My beloved blueberries have been replaced with a new favorite-Persian mulberries. I was tipped off that they would be making an appearance at the farmers market this week, so I made sure to get there early and snatch some up. Oh my god are they good. They are incredibly sweet with a slightly acidic finish and went perfectly with my raw yogurt this morning. I am not sure how long their season is, but you can bet that I will be getting more, hopefully as early as this weekend. They are not cheap, running at about $10 a pint, but they really are worth every penny.
I ran into my new friends Susan and D.J. who is the head chef at Lou on Vine this morning. D.J. gave me a fig and that was my second stop, after the mulberries. I love figs on their own, as part of a cheese platter and roasted with some goat cheese and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. These figs are really sweet and need to be eaten raw, so they will be appearing in a fruit salad along with some of the early O'Henry peaches I picked up this morning. I should take a moment to say that this weekend I ate some of D.J's amazing food and I have been dreaming about it ever since. I have not yet gone to Lou, I am ashamed to say, but it has shot to the very top of my list.
I grew up picking and eating string beans right from the vine in my grandfather's garden. Anyone who has ever eaten fresh picked green beans know that they are so much more flavorful then those bland beans found year round in the grocery store. Normally, I like my vegetables rather al dente, but last year when I was in Italy, I had some braised Romano beans and that is the only way I ever want to eat them. They taste just like string beans yet because of the flatness have more surface area and that makes me love them more. These beans will be appearing in the near future on my table with some olive oil and garlic, perhaps along that grassfed bison steak I got at the market.
Amaranth greens are not something that I find very often but I always get them when I do happen upon them. They are a slightly bitter, less so than arugula and they are a good source of protein and vitamins. I usually sauté them lightly in olive oil and garlic but my favorite way to prepare them is to fold the sautéed leaves into olive oil smashed potatoes. I then use those leftovers in a fritatta.
So that's it for this week's farmers market. Assuming that I remember to take pictures, you will be seeing some of these items in future posts as they make their way into my menus.