Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Large Basket and an Open Mind

I think if there were two things I would advise someone to take to the farmers market it would be a large market basket and an open mind. With no menu set, it leaves you ready to discover new ingredients, the wonderful produce that can’t be found in a store, and that, often, you had no idea existed.

Such was our trip to the market last weekend. There was an abundance of greens and wonderful items. It was easily one of our best trips ever. As we strolled down the aisle, we found things that just looked so good, we had to buy them and then figure out the recipe later. Thus, we found a beautiful bunch of flowering bok choy grown by a Thai family who are new to the market. We also bought purple bok choy from a farmer we know well, and two different kinds of turnips, just because the greens attached were so incredible.

It was also the week of broccoli and cauliflower. Yes, we only get about a week of these items here. And fresh sugar-snap peas. Easily ten different kinds of lettuces, greens, and one of the last weekends for asparagus. We’re eating a lot of vegetables this week. And, I am good with that!

Once we had the greens and veggies, we stopped by the “pasta girls’” tent to find the right flavor of pasta for some of our finds. The rest of the items needed were just basic pantry staples, and some local honey, all of which we had at home. Spring cooking is easy. You just don’t need to do that much to foods that are this fresh and have this much flavor.

Lemon Chive Pasta with Chard and Asparagus in Herb Parmesan Sauce

Honey-Glazed Turnips with Shallots

Honey-Lemon Spring Vegetable Saute, version 2

Looking for these recipes? They will be part of an upcoming book co-authored with Ali of Cleaner Plate Club.


frugalmom said...

That all sounds delightful. My biggest problem is what to choose with all that becomes available because it all looks so great!

The Expatriate Chef said...

My favorites are the pasta and the greens recipe, if that helps! I am finishing off the broccoli rabe, sundried tomato, and caramelized onion tart I also made this weekend. It needs some tweaks before I post that one, but it is not bad. Look for that soon just to make the choice more difficult! Thanks for coming by!

Linda said...

Very elegant. Your farmers market sounds like a perfect place to shop.