Thursday, July 13, 2006

Market minute

What's good so far this season? Carrots and potatoes have been best. The carrots have been not only sweet but also tender, they cook beautifully, and make a very nice puree. And the potatoes, the fingerlings and other new potatoes, have been outstanding. After blanching and shocking they're fantastic eaten just as they are, but they play well with others too. I served them early in the week cold with a cucumber raita made with Fage Total full fat yogurt, a pinch each of salt and sugar, and a bit of cumin. Another time I roasted them, already cooked, in a medium oven with olive oil and salt. Once they're already cooked they just need to heat up and develop a bit of a crust, and there no worrying about when they're done.

Carrots

Radishes have been nice too. These multicolored ones are spicier than the all red bunches, says the farmer who sold them to me. For a snack the other day I made a radish sandwich on wheat bread with a thick schmear of butter and a big sprinkle of salt.

Radishes

Raspberries (black and red) and strawberries have been appearing for a few weeks. They are superior to the ones flown in from Cali in every way, but still all have been brighter in acidity than they have been warm in sweetness. Am I wrong to want them to taste like candy?

Black Raspberries

I sense that the peas are past the peak of their season here, as the big heaps of two weeks ago have been replaced with medium and small heaps. I could be wrong and often am about these things. We have had barely any great peas this year. Many were good, but some were starchy and some of the sugarsnaps had stringy, fibrous pods. My favorite of the whole family of peas lately are the snow peas. A few meals back, I sliced these in julienne and saut├ęd them in olive oil with similarly cut carrots, fennel, and red onions. I placed this cooked mixture on parchment paper and laid on top filets of Copper River salmon seasoned with salt, pepper, ground fennel, and coriander. Wrapped snugly with a glug of dry white wine in each pouch, these cooked in a hot oven for about fifteen minutes and we ate them over couscous. Everything about this dish was good but my favorite part was the julienned peapods.

I sometimes wish we belonged to a CSA. I love the idea of buying a share and supporting the local farmers, and I would relish the Iron Chef aspect of having to cook whatever's in the delivery each week. This would certainly improve my chops when it comes to things I rarely cook--Swiss chard, kohlrabi. But I'm also selfish. I like the markets too much to commit to the box.

West Allis Farmer's Market

3 Comments:

Blogger Yulinka said...

mzn,

Where do you buy Fage yogurt?

9:07 PM  
Blogger mzn said...

In Chicago, Yulinka. Actually in Glenview, Illinois, at Trader Joe's. E's mom lives near there so we are often in the area. I haven't investigated where in Milwaukee you can find Greek yogurt but I remember reading at some point that there's a Greek grocery store in town. Worth a look. If I don't have Fage I sometimes drain whole milk yogurt (the good kind you get at Outpost, not the supermarket stuff).

9:18 PM  
Blogger Yulinka said...

In Chicago, eh? I thought that you lucked out and found it here in Milwaukee. The Greek grocery store is worth visiting, (it's in West Allis, on Cleveland Ave, I think), but I don't know if they have yogurt. Worth checking out.

I just bought Middle Eastern yogurt at Shiraz, the little grocery on Oakland. The yogurt turned out to be mediocre, so I guess it's back to the Outpost.

11:08 PM  

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