Monday, September 19, 2011
If you’ve never been to one of the many fabulous farmers’ markets around Boston, it’s not too late to begin. In fact, the late summer/early autumn harvest is nothing short of spectacular, and you should take advantage of procuring fresh, local food while you still can. (Click here to find one near you.) Do remember that many of these markets now have much more than produce, including fish, milk, eggs, cheese, bread, poultry, and honey, among others. Yesterday there was even a vendor selling olive oil. My point here is that unless you are clean out of condiments or desperately need to pick up some of your favorite prepared foods (come on, I’m a realist – I have plenty of my own that I like to keep on hand), you can still do the vast majority of your food shopping at the farmers’ market, even as we approach October. Believe me when I tell you that the food is not as expensive as you think and the taste and quality are, quite honestly, unmatched. Not to mention all the other good things that come out of supporting your local businesses.
Like a kid in a candy store, I wandered wide-eyed through the market at the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square yesterday afternoon while soaking up the sun and enjoying free performances from the Boston Conservatory Opera. Plenty of fall crops are now in season – think squash, root vegetables, and potatoes – and that is indeed exciting, because I have a fabulous roasted vegetable salad that I love to make as the weather turns colder and just screams “Squash!” (Or maybe it’s just me.) Brussels sprouts are soon to follow, but now I’m really getting ahead of myself. (Think you don’t like Brussels sprouts? Just you wait; I’ve made many a convert.)
The point here is that summer favorites like corn and tomatoes can still be found and should be savored before the first frost takes them away until next year. (Boo.) So, l for one am taking full advantage and my posts this week will be dedicated to these delicious vegetables. (And yes, corn can also be considered a grain botanically, especially when consumed dried and milled as part of, say, corn tortillas. However, fresh corn is generally considered a starchy vegetable.) There is so much that can be done with these two foods, separately and together, and I’ll spend some time this week sharing cooking ideas and nutrition facts for each. I am very sure you will learn some new things and get some good ideas for preparing them in new and tasty ways. Think sautéed cod abed creamed corn with a tri-color cherry tomato, corn, and parley garnish for starters, not to mention homemade tomato sauce and tomato soup.
Stay tuned … and enjoy the gorgeous weather.