Saturday, February 24, 2007

Surprise! Return to USG

Dear Winter,

I know you were winning for awhile, and that instead of rushing out for fruits and veggies on Saturday mornings I have been staying in bed and sometimes even drinking hot chocolate, but those days are over. Get ready for Spring.


Return to the greenmarket haul:
1/2 lb. baby spinach
1 bunch green chard
1/2 lb. baby bok choy
1/2 lb. shallots
1 1/2 lbs. yellow (Austrian?) crescent potatoes
1 small Stripetti squash
2 heads garlic
8 lbs. assorted apples
Total spent: $27

I was surprised when last night, I thought "perhaps I'll get up early and go to the greenmarket tomorrow" - and even more surprised when I woke up early this morning and did it! Pickings were sparse, but they were certainly better than when I last visited, and I found some lovely (albeit expensive) greens that I'm excited to use. No more bagged spinach for me!...or, at least, not until my half-pound of $16/lb. organic, biodynamic, greenhouse-grown baby spinach is gone, probably in two or three days.

Taking a cue from my favorite dish at Curly's Vegetarian Lunch and recent successes of my own, I'll sautee some of the spinach and chard with shallot, garlic, cumin, and crushed red pepper to make spicy greens tacos for dinner one night (Curly's uses kale in theirs also, which I might try eventually, though kale hasn't been a favorite around here, unfortunately). I'll stir-fry the baby bok choy with tofu, the chard stems, and perhaps some carrots or's so lovely to have greens options, rather than just spinach (no matter how much I love it). The remaining spinach will probably go raw into some tofu wraps for lunches, and the chard I'll sautee with veggie sausage and serve alongside the roasted potatoes.

The Stripetti squash is a bit of a left-field choice, especially since I recently read some food blogger's horror story of cutting into a fully-roasted spaghetti squash and finding it totally moldy and desiccated inside...but, as I said, pickings were sparse, and as the vendor where I bought the squash was otherwise entirely dedicated to potatoes and onions, I felt like I should take what I could get. I think I'll roast it like spaghetti squash and serve it with homemade sauce (or the Trader Joe's bruschetta in a jar, if I don't get around to making homemade this week) and cannellini beans.

And, of course, the (great-looking) bargain-basement apples, which I bought for $0.50/lb. from my favorite apple vendor, Terhune Orchards, will very shortly be made into applesauce.

I can't wait to cook all these vegetables! It feels like forever since I've had inspiring produce, and even though these choices are a bit pedestrian, I feel really great about them.

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