June 27, 2012

A Week of Farmers Market Meals

Buy a potato at a grocery store, bake it, eat it and you will feel full but indifferent.  Stroll through your local farmers market, pick a potato from a crate, dust off the dirt and hand it to a smiling farmer for weighing and hand him your change.   Take home your potato for washing, baking, slicing, butter slathering and take a bite.  You will be filled with images of dirt, sun and that lone potato making its short journey from farm to your table.  A grocery store potato will have to be dressed up with fixings to become exciting but a farmers market potato, rich in nutrients, needs nothing more than some coarse salt to fill you with warmth.  A better vegetable needs less fuss which makes life easier for busy folks like us.

David B. Agus’s “The End of Illness” offers a few simple suggestions for optimum health, one being the consumption of the freshest, most recently picked produce possible.  The brilliantly written and inspiring “An Everlasting Meal” by Tamar Adler, offers endless suggestions on how to use every scrap and morsel of your farmers market finds for simple, rustic meals.  She suggests baking all your root vegetables as soon as you get home from the market and placing them in the fridge for easy use throughout the week.

I challenged myself to a week of meals from my purchases at the farmers market with a few supplementary items from my local grocery store.  Among the dishes were a beautifully bright roasted vegetable salad and delightful crustless vegetable quiche, both of which held up perfectly when taken to work for lunch.  Here is a description of how I prepped and some recipes for a few of the dishes I made:


1 bunch beets with greens attached (1-2 inch in size)
1 bunch carrots (6 inches long)
2 medium sized potatoes
3 medium sized tomatoes
1 bunch scallions
1 bunch spinach
1 large bunch cherries (just wash and eat!)


Preheated oven to 400 degrees

Beets- remove greens, wash, drizzle w/ olive oil salt and pepper, wrap in tin foil on baking pan
Carrots- remove stems for compost, wash carrots, drizzle w/ olive oil salt pepper, place on baking pan
Potatoes- wash, wrap in tin foil, place on baking pan
Spinach- wash, trim stems, pat dry, store in large ziplock bag
Beet Greens- wash greens thoroughly, sauteed with garlic and olive oil (recipe below)
Tomatoes- place them in a bowl on the counter until ready to use or roast with olive oil and salt

Bake all beets, carrots, potatoes in oven until fork tender, removing individual pieces when done.  Allow all baked vegetables and beet greens to cool and placed in a large airtight container, transfer to fridge.  Now you have precooked vegetables for salads, soups and side dishes right at your finger tips.


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