Monday, September 5, 2011

Pickin the produce....

My local farmers markets are my go to place for produce. We used to live 10 minuets from downtown Sacramento. It felt adventurous and interesting to be so close to all the hustle and bustle and not live right in the middle of it. One of my favorite things about living there was the X and Y farmers market. During the summer it expands almost double in size. It goes until 12 o'clock on Sundays. So on Sundays I made it part of my morning ritual. I got to go back to this market last Sunday because we were on that side of town. It gets very crowded and the prices get better the closer it gets to 12. The parking is free and the produce is absolutely beautiful. I did score some pretty incredible deals. The best deal I got was a large grocery bag of bright red juicy beefsteak tomatoes for 5 dollars. This does not happen often!

It is so important to support your local farms. Not only is it more fun to be outdoors but you are supporting your local community and can look for the best deals possible. I like to look for pre-bagged  and bundled deals. You can think you have found the right price but if you wait five minuets you may find a better one. I believe in cruising the whole thing first and going back to the hot spots.

The piles of eggplants were so glossy and gorgeous. The onions were also looking quite lovely. I always feel like a kid on a treasure hunt looking for the best deals.There is always a variety to choose from for quality and beauty. I always smell my tomatoes and melons to see if they have that ripe delicious aroma.



I was crazy and decided I would make Anthony Bourdain's homemade spaghetti recipe with all the tomatoes I scored. I thought it would only take an hour or so to make it. Sure enough four hours later, my labor of love was born.  Next time I think I will stick to plum tomatoes. The beefsteak tomatoes are just too huge.

Green beans are one of my family's favorite vegetables. I love to saute a little bit of bacon and add blue cheese to my roasted green beans. It is amazing how food can be cooked so simply if it is quality produce. Zucchini and cherry tomatoes are great to dip into homemade hummus. These are some refreshing fresh produce snacks I love to eat in the summer.

I made a fabulous grilled veggie burger called "The Girl Burger" that I found on the Food Network recipe website, http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aida-mollenkamp/the-girl-burger-recipe/index.html. I used Giada's pesto recipe with fresh basil from my garden. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/grilled-vegetable-panini-recipe/index.html All the veggies were so tasty. This was a fantastic way to use all the produce I picked up. My son wasn't interested in it at first, however after finishing half of a burger he was sold and asked for more. I did also add one piece of bacon per burger, per request of my husband. I figured if they were all willing to eat a burger stuffed with grilled veggies piled high to the sky, the least I could do was add a piece of bacon. ;)




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