So as many of you know, summer is still alive and well in my mind. I calmly go about my day, ignoring Halloween decorations in stores, pumpkins in the supermarkets, bloggers' posts about soups and pot pies, and the weather forecast that says Saturday's high in Syracuse will be around 50 degrees! La la la la la. What's that you hear? The sound of Bazu covering her ears and trusting the calendar that says it's still summer, goshdarnit!
Daiku and I made a trip to the farmers market and came home with the booty that you see, above. We got: tomatoes (red and yellow), romaine lettuce, broccoli rabe, garlic, canteloupe, plums,
And a couple of the wonkiest white eggplants you are likely to have ever seen!
First of all, can I say, fresh local garlic is a revelation?? Ok, for someone who supposedly blogs about the joys of local food, this is going to sound pretty lame, but I never really buy garlic at the farmers market. It's one of those things that's so easy to throw in your cart at the supermarket and then forget all about. But these huge bunches of garlic were so fresh, so fragrant, so potent, it was a revelation. Like much else, garlic tastes better when it hasn't been shipped for thousands of miles and stored for months. *slaps forehead*
So with this revelatory garlic, and the broccoli rabe and multi-colored tomatoes from the market (and some fresh basil and oregano from the garden), we made this pasta dinner. It's a really improvisational dish, so I won't give a recipe, rather a guide to what I did:
- boil some water for pasta, boil some water for the broccoli rabe
- blanch the broccoli rabe by dunking it in salted boiling water for 1 minute, drain
- while pasta is cooking, warm up a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil on medium-low heat
- add a bunch of red pepper flakes and crushed garlic, allowing them to release their fragrance
- add drained broccoli rabe, some salt, and pepper to the oil and heat through
- turn off heat, add some diced tomatoes, a tiny bit more of garlic, and some chopped fresh basil and oregano to the mixture. cover and allow the flavors to blend
- drain pasta and add it to the veggie mixture. stir to combine, then serve, garnishing with more fresh basil and oregano.
- from chopping to dinner on the table in way less than 30 minutes - take THAT, Rachael Ray!
These Italian plums remind me of my mom, who used bring home huge amounts of them, and then laugh as I would proceed to eat them all. They are just so fragrant and delicious, with sweet flesh and tart skin, the way a plum should be!
And perfect for baking, too! When I saw this recipe on Emmie's blog for almond plum pie, I just knew I had to have it! I saved it for a special occasion and made it for our anniversary last week. Oh man, it's good. I'm not much of a pie baker, so these pictures aren't that great, but I assure you, the pie is. I loved the cinnamon/cardamom/almond combination, it was definitely the perfect flavor combo.
I didn't have the apricot marmalade called for in the glaze, so I used plum jam instead. I think it worked o.k. Thanks, Emmie!
As for the mutant eggplants? That's for a future post...
One year ago today: What I was blogging about on 12 September 2006