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Archive for the ‘Farmers Market’ Category

Last weekend I participated in the Farmers’ Market cook-off. We had a table loaded with kale, winter squash, summer squash, peppers, and beans to choose from. I also gathered some parsley, tomatoes, leeks, and onions from some of the vendors. One of my favorite things to eat this time of year is soup, I love it! So that is what I made.

I sautéed the onions and leeks in some of my favorite olive oil. (It is from Tunisia and is thick and buttery with a nice grassiness to it. It comes from one of my favorite food producers Les Moulins Mahjoub and is available at the At Home Store.)

Next, I added the peppers, tomatoes, and a few sprigs of parsley. While that was cooking, I prepared the various winters squashes. I forgot to bring a spoon to clean out the squash seeds but I discovered a new technique, a 1/4 cup measure is just the right size to clean it out in one scoop!

I let the squash saute a little before adding water. When the soup was about halfway through cooking (maybe a little more) I added some green beans, golden flat beans, and summer squash and salt. Then, when the soup was about 5 minutes from being ready, I fished out the parsley sprigs and discarded them. I took out a couple of cups of the soup and blended it until it was very smooth, and poured it back in the pot to thicken the broth. I then added some finely chopped kale and let it simmer until the kale was tender. I finished eat serving with a drizzle of olive oil, some black pepper and minced parsley.

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This morning I woke up, got my favorite market basket, (it’s from Ghana via the At Home Store, and I just love it! It fits so much produce and has a great leather-bound handle)….

….and headed out the door to meet my dad. I got to the farmers market and began my stroll down the aisle, I like to see who has what before I make my purchases. I saw my dad at the other end of the park and so I wandered over.

On my way down the row of vendors I spotted something amazing, something I never expected to find at the farmers market in Iowa. I rushed to get my dad, uttered a single word to him and we both made a bee-line right back to the booth. On the table lie big, sweet, green artichokes! Yes, artichokes! In my excitement I asked “did you make these?!” (I couldn’t even create a coherent question, silly me.) Well, of course she didn’t make them but she did grow them and they are beautiful! My dad and I bought several and walked away.

After collecting a few more goodies–carrots, radishes, cilantro, and onions–I went back to the artichokes and snatched them all up, I just couldn’t resist. Who in their right mind could. On my car ride home, the smell of artichokes filled the air, so sweet and fresh.

It has been two hours now and my hands still smell of them. I plan to devour them tomorrow for lunch, steamed. Melted butter optional. Followed by a glass of water, it might sound odd but next time you have an artichoke follow it up with some water.

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