…and what I did with it!
It was a beautiful day to visit the farmers’ market, and I ended up finding (and buying) all sorts of interesting things! Starting with…
STRAWBERRIES WITH STEMS! I’ve seen strawberries with stems at fancy restaurants and events – they’re often dipped in chocolate – but I’d never seen them someplace where I could actually purchase them. So I purchased them. When it comes down to it, I don’t think I’ll do anything different with these than I’d do with any other strawberries, but I’m a sucker for a gimmick, and in this case, stem = gimmick.
Wanna see what else I found?
DONUT PEACHES! Ive been seeing these in stores for years, but never tried one. They’re like regular peaches, but flatter. They look like, well, donuts! The vendor gave me a piece as a sample, and it was fantastic. You may also see them called Saturn peaches too.
PURPLE PEPPERS! They’re bell peppers with a purple hue. I’ve seen and bought these once before, and ended up using them in a dish when Kenlie and her aunts came to dinner (click here to see pictures). And that’s a red onion off to the side.
And the peppers weren’t the only purple veggie I brought home…
PURPLE CARROTS! I love purple carrots. They’re just like orange carrots. But purple. In fact, the first thing I ate when I got home was a purple carrot. And then I promptly ate two more!
As you can see, they’re not purple all the way through. And I love when carrots have the greens still attached. It makes me feel like Bugs Bunny when I eat them!
SQUASH BLOSSOMS! Aren’t they beautiful? These are, quite literally, the flowers of the zucchini plant, from which the zucchini grow (you can see the baby zucchini growing behind the blossom. Squash blossoms are edible, and extremely perishable and fragile, and it’s recommended that you eat them the same day you buy them. So, as part of my dinner, I made a squash blossom saute!
This is the first time I’ve bought squash blossoms, but I have eaten them once before, at a wonderful restaurant called Tosi’s, near St. Joseph, Michigan. Tosi’s is known for squash blossoms, even though they can only offer them a few weeks a year, because their season is so short! At Tosi’s, the blossoms are battered and deep-fried, but I prefer finding alternatives to deep-frying. It’s not especially healthy, and it stinks up your whole house like oil.
I read that you should remove the pistons from the squash blossoms, and that’s a fun little challenge to do without tearing the blossom. But once you locate the pistons…
…they’re pretty easy to snap off:
Then I cut the blossoms from the baby zucchini, gently rinsed them and patted the excess water from them, and let them dry on a paper towel. I cut the zucchini into chunks:
I also chopped up some other veggies: a bunch of brussel sprouts (another item that I bought at the farmers market), 1/2 a red onion, and 4 cloves of garlic:
Everything except the blossoms went into a nonstick skillet slicked with spray, and I cooked it all until tender. About 2/3 of the way through, I added some nonfat balsamic vinaigrette dressing for additional flavor. Then it all went into a bowl:
Then, I added about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the same skillet, and gently laid the blossoms in it.
The blossoms cook quickly – and wilt quickly – so it was only a minute or two before I flipped ’em, and then a minute or two more before I added them to the top of my bowl. They shrunk a lot – I might have even cooked them a little too long!
What do they taste like? Zucchini. A thin, silky, delicate zucchini flavor. Delicious!
I love being inspired by what I find at the farmers’ market… talk about a way to make healthy eating fun!
Keep it up, David!