This Week @ The Westport Farmers Market

Liz Rueven

On July 8, from 10-2, Bill Taibe, executive chef and owner of LeFarm in Westport, will be offering some special dishes at the market.

Taibe’s commitment to local growers and artisans is the concept upon which LeFarm is built.  This 30 seat, cleaned up barn-like dining room in Colonial Green offers its diners meticulously sourced, deceptively simple, always exceptionally excellent fare.

Taibe will be wow’ing visitors to the market with Nasturtium Honey Blunts.  You got it!  Taibe  cleverly refers to rolled cigars here.  For this preparation, Taibe sources the largest leaves  of the Nasturtium flower  (no more than 2-3 inches across), rolls them  around a filling of chopped black olives, La Quercia prosciutto, Red Bee honey and Beltane Farms goat cheese.  The variegated, bright green leaf  has a peppery, arugula -like flavor which contrasts  unexpectedly against the creamy cheese and the sweet honey. How’s that for finger food?

Taibe will also offer pickled veal tongue served with bright, local tomatoes. He braises the meat slowly over a low flame for about two hours, until tender.  He plans on serving this with "Russian dressing," a modest name for this sauce made with his own tomato confit, Tabasco,  home made mayo, lots of fresh herbs and finely chopped pickles from Millstone Farm.

Don’t be surprised if something unexpected is presented by Taibe on Thursday.  I spoke with him after I relished  another flavor packed lunch at his low-key restaurant today. He glanced at a bowl overflowing with deep plum colored, Brandywine  heirloom tomatoes . He couldn’t resist buying them at the market this morning, despite the fact that his kitchen was already overloaded with fresh produce . He spoke about serving them sliced, sprinkled with sea salt , freshly crushed herbs and a drizzle of EVOO.  Flavorful, local produce like this is what fuels his creativity.  His restaurant menu changes daily in response to what is available from his CT growers (at least eight farms), including one of his best buddies who grows a wide array of veggies exclusively for LeFarm at Webb Mountain Farm in Monroe, CT.  Who knows what will be in abundance that day?   Taibe will probably surprise us.  Come to the market for a late morning snack or early lunch.  As always, I suggest getting there early!