Posts Tagged mount pleasant farmer’s market

A Dirty Vegetable Secret

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Beets - the newest addition to my dinner table.

I did not grow up in a beet household. Beets did not make an appearance at the table – along with lima beans, acorn squash, and other foods that my parents were forced to eat as children. My mother, who was the resident beet hater, even made a valiant attempt to like them again when beets started showing up on the appetizer lists of all our favorite local restaurants. But she remains a solid beet hater – even of the local, organic, family-farmed variety.

So the following statement will probably be the cause of some family controversy, but I actually really like beets. I’ve been buying golden beets at the Mount Pleasant farmer’s market lately and they’re the perfect way to dress up an otherwise boring dinner of fried eggs.

I’ve been roasting them, topping them with a little vinegar, salt, pepper, and goat cheese, and serving them with the sauteed beet greens. The greens are a little acidic, but they mellow out with the addition of garlic and a sprinkling of goat cheese. I know that Mark Bittman thinks the combination of beets and goat cheese is overdone, but to the beet novice like me, it’s a revelation. The creamy and tart cheese against the sweet, earthy beets is a perfect combination.

Sorry Mom. But I think beets have found a new convert.

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Beets - lovely to eat, lovely to look at. Another reason to love them.

Roasted Beets With Sauteed Beet Greens
Adapted From Martha Stewart
Makes two (largish) servings

One bunch beets (approximately 4-5 beets)
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/4 oz goat cheese (approximately)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the stems from the beets and set aside. Wash beets, wrap in foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast 35-45 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, wash, drain, and roughly chop the beet greens. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes. Add beet greens and sauté until wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter before topping with goat cheese.

When beets are done, remove from oven and let cool until able to handle. Remove the skins by holding beets in a clean paper towel and gently rubbing off the skins. Slice into 1/4 thick slices, place on a serving tray, and lightly sprinkle with vineger, salt, and pepper. Top slices with the remaining goat cheese, and serve.


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Farmers’ Market Cooking: Zucchini and Swiss Chard Tart

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My recipe for health. For lunch.

Food Inc. must have gotten to me, because I actually made it down to the Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning. I decided to do a little experiment and see what it was like to do my weekly grocery shopping at the Farmers’ Market, rather than the Giant. Granted, there were a couple items that I couldn’t get there, like olive oil, savory thins (the world’s best cracker), and tupperware, but I scored some lovely produce and a beautiful hunk of goat cheese.

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The Mount Pleasant Farmers' Market, on Saturday morning.

For my first foray into farmers’ market cooking, I decided to try one of The New York Times “Recipes for Health,” by Martha Rose Shulman. Last week focused on Mediterranean vegetable pies that were heavy on the vegetables, and light on the fat. Given that I had randomly picked up Swiss chard and zucchini with my farmers’ market haul, I decided to try the Provencal tart, which features both ingredients.

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Zucchini (in the back), pre-tart.

I was intrigued with the yeasted bread crust that Shulman uses for the tart – I had never had a tart with a yeast crust before. The recipe calls for half whole wheat and half white flour, and uses olive oil for the fat. I loved making the crust, because there’s just something magical about yeast for me, and, as Shulman notes, it was incredibly easy to roll out. But after tasting the finished tart, I don’t know if I’m sold on yeast crusts, even they are better for me than the classic butter version. I didn’t roll out the dough thin enough, because it was definitely too bready and chewy on the sides. I also missed the crisp flakiness of the butter crust.

The filling was okay, although I wonder if it was the best use of my farmers’ market haul. The onions added a sweet flavor to the filling, which I’m not sure if I liked. I liked that I could really taste the chard and zucchini, and the thyme and garlic brought out their flavors. I substituted goat cheese (not the good stuff I got from the farmers’ market, but some left over from last week) for the Gruyere that the recipe originally calls for, but I couldn’t really taste it.

All in all, this tasted a little too much like a recipe for health for me, and the payoff wasn’t big enough given the substantial amount of work it took to make. But as vegetable-based dishes go it’s not bad, and I’m actually looking forward to having it for lunch this week. Maybe with a couple of tweaks (ditch the onion, up the cheese, maybe up the garlic). I’d even make it again.

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This tart looks so . . . healthy . . .

You can find the crust recipe on The New York Times web site. The recipe for Provençal zucchini and swiss chard tart is here. If you want, you can substitute the goat cheese for Gruyere, like I did, although I might suggest that you up the cheese amount by 1/4 cup, no matter which type you use. I mean, it’s a recipe for health, but you only live once, right?

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