Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

The farmer's market is in full bloom, and I absolutely love it. I look forward to waking up early on Saturday morning, walking down to the end of Fidelity Street, and entering the green, green, Carrboro greenmarket with its tents and hippies and kids on the playground and plants and baked goods and glorious veggies.

My bounty from this week: a bunch of hardy spinach and a cute little basil plant for the kitchen window.

And from last week: kale, radishes, tomatoes, basil, and paneer cheese.

I'll make my first batch of pesto this season (exciting!) from the basil later today -- I ran out of garlic this week and need to get some more from the co-op today.

I made an easy little salad from that first spring tomato, with olive oil and balsamic and whatever dried Italian herbs I had in the spice cabinet. They sure taste a million times better than any grocery store tomato ever sold.

I followed a Deborah Madison recipe for radishes that turned out fine, but not sure that I'd make it again. Radishes always look so unbelievably beautiful that I buy them, but sometimes am not sure how to prepare them best. I don't think this recipe was the answer. I think I should stick to sauteeing them until crispy, then roasting them a bit. Or maybe its the reverse? Clarification to come.

Deborah Madison's Braised Red Radishes, from "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone"

20 plump radishes, red or multicolored
1 to 2 tablespoons of butter
1 shallot, diced
1 teaspoon chopped thyme or several pinches dried
Salt and pepper

Trim the leaves from the radishes, leaving a bit of the green stems, and scrub them. If the leaves are tender, wash them and set aside. Leave smaller radishes whole and halve or quarter larger ones.

Melt 2 to 3 teaspoons butter in a small saute pan. Add the shallot and thyme and cook for 1 minute over medium heat. Add the radishes, a little salt and pepper, and water just to cover. Simmer until the radishes are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the leaves if using and cook one minute more. Remove the radishes to a serving dish. Boil the liquid, adding a teaspoon or more butter if you like, until only 1/4 cup remains. Pour it over radishes and serve.

To me this recipe called out for a grain, so I cooked some quinoa and served the radishes on top.

I'm very much looking forward to next week when the Wednesday afternoon market opens as well; getting to go to the market twice in one week is my idea of foodie heaven.

1 comment:

  1. God, I miss the Carrboro Farmer's market. Thanks for the reminder of its glory. Happy spring!