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Foraging farmers markets, cooking up good stuff at home

Post by News Tribune Staff on May 31, 2008 at 3:31 pm | No Comments »
May 31, 2008 3:31 pm

Asparagus rellenos, on my deck.

After scouring South Sound farmers markets for marvelous munchies, I’m looking for farm-fresh foods to cook with. I stopped briefly at both the Puyallup and Proctor farmers markets this morning. I picked up asparagus, leeks, Walla Wallas, chives, sorrel, goat cheese, eggs, chorizo, grass-fed ground beef and a day-old cinnamon roll. (The latter’s going to be French toast tomorrow, with either apple-cider syrup or blackberry rhubarb jam, both purchased from farmers at markets.)

Pictured above is the lunch I cooked today: asparagus rellenos. Here’s the recipe: Blanche one bunch of asparagus. Blanche some chives. Arrange five asparagus spears side by side across a blachched chive strip. Spread about 2 tablespoons of goat cheese atop the spears. Place five more spears on top of the goat cheese. Tie the the asparagus into a bundle with the chives. Repeat with all of the asparagus spears. (Note: one bunch made four servings.) Set aside. Separate two eggs. Beat the whites to soft peak. Then beat in the yolks, followed by 2 teaspoons flour and a pinch of salt. Dredge the asparagus bundles in flour. Then dip the asparagus spears, bottoms down, in the whipped eggs, one at a time. Fry in oil, heated to 375 degrees, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Serve. Eat. Go, “Mmmmm.”

Cost of the asparagus: $1.50. Cost of the goat cheese: $6 (but I had enough left over for one more serving). Cost of eggs: about 20 cents each ($2.50 per dozen). Approximate cost for four servings: less than $2 per serving. Never mind gas.

Speaking of yummy asparagus creations, Tacoma’s mighty mite soup restaurant, Infinite Soups, met my Farmer-Friendly Food Challenge. Today at the Proctor Market, Infinite Soups served asparagus-prosciutto-tortellini soup made with asparagus purchased from a vendor at Thursday’s farmers market in downtown Tacoma.

If you came across any other food vendors at farmers markets who are cooking with ingredients purchased from farmers, I’d like to hear about it.

I’m also interested in what you’re buying at farmers markets.

What’s cooking, people?

Farming and growing
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