Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Big Green Dinner

I'm baaaaaack! Thanks for hanging in there! I had a really wonderful lake vacation for the first four days of my time off. The rest of the time was spent reading and visiting with family and friends because the weather was not very cooperative!

I'm happy to report that I was able to eat very well during my 2-week hiatus, thanks mostly to a little farm about 2 miles from our cabin which had different produce each day available in coolers on a picnic table with a coffee can available for payment on the honor system. It was pretty cute. Let me just tell you about the English peas...we bought the last 2 big bags ($3 each) and shelled them while drinking a lovely chilled rose wine on the deck overlooking gorgeous Lake Lida. I sauteed them with olive oil, shallot, salt, and pepper. They were amazing with a BLT (with tempeh bacon).

We also got wax beans and fresh lettuce so I had a makeshift Nicoise one fabulous day for lunch. All in all, it's the best I've eaten on vacation (other than trips to NYC!) minus one unfortunate incident with Nacho Cheese Doritos.

So now I'm back in Mpls and itching to get back into the kitchen and with a new zest to eat as locally as possible, thanks to a vacation reading of Barbara Kingsolver's awesome book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Today I went to the Midtown Farmer's Market and picked up a big variety of local produce, including lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, beets, onions, dill, basil, and zucchini! Then I hit Seward Co-Op for my favorite local goat cheese, heirloom tomatoes from Wisconsin, and other essentials.

After I perused my haul of newly acquired local food, I put together what I think is a gorgeous plate of food, that tastes like heaven.

Here's what it is:

Green Sandwich
Baguette (from Rustica Bakery in Mpls)
Herbed goat cheese (from Stickney Hill Farms in Wisconsin, local herbs, and a very NON-local lemon)
Green Zebra Striped Heirloom Tomato

Green Salad
Local lettuce
Very good quality balsamic vinegar**
Sunflower seeds

Then cover the whole plate with salt and pepper and a good drizzle of very good quality extra virgin olive oil**

**NOTE: The best quality that fits into my budget these days is Lucini brand, which is absolutely worth the splurge if you can afford it.

With a glass of perfectly chilled white wine, this was delicious!

I plan to post more new recipes in the upcoming few days to use up all those lovely local veggies I have so stay tuned!

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