I’ve been to two farmers’ markets this week, and have to say it’s one of my favorite things about summer. Everything is locally grown, organic and very fresh. Much of it is harvested the morning of the day it goes on sale.
This week I bought red and yellow peppers, English cucumbers, baby salad greens, asparagus, baby bok choy and a bunch of turnips. I also bought delicious herb-and-cheddar focaccia bread and a whole wheat bagette from a small, local bakery.
All week we’ve been eating 100-mile salads, and the baby bok choy made its way into lemon chicken stirfry. The focaccia is long gone. It was so good, I wished I’d bought two.
We marinated some of the asparagus in equal parts olive oil, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce, and grilled it on the barbecue for a couple of minutes. Yum. But this week’s favorite find was the turnips.
The turnips were still attached to their crisp green tops, that’s how fresh they were. I peeled and diced the turnips and braised them in a 50:50 blend of butter and olive oil till they were tender and a little golden on the outside.
Since the green tops looked so lovely, I decided we might as well eat those, too. While washing the leaves, I discovered the tiniest of baby slugs.
A good sign that these veggies were definitely organic.
At first he wasn’t moving, but then I realized the poor little guy had been in the fridge overnight. So I waited a few minutes and, sure enough, he stretched himself to his full length—about one-quarter of an inch—and waved his minuscule antennae around.
I couldn’t bring myself to wash him down the drain, so I took him outside and gently shifted him from the turnip to a dandelion leaf. Then, with a clear conscience, I sliced the leaves into thin strips and sauteed them with a clove of minced garlic in a little olive oil and several dashes of hot sauce. Delicious.
Tomorrow I’ll be shopping again at one of my local farmers’ markets. Next Friday I’ll let you know what I find.
Until next time,