Monday, May 16, 2016

Sometimes It's All About Family (And Farmer's Markets)

This weekend not only brought beautiful sunshine to the Heights of Jersey City but also the season's first farmer's market. Every year the market brings together our ever-increasing population of families, artists, hipsters, local vendors, and farmers to a park that shows off quite possibly the best view of NYC.
And let us not forget the beautiful ingredients that the farmers bring. Although the selection this early in the year is limited, there is still great eating to be had. Beets, asparagus, green beans, and some early hothouse tomatoes were the primary selection, and I opted for all of the above. I figured I would make some homemade veggie burgers with the beats and some fresh black beans that earlier that morning had come off of the stove. While prepping the beets I accidentally came across a new snack from a part of the beet I usually reserve for stock or compost--the stems. After removing the leaves for sautéing, my 3.5-year-old picked up one of the chewy/fibrous stems, bit into it and said: "Daddy, these stems taste good!" Taking it from his hand, I tried it as well, and he was absolutely correct--they were juicy and sweet, and with an olive oil drizzle, a little salt and pepper, and a quick sweet chili aioli (Vegenaise, fresh garlic, lemon juice, and insert hot sauce) we had our appetizer.
It was then on to a bowl of fresh asparagus with Israeli garlic couscous. I blanched the asparagus in salted water and gave them a quick saute in olive oil and red wine vinegar.  After the saute, I tossed them in the couscous with some fresh chives from my garden and the second course was complete.
It was then onto the homemade veggie burgers. I don't want to give too much away, but the way I cook them, they come out perfectly "medium rare."
I'm really looking forward to documenting what I make out of this year's spring/summer's veggie selection and sharing the images, processes, and recipes with all of you.
It should be noted that towards the end of August I will not only be a shopper at the Riverview farmer's market, but I will also be doing a vegetarian cooking demonstration. See you then, if not before.


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