Brightest Young Things – Allison Desy

What is the best part of summer in D.C.? Perhaps it’s sweating in places you never even thought could sweat during 90 degree scorchers. Perhaps it’s the unbelievably packed public transit at all hours of the day. For Chef Haidar Karoum, it’s the highly accessible fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers markets.

Chef Haidar let the BYT team tag along with him on his trip to the Ronald Reagan Farmers Market where he picked out asparagus, sugar snap peas, and red and green spring onions for a vegetable and ricotta dumpling dish. When asked about his favorite items to scoop up at markets during the summer, the true answer is absolutely everything, though his favorites are ripe stone fruits, corn, tomatoes, and zucchini.

After sweating our way through all of the stands at the market, we made our way to the kitchen to get cooking. Chef Haidar got started on trimming up the vegetables we gathered, plus some maitake and morel mushrooms. Not a single scrap of vegetable was wasted. What didn’t get sauteed gently with olive oil was added to a delicate broth and later finished with butter to ensure a silky smooth texture.

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