A Vegetarian Feast Fit for a Queen
You've listened to me wax philosophical about shopping at your local farmer's markets. I know I can be relentlessly passionate about eating and shopping locally, and maybe you've had enough of my stuff. But right about now is when all that philosophizing and dream weaving becomes a matter of practicality and smart food shopping.
August is the peak period for summer produce, and when the weather cooperates, the harvest is golden, yielding tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, herbs, onions, garlic, green beans, okra, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, peaches, melon and berries. (I'm sure I'm missing something; please add to the list in the comments area below.) Sounds like the produce aisle in the supermarket, doesn't it?
And because of the variety of veg, it's easy to forget about meat at suppertime. Last night was a case in point. I stopped off at Clarendon farm market in the late afternoon, picking up tomatoes, okra and a few ears of yellow Japanese corn. I pedaled home with my goodies, and combined them with stuff already in the pantry purchased over the weekend. Dinner was boiled corn with a compound butter of basil, lime zest and chili powder; a hunk of yellow watermelon with chopped basil and sliced okra sauteed with tomatoes, garlic and jalapeno, simmered in a puddle of white wine.
Nearly everything -- except the wine, lime, chili powder and butter -- came from local farm markets. The meal was stellar, the meal was seasonal, the meal was meatless. At this time of year, it's so easy to fix your very own produce-centric feast. It's like nature's free pass to culinary maestro-dom.
Try your hand at mixing and matching seasonal goodies, and let me know what kind of masterpiece you come up with. I'm already chomping at the bit for your kitchen tales!
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