A “Local” Flavor Quest For Recipe Ingredients

Colorful farmstands and farmers markets all over the East End have caught our fancy. “Locally grown” and “eating local” are trends that are here to stay. We are all becoming more and more aware that homegrown food tastes better than food from distant locales, and it’s better for our health – and better for the planet. Farmstands and farmers markets today are not only offering a variety of produce – for you will surely find a host of hand-crafted cheeses from local artisans, locally baked breads, a delicious array of jams, jellies and honey, fresh fish, wine and flowers and even fresh eggs from hens happily running about in their pens at Babinski’s farmstand in Bridgehampton and of course at the legendary Iacono Chicken Farm in East Hampton. [expand]

I had the pleasure of doing a book signing for Savoring the Hamptons: Discovering the Food and Wine of Long Island’s East End at the Sag Harbor Farmers Market held on Saturday mornings, and I look forward to a book signing at the Hayground Market (Fridays) in Bridgehampton, where I will be on Friday, July 8, from 3 to 6 p.m. Inspired by so many of the merchants at the market, I will be prepared with tastings from my book and look forward to your visit.



This inspired salad is topped with tender mushrooms and toasted pignoli nuts.

Serves 4-6

For the mushrooms

1/2 pound mushrooms, shiitake, oyster mix

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large leek, trimmed, washed well and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons water

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the greens and vinaigrette

4 cups mesclun or mixed salad greens, washed and spin-dried

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 cup toasted pignoli nuts for garnish


1. Cut off and discard mushroom stems. Rinse mushrooms in a colander, tossing them gently under a spray of cool water. Transfer to paper towels and pat dry. Cut shiitake into 1/4-inch slices and separate oyster mushrooms at the stem end. Set aside.

2. Warm the olive oil in a large 10-12-inch non-stick skillet. Add the leeks and garlic and sauté, stirring for a minute or so. Add the prepared mushrooms, toss to mix and cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes until mushrooms are slightly tender. Add balsamic vinegar and water, cover the pan and simmer for 6-8 minutes over low heat. To serve the mushrooms warm leave in the skillet to reheat later. Can be prepared up to a couple of hours ahead to this point.

3. To serve, place the prepared greens in a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil and salt and toss to coat. Add the vinegar and several grinds of freshly ground pepper. Toss with abandon to distribute the dressing. Taste to adjust seasoning if necessary. Divide greens on 4 to 6 plates, top with mushrooms and a sprinkle of pignoli nuts. Serve at once.

Reprinted from Silvia Lehrer’s Savoring the Hamptons: Discovering the Food and Wine of Long Island’s East End (Running Press, 2011)



Fluke, or summer flounder, is currently running in our local waters. 

Serves 4-6

4-6 fluke fillets with skin removed, about 6-8 ounces each

2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or melted butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Grated rind of one lemon

1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

2-3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 375° F.

1. Rinse fillets and pat dry with paper towel. Drizzle oil or butter on the fillets and smooth it down with the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Place fillets in a shallow baking pan (a 10” x 15” Pyrex lasagna pan works well) just large enough to hold the fish in a single layer and set aside.

2. Mix the remaining ingredients and, with a rubber spatula, pat down equal amounts over the top of each fillet. At this point the fish can be covered lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated for an hour or two until ready to bake. If refrigerated, bring fish back to room temperature before baking. Bake about 7-8 minutes or until fish is opaque and springy to the touch. Serve with hot boiled new potatoes dressed with melted butter and parsley, if desired.

For more recipes, cooking news and Silvia’s Blog, check out my new website, www.savoringthehamptons.com. [/expand]

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