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Chocolate flowers and frozen chocolate at the market!

Right at the peak of summer, the night shades roll in. Ironic, isn’t it? These plants that allegedly grow best in the cold and dark of night, come to market when the days are at their hottest.

What qualifies as a nightshade? Tomatoes (technically a fruit), peppers, potatoes and the mighty eggplant. Last week the eggplant at Orchard Hill Organics looked so inviting, it made me want to prepare this moussaka with ground beef from R&M Farm. This stuffed eggplant, Moroccan style, also caught my eye. The moussaka recipe calls for canned tomatoes, but of course, you will use market tomatoes instead.

The tomato is the queen of the nightshade family and right now she is having her moment. Each week it seems our farmers are bringing more and more heirloom varieties, and cherry tomatoes in so many colors, from honey gold to sunburst orange to fire engine red.

Why not try your hand at tomato jam for your next cheese and charcuterie board?

For a simple yet classic summer lunch, throw together this luxurious twist to the traditional BLT recipe. Find great slicing tomatoes from Orchard Hill Organics, bacon from Goode & Local and arugula from Obercreek Farm. If you are trying to steer clear of pork bacon, try the chicken bacon at R & M Farm. Same lip-smacking umami flavor...just a little more heart healthy.

Another easy way to honor those tomatoes is with a classic Harriet the Spy tomato sandwich. Use Wave Hill’s sliced Sourdough bread or pain de mie bread from Bien Cuit. You can elevate this by making your own house mayo and layering basil leaves onto your sliced and salted tomatoes. Or, not. You can even put it on a DoughCo bagel.

During this recent heat wave, it’s been hard to get motivated to cook.

I was grateful for my La Trafila bucatini pasta last week and even more for their cacio e pepe sauce that I bought with it. That and a red leaf salad made bright with lemony Arlotta Olive Oil was just the thing after another swampy day.

Dough Nation is away this Saturday but we’ve got the Pizza Vitale truck rolling with Neapolitan pies. And, Villa Empanada is bringing their her plump empanadas handmade and homespun to eat warm at the market at one of our colorful cafe tables or to take home frozen to enjoy later.

Raw Chocolate Love usually retreats during the hotter months when chocolate melts. This year, he is making frozen chocolate beverages instead!

And, speaking of chocolate did you notice the head-turning chocolate-covered, berry-toned nicotiana blossoms at the Stars of the Meadow tent last week? Hoping Mary Beth is bringing more this week!

For more visual beauty, make sure you wander over to the Chloe Sikirica Pottery tent for some of the prettiest pottery you’ll find anywhere. Need a wedding present or a housewarming gift? Chloe is your gal!

We are happy to introduce a new mushroom vendor this week. 4 Wall Farm from Chester, NY, joins us with pretty mushrooms in pretty boxes for easy storage that is also compostable. Try their medley box which includes 2-4 varieties of oyster mushrooms which may include blue, phoenix, elm, snow, yellow or pink, for $16. They also will be selling fabulous mushroom risotto “kits,” (a game changer for risotto fans), Lazy Lion tea made with their Lion’s mane mushrooms, and a “Instant Umami” flavor bomb packs for soup base, gravy base, stock mix, etc. Please give them a warm Chappaqua welcome!

One vendor will be missing from our lineup. Nutmeg Bakery and Cafe has shuttered their cafe in Tuckahoe and is ceasing all operations — for now. It's hard to imagine the market without Cindy and Noel and their wonderful staff as they have been an anchor vendor for as long as anyone can remember. They started with pies and crostatas and then grew, and grew and grew to offer so much more. They will be missed personally and culinarily. We wish them so much luck and happiness in the next chapter of their journey.

Noble Pies will be here on Saturday with extra pies and just-baked scones and Wild Radish will be bringing more of their baked goods and grain-based salads and warm-weather soups, too.

See you at the market!

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