Saturday, October 09, 2004

The joys of fresh produce

Shopping at Union Square Farmer's Market
Originally uploaded by lools.

Food network, the celebrity chefs, food magazines, food blogs, foodies...just about everyone into food in a big way extols the virtues of cooking with locally produced fresh vegetables and fruits. They make it out as though buying produce from the grocery store is a crime when you can support local farmers and enjoy the bursting flavours of seasonal produce instead! I'd have to say that I'm beginning to agree.

I spent a few hours at the Union Square Farmer's Market in Manhattan this morning familiarizing myself with vegetables I'd only read about thus far. Though I like to consider myself a decent cook, I'm yet to use vegetables like fennel, kale, rutabaga, turnips, brussel sprouts and beets in simple ways to prepare delicious everyday meals. A great write-up on fall's produce in the recent issue of Fine Cooking, my favourite food magazine, intrigued my curiosity to use these vegetables on a more regular basis.

I was tempted to buy a little of everything but finally settled on a big bunch of beets, some arugula and fresh goat cheese. I remembered a Jamie Oliver recipe for Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese.

Here's the recipe in case you feel like making it as well:

Pre heat oven to 325 F. Wash the beets thouroughly. In large mixing bowl combine beets with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap in aluminum foil to seal. Place in oven. Bake 40 minutes, until tender when pierced with a knife. When cooked, remove from oven and let cool. Rub with cloth to remove skins. Slice beets into quarters. Combine with arugula and a light lemon and extra virgin olive oil dressing. Dress the salad with chunks of fresh goat cheese.

I promise that you'll find the flavours of the roasted beet, the sharp arugula and the fresh goat cheese combine in a spectacular way to have you craving for more. And perhaps you will be inspired to seek out your local farmer's market next weekend.


Blogger gs said...

hi lulu
it is really a very valid observation.on the one hand is perhaps the convenience of buying the vegetables directly from the supermarket.on the other,what you are trying to do makes eminent sense if you have the time and inclination and logistics support your the point of sounding "cliched",i would say three cheers to fresh vegetables from the farmer's addition to freshness,and also comparitive cheapness,i think the environment is very appealing.
many of the vegetables you have mentioned we have not even seen or heard of these vegetables would be welcome.and like i said i must wait for you to cook these at ov.

9:25 PM  

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