Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ad astra per (vegetable) aspera

I couldn't find everything I needed at the greenmarket today, which was operating at about half-capacity in terms of vendors (and only about half those were selling produce vs. maple syrup, yarn, seriously good bacon, etc.). But I did my best.

Winter produce is so heavy:
2 bags spinach
1 bunch parsley
1/4 lb. arugula
1 butternut squash
1 1/2 lbs. carrots
2 yellow onions
4 large beets
1/2 lb. shallots
8 lbs. miscellaneous "bargain" apples
Total spent: $31.50

But my favorite greenmarket purchase by far was Rick's Picks pickled beets. Yes, the name makes me think of 1994 in a bad way, but they are so delicious that I can forgive the egregiously dated pun (not that I have anything against puns). Most pickled beets tend to be too sweet, but these have an ideal balance of sweet and tart, with a bit of spiciness from the unique herb combination. I think I could eat a whole jar in one sitting, but then I would probably pass out from acid overdose.

Though there was no garlic to be found (Keith's Organics has packed it in for the season, I guess), so I will have to give up on the garlic-braised greens recipe for now, I did think up an idea for tonights dinner: pasta with a butternut squash-sage-shallot sauce, over Knoll Crest Farms fresh spinach pasta. And I found arugula and parsley, which I'm going to use for the Very Green Rice recipe, probably served alongside sauteed spinach and veggie sausage.

But of course I am most excited about adding spinach, beets, and/or carrots to smoothies courtesy of my Vita-Mix! I will start out slowly with a handful of spinach here, half a beet there, since my photo assistant is a bit skeptical of the whole vegetables-in-smoothies idea, but I am really looking forward to it! I will post photos of the smoothies with the most zany colors.

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