memorable meal, but the best part was cooking it with people we love, and knowing there will be many more meals like this one to share.