Tuesday, July 21, 2009

To Market, To Market....

Can I be any more clear: I love where I live. My recent haul from the Napa Farmers Market was a kaleidoscope of colors, a bounty of flavors, a delight of discovery. My market basket held ears of sweet white corn; tender shoots of asparagus; a half a dozen Dapple Dandy pluots; a bundle of baby scallion shoots; a fistful of amaranth greens; a single, spicy daikon radish; some stunning Tongue of Fire shelling beans; some equally colorful Royal Burgundy fillet beans; a cluster of heirloom carrots, and a precious bundle of bright magenta and orange zinnias to round it all out. I just had to share!

So what am I going to do with it all?!

How about these carrots, from Sun Born Organics:

These gorgeous heirloom varieties are almost too pretty to eat. But eat em I will! My favorite carrot recipe of all timeis in the Fare to Remember Cookbook: Carrot Harrisa Puree. It's a dip that will relinquish you of any negative thoughts you might be harboring about cooked carrots. It's healthful, and super simple. Scoop it up with pita bread, crackers or veggie spears, and you'll be making a second batch before you know it.

Carrot Harissa Puree
Contributed by Anne Vrolyk
  • 2 pounds carrots (if large, cut into pieces for steaming; if small, steam whole)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste (North African chili/spice paste available at gourmet specialty stores or online)
  • 1 teaspoon powdered cumin
Steam carrots until soft. Put together into a food processor with oil, harissa and cumin. Process until smooth. Salt to taste. A little more oil can be added if texture is not creamy enough.

What about the beans? I got two very different sorts of beans; both gorgeous, both delicious. I know that the Royal Burgundies (from Shooting Star CSA) are destined for a quick saute together with slivered almonds, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Why mess with Mother Nature?

The stunning Tongue of Fire shelling beans from Scully Ranch on the other hand, I'm still not sure. Any thoughts? I'm thinking something slow-cooked. With bacon.

The amaranth greens (also from Scully Ranch), however, I know exactly what I'll be making. David, who mans the farm's market stall, provided me with this recipe:

Amaranth Greens with Garlic Oyster Sauce
  • 1 bundle amaranth greens
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Heat the oil and garlic in a wok until the garlic starts to sizzle; add greens. Sautee. As the greens start to wilt, add the oyster sauce, sugar and cornstarch; toss to combine. Cook until greens are cooked through and sauce thickens.

So I've got this weeks menus pretty much in place. But I wonder... what will next week have in store? The beauty of shopping at the Farmers Market is that you just never know! Stay tuned...


  1. I am in love with with those gorgeous carrots! Wish we got such stunning varieties here.

  2. Saw the beans on tastespotting and couldn't help clicking through — what a spectacular colour! Do they keep that deep purple when cooked?

  3. Those purple beans are beautiful, huh? But to my huge disappointment, they don't, in fact, retain that color when they are cooked. They turn green. Boring old green bean green. So from here on out, I'm eating them raw! :)

  4. Amazing pictures!! I haven't seen purple green beans at the NYC Farmer's Market yet!