I stopped off at the Powder Springs Farmers’ Market yesterday. Scored some great stuff.
First, from a man who liked my hat, I bought six beautiful “home-grown” Big Boy tomatoes. (I’m an easy mark for nice old men who flirt with me. )
I think I shorted him a quarter, but that’s okay because I’m going back next week for more. While these tomatoes might not have the striking charisma of heirlooms, they are meaty and full of flavor. Even got me thinking about canning.
I also talked with a farmer from Loganville. (Whose name I did not get either. Hopefully, he’ll be there next week, too, and I can report it then.) This farmer’s in his twenties and clearly devoted to his work. I love talking to and buying from people like this because it reminds me that I’m helping make farming a viable career choice for intelligent, passionate people. Every professional sometimes feels his or her work is the most important work. (“I’m not selling used cars, man; I’m providing transportation and opportunity.”) It’s a natural and essential egotism that keeps us going. But farmers are right.
From the Loganville farm, I bought burgundy beans, eggplant, patty pan squash, and Nero radishes:
Nero radishes are black on the outside, but you peel them to reveal whitish flesh that looks (way too much) like a turnip.
And they have a black pepper flavor. Can’t vouch for that yet, but soon. I want to try them chopped in a salad, added to my shrimp stir-fry, baked as chips, and sliced with salty butter. Probably not enough radishes to go around for all that, though.
Saucy, saucy night
Last night I made two sauces for future use: a tomato sauce with the summer veggies and a plum sauce for stir-frying.
Here’s the cast of the tomato sauce.
Felt a little guilty about chopping up the eggplant and mixing it with all the others. Maybe I should have done something special to highlight these beautiful little guys. Next time.
Also in the mix were heirloom tomatoes from Wednesday’s CSA delivery and “one clove” of garlic.
Speaking of the heirloom tomatoes, if you slice them up, be prepared for interesting colors on the inside. Some of them are really mottled.
If you cut open a grocery store tomato and saw those colors, you’d probably toss it. But that would be a huge error here. These are the sweetest little cherry tomatoes you’ve ever eaten. Don’t be fooled!
The sauce didn’t cook down much last night, so I’ve got it back on the stove today. We’ll have it over pasta for lunch along with lettuce and Nero radish slices.
The second sauce
The plum sauce was based on this recipe with plums, onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili oil, and brown sugar.
Because the recipe was for a quart of sauce, I did some math and some guessing to get the proportions right. Should have done more math and less guessing. The sauce morphed into a GINGER sauce with hints of plum and garlic. I think it’ll still be okay, though.