Posts Tagged ‘farmers’

Romanesco Broccoli (Roman Cauliflower)

November 29, 2010

Romanesco Broccoli

I’ve been very curious about this vegetable I’d been seeing at my local Farmers Market. What was it? It looked almost medieval. What would it taste like? How would one prepare it?

I’m always up for trying new vegetables. Generally, I try them raw, first. Then, I roast simply with olive oil, salt and pepper. I love roasted cauliflower. This reminded me of cauliflower. So, I finally decided to purchase a small romanesco broccoli to sample. I plan to eat this in the next few days. I’ll report back my findings!

Romanesco Broccoli

Apparently, this vegetable was first documented in Italy in the sixteenth century, and it’s a variant of cauliflower. Much prettier than your run of the mill white variety that you normally consume. It is such a neat example of a fractal in nature. Very inspiring!

Romanesco Broccoli

Have you had this yet? If so, how did you prepare it? I’d love to hear about your ideas, too, on preparing this wonderfully unique vegetable.

Fresh Summer Tartine

September 11, 2010

Fresh Summer Tartine

Simple. Fresh. Delicious. Try this with your local farmers market produce! A variety of toppings would be wonderful! Play with your combinations. Can you imagine lovely, fall butternut squash in place of the tomatoes?!

Fresh Summer Tartine

Fresh Summer Tartine
Makes two tartines.

Handful of peppery, local arugula, hard stems trimmed
1 smallish fruity, local heirloom tomato, diced and put in a bowl
1 ounce of goat chevre (store bought)
2 1/3″ slices of fresh, local bread
(I used Country Levain from Bread & Cie)
1-2 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt & pepper

Drizzle your bread slices with a little olive oil and toast under broiler (or toaster oven) only on one side. While bread is toasting, season your tomatoes with a little salt and pepper. Toss and allow flavors to develop. Toss your arugula with a tiny bit of the extra virgin olive oil, just to barely coat.

Remove bread from oven. Divide goat chevre between the two slices and spread. Top with tomatoes and a little of the juices from bottom of the bowl. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the tomatoes. Top with arugula and enjoy with an icy, cold glass of sweet tea. Served in a mason jar, of course!

Fresh Summer Tartine

This was such a simple and deliciously satisfying light lunch. I just adore simple, fresh flavors without a lot of fuss. Allow your local produce to really shine! Always so much more flavorful than store bought produce from who knows where. If you haven’t tried out your local market yet, I encourage you to do so. You won’t regret it!

My Favorite Lunch

August 4, 2010

My Favorite Lunch

Ah… summer. Full of the most delicious tomatoes! I will be so sad when it’s over. What will I eat for lunch every day? No, seriously, I eat this almost every day for lunch. A simple salad made from the freshest local produce.

I cannot tell you how much I love eating this meal. You’d think I’d get tired of the same thing for lunch day after day, but I don’t. I look forward to it. I could eat these heirloom tomatoes every day for the rest of my life and be a very happy girl.

This entire meal including my simple salad, french baguette and seasoned extra virgin olive oil for dipping comes in just under 400 calories. Not bad for a flavorful, very healthy dish!

My Favorite Lunch

Whitney’s Favorite Lunch
Feeds one.

For the salad you’ll need:

2 cups mixed greens (spinach, arugula, etc.)
1 oz fresh Goat Feta
1 ripe heirloom tomato (or other juicy summer tomato)
2-3 basil leaves
Kosher salt & pepper

For the bread and dipping oil you’ll need:

2 oz French baguette
1 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt & pepper
Italian Seasoning grinder (optional)

Directions:

Turn on your oven’s broiler (or use a toaster oven) and place your chunk of baguette in the center of the oven to refresh while you prepare the salad. This will warm the bread and make the outside crusty again if it has gotten stale.

**If your baguette is fresh, skip this step. I cut my baguettes into 2 oz. serving sizes and wrap individually for the week. I pull one serving out as I need it. Refreshing in the oven works nicely.**

My seasoned dipping oil.

For the oil, grab a small plate. Sprinkle a good pinch of kosher salt and pepper onto the plate. You can also grind some Italian seasonings into your mix, or you could chop some fresh herbs like basil or rosemary to add in. Measure out 1 tablespoon of heart healthy extra virgin olive oil and pour onto plate. Use your measuring spoon to mix up the oil and seasonings.

Beautiful Orangey Tomato Goodness

For the salad, chop your tomato and toss in a small bowl with salt and pepper. This will allow the juices of the tomato to release and build more flavor. Let it hang out in the bowl a few minutes.

Next, rip up your mixed greens and plate. If warming your bread, reach in the oven and flip it over. Now, rip up your basil leaves and toss in with your greens. Crumble fresh Goat Feta over your salad. Top with the tomatoes and juices. This will replace your need for dressing.

Now, turn off your oven and remove your baguette. Add it to your plate and enjoy!

My Favorite Lunch

How do I eat my salad? I like to dip a small chunk of crusty bread into the oil and use it to scrap up some salad onto my fork. This transfers some of the seasoned oil into each bite. The crusty bread is nice to add into the bites of salad. It’s sort of a deconstructed tomato bruschetta. Just mix it all up and enjoy it. So tasty. So healthy. Really satisfying.

This is a nice basic salad that you could add all sorts of things to. I’ve added sauteed asparagus here, which was very tasty. A great simple salad without any fuss.

Fresh Farmers Market Dinner

July 30, 2010

Fresh Farmers Market Dinner

As promised, here is my recent dinner of roasted tomatoes, cipollini onions and potatoes served with the simple squash blossom salad I shared yesterday.

Do you see those juices? Who needs a dressing with all the flavor of the roasting juices oozing around the plate?

Fresh Farmers Market Dinner

This was an easy meal to whip up. Simply toss tomatoes, onions and potatoes in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast at 375 for 25-30 minutes. Potatoes will take about 5-10 minutes longer so put those in a separate pan.

Once you pull them out, allow to cool a few minutes before plating. Pile your roasted vegetables on your plate alongside a simple salad like this one. Be sure to pour all the roasting juices over your vegetables. It will add a nice sauce to the plate.

Fresh Farmers Market Dinner

When you eat this, be sure to mix everything up with each bite. The flavors all go together so nicely, and this meal will certainly give you your fill of vegetable servings for the day!

It’s quite satisfying without being heavy, and it’s oh so tasty!

Roasted Veg with Spinach and Squash Blossom Salad

On a side note, I’m pleased to share this whole plate of food was straight from my local farmers market with the exception of the tomatoes and olive oil. However, those were both from a local California source. It feels good to support my community!

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You might also like this post:
Polenta with Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Cipollini Onions

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Squash Blossoms: 2 Ways

July 29, 2010

Squash Blossoms

Are these not absolutely gorgeous? I couldn’t resist picking these up from the Farmers Market recently. I had never tried squash blossoms, but I’ve been intrigued by them for a while now. While I’d love to try some of the fried recipes I’ve come across online, I try to cook and eat in a (mostly) healthy way 85-90% of the time.

Mozzarella Stuffed Squash Blossoms

That said, I decided to try these in two simple ways. Freshly torn and added into a simple salad, and stuffed with a little fresh mozzarella and quickly sauteed in a bit of olive oil. Both were quite lovely.

Simple Spinach & Squash Blossom Salad

The simple salad was accompanied by my new favorite dish, roasted tomatoes and cipollini onions. I’m completely addicted to them. So simple, yet so flavorful and versatile. The juices really added a lovely “dressing” to the plate for the salad. I’ll share more on that tomorrow…

Polenta with Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Cipollini Onions

July 16, 2010

My first polenta.

Last night, I decided to make polenta for the first time. I’ve had this box for a while. It even followed us here from the East Coast! Thought it was about time to use it.

I kept it simple. Prepared as the box directed. I used it as a base for one of my current favorite things: Roasted Tomatoes & Cipollini Onions! I originally used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen earlier this week without the white beans. It was great, but I wanted to try something different. I swapped the toasted bread for polenta. It was a lovely meal if I do say so myself. Quite satisfying!

My first polenta.

Polenta with Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Cipollini Onions
Serves one.

Ingredients:

4 cipollini onions, skins removed
6 cherry tomatoes
1 oz. goat feta, crumbled
1/2 tbsp good quality olive oil
5-6 basil leaves, chopped
Kosher salt & pepper

1 quart of water
1 1/3 cups polenta

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375. Toss onions and tomatoes in olive oil. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan or any oven safe dish. Pie plate would work just as well.

2. Place in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Shake pan and turn onions & tomatoes every 15 minutes.

3. After first 30 minutes of roasting, bring water to a boil. Season with 2 tsp kosher salt. Add polenta slowly while stirring continuously for 5 minutes or until desired texture is reached.

4. Pull tomatoes and onions from oven. Set aside to cool slightly. Plate 1/2 cup serving of polenta. Top with goat feta, roasted onions, tomatoes and juices. Don’t forget the juices! Add freshly chopped basil and enjoy!

My first polenta.

Do you have a favorite polenta recipe? Do share! Pretty please??

You might also like this: Make It Monday: Rustic & Roasted


Asparagus & Goat Feta Summer Salad with Bruschetta

July 14, 2010

Asparagus & Goat Feta Summer Salad with Bruschetta

Over the weekend, I picked up this amazing Goat Feta at the Little Italy Mercato here in San Diego. Can’t wait to get my hands on more this Saturday! I’ve been eating it mostly in salads like this Asparagus and Goat Feta Summer Salad I threw together last night.

I’m a big time salad eater. I know many people think of a salad as totally unsatisfying, but I find the trick is not to use so much lettuce. No, really. Most people (and restaurants) just pile on the lettuce with only a handful of toppings. I find that to be a ridiculous ratio. Generally, I use a cup or two of chopped greens, and then I pile on the good stuff. If all you can taste is lettuce, then what fun is that!?

Also, I find by adding the right amount of healthy, tasty toppings to your greens your need for dressing seriously comes into question. Lately, I’ve just added a drizzle of olive oil to my salads. That’s all it needs!

Asparagus & Goat Feta Summer Salad with Bruschetta

Asparagus & Goat Feta Summer Salad with Bruschetta
Serves one.

Ingredients:

For the salad:
4 romaine lettuce leaves, chopped
5 or 6 basil leaves, chopped
10 stalks of asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
2-3 small cherry heirloom tomatoes, halved/quartered
1 oz. goat feta (or any good quality feta from your local market)
1 tsp. good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. good quality olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

For the bruschetta:
1 oz. french baguette, cut into 4 slices
1 tsp. olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

1. Turn broiler on. Place bread slices on a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Go ahead and plate your lettuce, basil, tomatoes and feta.

2. Over medium-high heat, warm olive oil in saute pan. Once hot, add your asparagus. Allow to cook for a few minutes, until tender and slightly blackened. Place bread in oven while asparagus is cooking. KEEP AN EYE ON THE BREAD. You don’t want it to burn.

3. Once asparagus is tender, remove pan from heat. Allow to cool slightly while you remove bruschetta from oven.

4. Gently, add cooked asparagus to your salad. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil. Place your bruschetta alongside your summer salad and enjoy!

More on making bruschetta here.

Asparagus & Goat Feta Summer Salad with Bruschetta

Veggie Cumin Couscous

July 30, 2009

Veggie Cumin Couscous

In a word: delicious! This Veggie Cumin Couscous was so simple to make. Whole wheat couscous cooked up in a matter of minutes. Meanwhile, I sauteed some garlic, onion and yellow squash over medium-high heat. Seasoned with salt, pepper and lots of cumin. Laid veggies on a bed of couscous topped with fresh cilantro and a dollop of sour cream. Perfect summertime lunch. Would have been nice to squeeze lemon juice over as well.

Veggie Cumin Couscous

Last weekend, my husband and I purchased a variety of vegetables from a local farm including the squash and onion used in this dish. It was so refreshing to pick our produce straight from the farm. HOLY MOLY! The vegetables were gorgeous and huge! I love going to the farm. I remember during the summers growing up I would go with my Nana to pick strawberries, blueberries, string beans, etc. Those are some of my favorite memories. Did I mention we also picked our own blackberries while we were there? I will share more of that soon!

Head out to a Farmer’s Market, and support local food this weekend!
Find one here.