Season 4 of Falls Church Farmers Market Chef Kicks Off
BY KATHLEEN NIXON
Falls Church Times Staff
April 29, 2012
The cold and chilly morning did not dampen the kick off of the fourth year of the Falls Church Farmers Market Chef. Willow Restaurant’s Tracy O’Grady and Kate Jensen all bundled up prepared a sweet and savory pairing of ricotta pancakes topped with sautéed asparagus and roasted strawberries. And while many thought that the morning would not be a success as the sun decided to hide behind some clouds shortly after 8am, you could tell it was another success by the more than 500 ricotta pancakes served by 10:30am.
Tracy chose the pairing of the asparagus and strawberries to show consumers that with a little creativity you can create savory or sweet dishes to highlight local seasonal food. The asparagus was blanched for 3- 4 minutes and then sautéed in butter with salt and pepper. The strawberries were trimmed and then roasted. To roast the strawberries, you wash and trim them, toss them in white balsamic vinegar and then place them on a shallow baking dish at 250 degrees in the oven for an hour. Roasting intensifies the sweet flavor to the strawberries which sets off the savory of the asparagus.
The ricotta pancakes were very light and Tracy recommends using the farmers’ market ricotta rather than the commercial ricotta as the farmers’ market variety is sweeter and lighter. The commercial ricotta due to the preservatives will have much more of a sour taste. The pancakes are super easy to make and can be used as an appetizer or a light lunch. The recipe can be found on the Farmers Market Chef website.
It is always a pleasure having Tracy O’Grady as part of the Falls Church Farmers’ Market Chef demo as she has so many fans in the local community due to the many organizations she and Willow support. Willow is also a favorite of many of the local community for a dining experience and it is a treat to get to see Tracy and Kate in action. What is also very special is the Curtin family tradition of supporting local chefs and Ciara Curtin donning her chefs toque to help out with the line and dress the pancakes with the roasted strawberries.
The next Falls Church Farmers Market Chef will be on Saturday, May 19th featuring Chef Bertrand Chemel.
By Kathleen Nixon
April 29, 2012