I really love simple and tasty food - that is as local as possible. I love it when ingredients shine on their own, in their own glory. Until a few years ago when I started going to the farmer's market and growing my own veggies, I didn't know what I was missing - the amazing flavors, colors, textures available. Ordinary foods I used to eat without issue such as tomatoes, I know shun in the winter (unless canned from summer of course) as the store bought ones just don't cut it, they taste horrible and their texture is gritty.
Spring at the farmer's market brings out many things tasty and green. I threw this dish together in no time, and the only non-local ingredients are the few seasonings in the dish.
This is my bowl, topped with crushed red pepper. It seems like if I can make something spicy, I will. :-)
The local booty legend (aka revealing my sources):
no asterisk = grocery store
+ = local produce from The Root Cellar
++ = The Peace Nook (will denote whether product is local or just from the Nook)
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden
**** = the non-profit buying club, Blue Planet or Purcell Mountain Farms
Local Spring Veggies and Pasta
1 lb. penne pasta, cooked according to package instructions *
1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends removed, cut in half inch pieces *
6 spring onions, minced *
1 cup oyster mushrooms, chopped *
1 tomato, chopped *
6 cups spinach, chopped *
1/2 cup garlic chives, minced *
2-3 tbsp canola oil
splash of balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
Heat oil in a medium skillet.
Add the asparagus and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the onions, tomato, and spinach. Cook for an additional 6-8 minutes, stirring often.
Add the garlic chives, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Toss veggies with cooked pasta. Season with balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
If you are like me, add something spicy on top!
Well, we've got market tomorrow, it is the first week for our CSA and I hope there is a bunch of Dan's amazing asparagus. I swear we didn't get enough of it last year (though I'm not sure what enough would be exactly), it is some of the best, most flavorful asparagus I have ever had. I am also excited to see what other goodies we might score from the market this weekend.
It has been really rainy here, well, for the past few weeks, so getting things into the ground at the community garden has once again been difficult this year. We transplanted a bunch of peppers starts, and starts planned for the community garden that had outgrown their pots. I will be taking them down and sowing some more seed on Sunday. I may end up a mudball as I did last year, but the stuff is ready to go!
In other news, for the last few years we've had a common nighthawk roosting on top of one of the buildings in our neighborhood. It took us four years to identify what the bird who screeched all night and would dive bomb from the sky was. Anyway, once we figured out what kind of bird she was, we began to watch her at dusk when we could. It is really neat to watch them dive bomb for bugs. If they do it close enough to you, you can actually hear a whirring sound go by with them, they go really fast. Once they had migrated for the winter, we weren't sure if they would come back to the same spot to roost. We were happy to hear that familiar screech about two days ago and sure enough, there one was, soaring in the sky, screeching her rather unpleasant screech (you get used to it) and dive bombing for the year's first bugs. Nature is pretty cool, even in the city, if you just stop to pay attention. :-)
Well, I'll be back sometime this weekend for the weekly local booty update and our first CSA share!
I hope everyone has a good weekend and to those who go to market over the weekend, happy "hunting".
'Til next time.