Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Farmer's Market

Went to the Farmer's Market this morning, the big one out by UC Irvine. Yeah, I know it's a suburban sort of thing to do. But this time of year there are just so much veg in season that it's worth braving the aisles mashed full of Baby Boomers, college students, and kids eating roasted corn on the cob and bags of kettle corn.

It sucks the money right out of your wallet, especially if you go like I did for the goat cheese and local made sausages. We have dinner guests coming so I loaded up on onions, corn, beets, strawberries, tiny champagne grapes, peaches and these tiny purple green plums the size of golf balls. They didn't look like much on the outside but were ruby red and juicy inside.

If you like vegetables or are interested in vegetarian cooking, here are three of my favorite cookbooks. 

First, The Greens Cookbook... the recipes are a bit complex but worth the extra mile. It's the book that I reach for when we are cooking for company. The lentil salad with mint, roasted bell papers and feta is stellar. 
The Moosewood Cookbook is a great veggie starter cookbook full of easy to make salads and soups. The French Onion soup is the one of our favorite meals. Try the popovers or the Welsh rarebit.
Our friends, John and Thea gave me this book for a birthday present and I use it all the time. If you want to know how to roast beets, make pancakes or what to do with kohlrabi, this book is one stop shopping.

How about you? What's your favorite cookbook? Do you have a favorite veggie meal? Love to cook? Hate it? What's in your kitchen?



"Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen, because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music."
Julia Child


  1. My favorite veggie meals are usually soup based.
    I love the mixing and melding of flavor and texture within a soup pot.
    My favorite veggie soups are potato and leek, and fennel,almond,celery root, and apple soup. Aside from soups, grilled vegetables, hummus-anything with chickpeas and green salads.
    And I love Farmer's markets.

  2. We have good friends who are vegetarians, and we cooked a meal for them last Saturday night. We made roasted beetroot dip, guacamole (sigh :)), hommus, tabbouleh and an aubergine and lentil recipe. If you like vegetarian cooking, you'll love Ottolenghi's new cookbook Plenty!

  3. That "Plenty" looks wonderful! I was looking at the pages and cracked up about the reader complaining about the fat content in the broccoli pie probably didn't like to eat.

    Post about the beet dip, will ya? I love me some beets!


  4. Mazza, it's very easy, and changes a little each time. Pete roasts beetroots wrapped in foil at about 360F (with fan) until soft, about an hour and a half. These are then peeled and popped in the food processor with a little raw garlic, oil, salt and a pinch each of ground cumin and ground coriander. In previous batches we used a little smoked paprika, but He who must be obeyed decided it made the dip too smoky. Also, we've used olive oil in the past, but this time we used a little French hazelnut oil, and it was divine - added an unctuous layer to the flavour. Here's a pic of the dip...

  5. Cee, that looks so yummy. Have you ever tried throwing a few garlic cloves in with the beets? Just a thought. What did you use to dip into the dip? Chips? Pita bread? Crackers?

  6. Maz, do you mean roast the garlic cloves as well? No, never tried that, but it's a great idea, I'll suggest it to Pete. We can only add a little raw garlic in the final processing, or it's too strong. We served it with sourdough baguettes (of course :)).

  7. so funny. i'm currently working my way through the Moosewood Cookbook...didn't love our most recent result, but we're enjoying the diversity for sure!