Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Carnation Farmers' Market

We finally had a Tuesday this May where it wasn't pouring down rain in the afternoon - and that means that we also finally got to go to the Carnation Farmer's Market! Neither Jon nor I had been to it before, but now that we are living in the area, we thought we would start going to it and the Duvall one (which opens this Thursday, and is within walking distance from our house! Squeeee!) to buy our weekly summer produce.

The Carnation market is not a very large affair, but oh, what nice goodies can be found there. This is what we walked out with today in the way of produce:

We didn't buy a lot this time around because we didn't have a real plan for what we wanted and would use this week. We were mostly going to see what was there and get a feel for it.

There are also some plant vendors there. I knew going in that I wanted to buy a tomato plant if anyone was selling any. There were several varieties and it was difficult to choose. I finally decided on Better Boy tomatoes. I don't know much about them, but the seller claimed that they are a fairly sweet paste tomato that's a good all around, use any way you like it, tomato. That sounded like a good kind to start out with.

We also bought a Japanese lace leaf maple. We have wanted one for years, but have been reluctant to shell out for one. We were dumbfounded to find a really healthy looking, not too tiny one for much less than what we have seen anywhere else. We couldn't pass it up.

At home with our spoils, Jon set up the barbeque and I washed the portion of greens that we were planning on consuming with dinner. We halved the largest baby bok choy in the bundle, drizzled it with olive oil and sprinkled it with kosher salt and cracked pepper. Then, after grilling up his famous marinated flank steak, Jon lightly grilled the seasoned bok choy. It was very tasty. We also made a salad with some of the mesclune salad mix and spinach, and a sprinkling of my home grown arugula, which is finally getting large enough to start thinning it a bit. I tossed it with my own recipe for a creamy dill vinaigrette that I made up one day while trying to imitate the dressing on a spinach salad that I had at Anthony's Home Port one day.

Here is the recipe, if you would like it:

Creamy Dill Vinaigrette

1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Stone Ground Dijon Mustard
3-4 tsp milk (to desired consistency
1/2 tsp dried dill
approx 1/2 tsp sugar (taste test as you go)
salt and pepper to taste
a few drops of lemon juice to taste

Wisk all of the ingredients together until you have a nice emulsification. Toss with a salad of baby spinach, sliced raw mushrooms, and chopped cooked bacon. (Or just toss with some mixed greens, if you prefer)

Tip - if you are cooking bacon to put in your salad, put a little of the leftover bacon fat in the vinaigrette as well. It doesn't take much. Mmmmmm. Bacon fat.

You may have to fudge some of the ingredients to find your own preferable tartness/sweetness balance. Mine turns out slightly different every time, depending on what my taste buds are telling me that day.


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