That first cool morning couldn’t dissuade me. Couldn’t pull loose the fingers diligent about bringing me a few weeks, a month back in time. And I wasn’t fighting.
That chill this past Tuesday morning, the first noticeable sign of fall, wasn’t anything to take seriously. The sun was shining, warming me right out the door.
Baby, don’t worry with every ray, and I was real chill waiting for the bus, that slight morning cool nothing.
I was still thinking summer.
With colder weather looming more and more in the last few weeks, I’ve tried to take advantage of the farmers markets at Rittenhouse and Headhouse Square as much as I could, with a mind to recreating or riffing on some dishes I either had in restaurants or threw together at home with summer ingredients. While the weather has finally started to turn, there’s still time left before all the tomatoes, tomatillos, and the bounty of herbs dry up and make way for more root vegetables.
About two weeks ago I revisited something inspired by a visit to Dizengoff (by 17th and Samson) back in early August. On the way to the Rittenhouse farmers market with a stubborn hangover that day, another lemonanna from Mike Solomonov’s hummusiya sounded like a good idea. Soon, the lemonanna’s sharp signature flavor and blended mint had me thinking it would be a perfect base for the scallops I was after from Shore Catch fishmongers.
By themselves, the raw scallops, particularly the sweeter, more yellow/orange ones, taste like the best French butter that you can pull from the sea. Besides the mint from the lemonanna, I was looking to add some more herbality and found it in the form of the shiso and lemon balm sold by Neighborhood Foods, an urban farm in West Philly that has a stand a few stalls closer to 19th.
On that first occasion, I was dunking in a plastic cup in the park, letting each scallop luxuriate in a shallow pool of melted lemonanna. Recently, I went all fancy bastard while finding the perfect amount of lemon slushy (this time with shiso and lemon balm blended in with the mint Dizengoff adds) to place upon spoons before adding the raw scallops and herbs. The right amount blocks out the scallops for a split second before enjambing with them, a hint of that slushy base hanging on as the herb accented, sweet, buttery scallops jump out.