Farmers Market Saturday – 7/30/11
July 30, 2011
Another scorching day at the Boulder Farmers’ Market (for me, anything over 85 without a breeze or shade is scorching), but a lot of great produce. There were multiple stands with squash, eggplant, potatoes, beets, carrots – I could go on and on. And I had a very productive and successful day of cooking, making up for some of the less than stellar results last week.
Today’s purchases: beets, carrots, new potatoes, string beans, bell pepper, garlic, three kinds of eggplant, pickling cucumbers, zucchini squash, yellow squash, pattypan squash, tomatoes, carrots, cinnamon cap, oyster and shiitake mushrooms, arugula, mixed greens, chives, basil, Pappardelle’s cracked pepper fettucine, Olomomo cinnamon cayenne almonds, and six Street Fare mini-cupcakes.
I used two of the pickling cucumbers for my fourth, and hopefully triumphant, attempt at sweet and spicy pickles. I’ll know tomorrow after they have been in the fridge overnight. The assorted squash will go into a rustic tart I saw on the blog A Fork in Each Hand, which looks fantastic. I’ve got to figure out what I want to do with the mushrooms and the eggplant, but the beets, greens, and beans are already reserved for vegetable sides.
I used three of the multi-colored new potatoes for a second round of oven baked potato chips. I made some earlier in the week with my left over purple potatoes, and they didn’t turn out too bad, so I thought I’d try it again. I still need to tune the temperature a bit, as I haven’t figured out the best one to use, but the taste of these was so addictive that we ate the whole batch within two hours. These aren’t as low-fat as I usually like to make things, but they are awfully good as a splurge.
Oven-Baked Potato Chips
3/4 lb new potatoes, sliced 1/8″ thick
1 Tbsp olive oil, smoky flavor is best (I like Miguel and Valentino Smoked Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1 tsp smoked Spanish hot paprika
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees while you slice the potatoes. Mix the oil, paprika and salt in a large bowl. Toss the potato slices in the oil. The pieces will stick together, so you’ll need to pry them apart to ensure that both sides of the slices are well coated. Spray 2 baking sheets with Pam (this probably isn’t even necessary with the oil, but it’s what I’ve done both times), and then arrange the potato slices on the sheets in a single layer. Put them in the oven once it’s up to temperature, and then start checking them at about 7 minutes. This is where the really interactive part starts. Despite the fact that most of my slices were about the same thickness, and I turned the baking sheets a couple of times, they seemed to be done at a rather large range of times. I started taking some off the sheets at about 14 minutes, and then ended up taking the last ones out at 21 minutes. I just pulled the sheet out, checked to see if they were crisp, pulled those ones off, and put the rest back in the oven. This might not make them sound very fun to make, but it is SO worth it once you taste them!
For dinner, I wanted to use some of the mixed greens and arugula, and add some vegetables. I started thinking – hey, since grilled beets are a new favorite, what else I could grill? I did a couple google searches, and it turns out both carrots and tomatoes are indeed, grillable. The carrots were superb. Like the beets, the carrots caramelize a bit and have a nice full flavor. The tomatoes? I’m not sure that the grilling added much to these particular tomatoes, so I’ll have to research that a bit more.
Grilled vegetables for salad
1 beet – washed, peeled, and sliced into about 1/4″ slices
2 medium carrots, cut in half lengthwise, (if they are uneven lengths, cut the larger one in half to make them more even
2 small tomatoes, cut in half, seeds removed (just use your finger)
Use medium heat on the grill, and place the vegetables on a basket or grilling tray to prevent them from falling through the grates. The tomatoes should be placed cut side down. The beets take about 14 minutes, flipped halfway through. The carrots take about 6-8 minutes, also flipped halfway. The tomatoes take about 4 minutes. Check the vegetables frequently however, as they might cook faster or slower depending on their size and your grill. You can check the beets and carrots for tenderness with a fork. The skin on the tomatoes will kind of wrinkle up when they are done.
The tomatoes got kind of mushy, so they were a little hard to slice, and the Chioggia beets kind of look like bacon in this photo – but believe me, they were all beet!
For the main course, I used some of the fava bean pesto I made last week with the Pappardelle’s cracked pepper linguine I bought today. The two went together wonderfully.