The farmer’s market season is officially in motion. Though not yet in fullest swing (c’mon, July!), it is definitely starting to kick up a notch. This past weekend I grabbed whatever I could snag that was in season, came home and looked up some recipes.

My findings were:

Multi-colored eggs from Natural Meadows Farm in Mt. Pleasant Hills, PA
A bulb of fennel from a lovely farm-kissing couple
Purpley kale
And a huge bushel of ripe red strawberries

I also scored a huge bouquet of wild flowers, which I gave to Stu’s mom for Memorial Day.

Though I am familiar with alot of these veggies, I am not always sure how to use them. In combination with my leftover bunch of asparagus from last Wednesday’s Fountain market, as well as some rhubarb, I had quite an array of produce that I am not always accustomed to cooking with.

I found 3 great recipes for which I used this week to incorporate most of my food:

Tuesday: Kale Puttanesca from allrecipes.com

I love everything about Puttanesca. I am in love with the variation of ingredients and I am obsessed with anything containing olives, capers, tomatoes, and especially pasta. The idea of puttanesca is fantastic because you can basically throw in almost anything you want and it will work. The name, however is my favorite part. “Puttanesca,” in Italian, means “Whore’s Spaghetti.” There are many different stories behind the name, which you can look up on Wikipedia. However I prefer my father’s version, which tells a tale of a husband who raves to his friends what a delicious meal his wife makes for him each night. “Such unique ingredients!,” he boasts. Eventually, it is found that the wife spends all of her days entertaining male vistors, and by the time it’s time to cook the pasta, she throws in whatever ingredients she has around the house. My father has a dirty mind.

I really enjoyed this version of the Puttanesca with Kale. It’s a great way to add a ton of nutrients to the meal, and to use up a huge bunch of Kale that you might otherwise end up eating rather plainly. This will definitely be repeated until Kale goes out of season. I omitted the anchovies in this recipe. You can use them, if you’re into that. Next time I will probably substitute the canned tomatoes and olives for fresh ones.

Wednesday: Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Parmesean and a side of Fennel Greens

I love asparagus. I never did until I had to cook it myself. It is simply one of the easiest vegetables to prepare and no matter how you do it, it still ends up tasty and nutritous. My signature asparagus move is to roast in the oven for 10 minutes with a little olive oil, salt/pepper, and some slices of lemon. (Thank-you, Rachel Ray.) I did this almost weekly, even over the winter. Now that aspargus is in abundance, I’m eager to switch things up.

Thank-you, Philadelphia Inquirer, for this article on all types of asparagus options. I will be using these over the next few weeks until my beloved vegetable grows no more.

This dish was fantastic! I’ve never poached eggs before and it was an eye opening experience. They could have come out looking a little better, but they were really tasty. The butter-parsley sauce made the whole meal absolutely fabulous. The recipe serves 8, so I cut it down a bit. I could definitely see myself making this meal for a breakfast party.

As if I didn’t have enough of my green fix, I used up the rest of the kale left over from the puttanesca and made Fennel Greens using some garlic, fennel seeds, and vegetable broth. Quite tangy and very different from the poached eggs, but worked well. I’m not sure if I’d do it again, but it was a refreshing change of pace.

Thursday: Spring Risotto from all recipes, again.

After making this dish I think I am pretty fennelled out. I keep buying it for specific recipes and I end up struggling to find ways to use it up. Most recently, I made a citrus fennel salad and had some leftovers, so I put it in a cucumber melon salad. I can’t seem to escape the licorice flavor. But I really enjoy trying to find new ways to use this interesting herb/veg.

I didn’t have any fresh rosemary, parsley, or coriander which I didn’t realize until after I started cooking. I focused predominantly on the mint and lemon and used a little bit of dried parsley to even it out. This all looked/smelled delicious before it sat and simmered for 20 minutes. I thought that 3 and a half cups of broth would be alot, and it was. After 25 minutes, the liquid was still not completely absorbed. Maybe it’s because I used brown rice instead of aborio? I did make alot of substitutions, now that I think of it. All in all it turned out okay. The flavor was mostly lemon, as the reviews suggest. It was a good first taste, but I will probably quickly tire of the leftovers.

This weekend I am swapping crafts/clothes for food. I do not anticipate being able to make it down to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday OR Sunday. So expect a brief hiatus. Possibly.

In the meantime, I am going to make another batch of rhubarb muffins. They were delicious!

Advertisements