Farmers market splurging means cooking lots of food
Kohlrabi, sweet and hot peppers, broccoli, kale, spinach, cucumbers, summer squash, radishes (red, white and striped), skinny green beans, wax beans, beets, turnips and assorted onions.
I just typed in my farmers market shopping list for the week.
All to be supplemented by the lettuces, herbs and tomatoes plucked from our garden.
This is the time of year vegetable lovers embrace. Now, the challenge is to enjoy everything while the produce remains in top-notch condition with peak nutrients. For me, that means cooking most of what I buy a day or so after my splurge. Then, containers of vegetable sides and mains are at the ready all week — or until the next market trip.
The first thing I love to assemble: Vegetable toasts. No recipe required. Simply top hearty slabs of toasted whole grain bread with a smear of soft cheese, thick slices of tomato and a shower of chives. Or, smear the toast with a nut butter and quickly sauteed sweet onions and spinach.
Speaking of quick sautes, most summer vegetables take well to this fast, high-heat cooking. A few tips I’ve learned: Prep the vegetables first; use a heavy pan and heat it thoroughly; add flavorful oil and heat it; add vegetables in an uncrowded layer to promote browning; turn off the heat a few seconds before the vegetables are done — residual heat will finish the cooking. If working in advance, spread the cooked vegetables out on a sheet tray to cool before spooning into storage containers.
Sauteed vegetables make great additions to weeknight pastas, cooked brown rice and scrambled eggs. Spoon them over a hearty green salad with fresh cheese and a sprinkling of nuts.