Hello everyone! What a fantastic weekend and another great Saturday at the market! I am OVER THE MOON happy because I was cooking this weekend and it looks like we’ll be able to continue for the rest of the season. YAY!! 🙂 Being able to interact with all of you, share ideas, promote our wonderful vendors and their products, create community and (of course) sample some yummy food is one of the greatest joys in my life. I love, love, love being with y’all on Saturdays and I am so thankful to Wendy for allowing me the opportunity to share what I love and what I am passionate about and to YOU all for welcoming and supporting me. YOU ROCK!
I thought I’d give a quick re-cap of what I did this past Saturday and then talk a little about what Wendy and I (and some other very dedicated folks) are envisioning for our market as far as creating educational platforms and really bringing us together to share our ideas, questions and thoughts about food, cooking, local sourcing, farms, and supporting our community. Are you seeing a pattern, a thread, a trend here? Community. We are passionate about creating community; bringing people together. We’ve got a great one here in Wakefield and I just love the direction we’re moving in!
Ok – let’s talk food 🙂 I started slow and simple last week, to ease us into the season. And in case y’all are wondering (I had a few questions at the table last Saturday), I generally decide what I am going to cook on the day of the market. I go around to all of our vendors, talk with them about what they have (especially the produce) and I take my inspiration from everything I see. I think of it as a blank canvas with our vendors providing the materials for me to paint with. I love the creative aspect of it. And I think this can translate for all of you as well. Take a look at what is available. Ask questions. Talk with the vendors. They are all happy to tell you about what they have and offer ideas and suggestions for how to use it. And by all means, talk with me! I am always available (and thrilled) to answer questions and provide ideas and inspiration.
So my inspiration for Saturday morning: to start with, berry parfaits with yogurt and granola from The Roasted Granola Lady. Her granola is locally made (in Lexington) and absolutely delicious! I paired it with some plain yogurt (you could also use her honey yogurt if you like yours a little sweeter) and then some berries (raspberries from Farmer Dave’s and blackberries from Charlton’s). I drizzled the berries with a dark chocolate balsamic vinegar (soooo delish) and layered the granola, yogurt and berries. This makes a super dessert as the dark chocolate balsamic elevates the simple parfait to a more “elegant” status. You can find dark chocolate balsamic vinegar at Whole Foods, or at Formaggio’s, and there is a local purveyor whom I met at the Winchester Winter Market, New Mission Gourmet Foods (www.newmissiongourmet.com). They have a raspberry dark chocolate balsamic that is fantastic!
After the parfaits, I thought a little snack would be nice. The sweet peppers and pear tomatoes at Farmer Dave’s were calling and bruschetta popped into my mind. I picked up some red scallions and garlic, basil from Flats, crusty french bread from Mamadou’s and marinated goat cheese from West River Creamery and set to work. I sauteed the red scallions (you can use any kind of onion you like) in olive oil over medium low heat so they would cook slowly and caramelize. After about 5-7 minutes I added the sweet pepper and garlic and seasoned with salt, pepper and a few shakes of crushed red pepper (add more if you like it a little spicier). I let those “sweat” (or cook down slowly to release their juices) for about 10 minutes. While the onions and peppers were working, I halved the pear tomatoes (a pint or so) and tossed those into the pan. I tore up about a handful of basil leaves and let the whole thing cook down until the tomatoes were really soft and the onions were sweet and caramelized. I sliced the crusty french loaf, spread the slices with a schmear of goat cheese (you could toast the slices first if you like) and then topped them with the tomato mixture. From the smiling faces, thumbs up and happy noises everyone was making, I’ll take it to mean they were a success! You can substitute any kind of bread you like, and the filling would make a great topping for pizza or in an omelet (thanks to one of the ladies for that suggestions!). Use your imagination!
I’ll be cooking again this coming Saturday so come by and say hello. I’ll also be talking about our new vehicle to “spread the righteous food love gospel” so bring your questions. We are starting a new forum where you will be able to pose your questions on our website and I (or one of our other fabulous foodies) will answer them for you and share them with our community. They can be related to any food topic such as “What is kohlrabi and what do I do with it?” to “How can I get my kids more interested in eating healthier foods?” to “What does IPM (integrated pest management) mean and is it the same as organic?” to “I’m on a limited budget, how can I feed myself or my family whole, healthy foods?” to “What resources or opportunities are available in my community to shop and support local?” The possibilities are endless. We’re meeting later this week to iron out some of the logistics for our forum so look for news in your email in the coming weeks. We are dedicated to bringing our community together and encourage you all to participate and bring your questions, thoughts, ideas to us so we can all share.
Until next time my friends, eat well and nourish your soul!!