I went to the Farmers’ Market this morning and loaded up for the week…I am really enjoying not buying my produce (at least, for the most part) at the grocery. It feels good to know I am supporting Arkansas farmers, and that my family is eating well.
Today, I bought a huge bag of goodies that I’ll have to figure out how to use. One trick of market shopping is not knowing exactly what you’ll find. Maybe as this blog grows, we can learn how to plan meals and cook for a week based on what is available. I bought yellow squash, zucchini, fresh blackeye peas, pepper sauce, roasted Marconi peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, the weirdest yellow-green sweet bell peppers, ground buffalo, a honey-molasses wheat baguette, and more cheese.
Guess I need to visit Recipe Puppy and see what ideas come up. Generally, if I can find the basic idea of a recipe, I can take it from there and make it my own with what is available. I’ll let you know what we make!
Meanwhile, I’ve been promising a little blurb on Morgan’s Ratatouille. If you’ve never seen the Disney movie, Ratatouille, I can highly recommend it. It’s not the same vibe of movie as other Pixar films, but if you are a foodie, you’ll love it. It’s all about the creation of something great and new from the ingredients you find, whether that be culinary or from life in general.
In the movie, the final dish prepared is an amazing dish of ratatouille, a traditional French tomato-base stew with squash, zucchini, peppers and eggplant. Honestly, in the stew’s original form, I’m not crazy about it. But in the movie’s culinary consultant was the illustrious Thomas Keller of The French Laundry, and his version (technically called Confit Byaldi) was quite different. Instead of chopping all the ingredients into a stew, he spoons a bell pepper and tomato sauce into a flat dish and layers the veggies, cut into thin rounds, on the top. Cover and bake.
But, as most French recipes go, this recipe (although simple for a French cook) is a little bit much for even the Fancy Pants home cook. About a year ago, after a bit of searching, I found this simplified version here on Smitten Kitchen. This is what Morgan and I have made twice now, the second time with wonderful veggies from the farmers’ market.
My only variation from this recipe is that I use my homemade marinara sauce rather than just tomato pureé.
Photos from the first round, made last September:
This time, we made it a bit bigger (because it was so yummy) and added the last of the fairy tale eggplants. We had left eggplant out of the first because we really don’t care for it, but the small ones are not so bitter.
In the large photo above, you can see the final product. Next time I will take Keller’s advice and cook down all the extra liquid before plating. My sauce looks watery, but it sure was good!
Recipes coming from market foodies besides myself soon, as well as more profiles.