Farmers’ Market Saturday – 08/27/11
August 28, 2011
After last Saturday’s cooler temperatures, I was hoping that we were done with 90 degree days at the Boulder Farmers’ Market, but that didn’t appear to be the case this Saturday. Soon, soon it will top out in the 80s, maybe even the 70s. I hope. Nonetheless, there was great stuff available. This weekend I bought heirloom tomatoes, cherry yellow teardrop tomatoes, eggplant, purple potatoes, onions, yellow squash, bell peppers, garlic, yellow string beans, carrots, a French melon, a mystery melon (it was prominently identified, I just couldn’t remember it by the time I got home…or was it by the time I was at the next farm’s table?), mixed baby lettuce, poblano peppers, thyme, apple mint, basil, and Street Fare mini-cupcakes.
I tried one of the cherry yellow teardrop tomatoes and thought it was actually a little sour, so I decided the perfect use for them was the Maple Syrup Roasted Tomato recipe I saved from an issue of Saveur. I’ve made this recipe several times and am always astounded with how wonderful they taste. I used a lot more tomatoes than they call for (a pint), so I ended up using two garlic cloves, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp of maple syrup, and about 5 sprigs of thyme. The actual roasting time was about 3 1/2 hours. These usually don’t make it off the baking sheet, because my husband and I walk by while they’re cooling and eat them all.
I also experimented a bit more with making melon sorbet, something I first tried earlier in the week. I found a recipe on a blog somewhere, but unfortunately wasn’t able to find it again. I guess given that there were only two ingredients – cantaloupe and watermelon, I probably don’t need to worry that I’ve stolen a secret recipe without giving proper attribution. The first batch I made earlier this week used even amounts of cantaloupe and watermelon, and I just used the food processor to liquefy it and then froze it. I left it overnight, and then attempted to smooth it out using the blender. (I should have done this a few times while it was freezing, but got busy and just didn’t). Since our blender is so lackluster when it comes to large amounts of ice without a liquid bribe (I just realized it sounds like I have to give it vodka or something), I ended up adding some condensed and skim milk to it. I refroze it, and it was some pretty nice, albeit quite icy sorbet. Technically, I guess it’s sherbet since it has dairy. I just don’t really like sherbet that much, so I have a mental block against calling it that. Saturday I tried a second batch using a French Melon (a muskmelon variety, muskmelon being the umbrella under which cantaloupe reside), as well as the Whatever Melon, which had a cantaloupe-honeydew taste. Unfortunately, I really should have gotten a watermelon instead of one of these two melons, because the taste was a bit too cantaloupey (it’s so fun to make up your own words). At any rate, this is definitely something I’m going to keep tweaking, because it really tastes like a dessert, but with no added sugar. An everyday dessert!
After making the tomatoes and the sorbet (sherbet), I wasn’t feeling too motivated to make a really laborious dinner. So I decided I would make a sort of risotto with the Pappardelle’s Supreme Orzo, and that I would use a few of the more fragile heirloom tomatoes for a side. None of the pictures I took of the tomatoes turned out that well, since I took them after brushing the tomatoes with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and basil, making everything super shiny and reflective. They tasted awesome, though.
For the orzo risotto, all I did was prepare it with half water and half broth, add some chicken sausage, sautéed vegetables and fresh thyme, and it was ready to go. The broth made the orzo flavorful enough that no additional sauce was necessary. (Plus Pappardelle’s pasta has so much flavor already). I’ll have to put this one on the list of simple things to make on busy weeknights.
Supreme Orzo Risotto with Chicken Sausage, Onion, Pepper and Garlic
6 oz Pappardelle’s Supreme Orzo
2 pre-cooked chicken sausages, chopped into pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup water
1 tsp olive oil
4 sprigs thyme, stemmed
Combine the broth and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the orzo, and cook until tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil on medium heat in a skillet. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute. Add the onion and pepper, and sauté until tender. Add the sausage and heat through. Combine the vegetables, sausage and thyme with the orzo, and serve.