Sunday, January 20, 2013

Egleston Farmers Market

Is anyone else feeling the winter blues?  It feels like it has been the longest week and I have wanted to sleep through most of it.  I find myself looking through the summer farmers market pictures on my phone and wanting some of those great summer flavors.  Actually, correction, I looked at the pictures on my phone until it broke.  I never thought that I would be one of those people that would flip out if my phone broke, but I guess I was wrong.  It was not a huge deal, I was able to upload all of my information to my computer.  While my husband was doing this, he said, "why are there so many pictures of vegetables on your phone!"  So now I have my husbands old phone with little to no pictures of vegetables on it.  That all changed when I went to the Egleston Farmers Market!

Egleston Farmers Market was a great find! And I wouldn't have found this market if they hadn't started following me on twitter.  There are some great vendors at this indoor market.  They had two guest vendors, Neighborhood Farm and Brookwood Farm.  I bought some onions, watermelon radish, and dried hot peppers!  I am so excited to try the hot peppers in some chili.  All you have to do is drop it in the chili to get some great flavor.  Also, I have never had watermelon radishes before so this will be a new treat!  If you are looking for some meat, there is Stillman's Farm and John Crow Farm.  I am stocked up on meat this week, so no need to buy anything this week.  For treats, there was the Cupcakory and I also saw a place that sold fudge too.  Foxboro cheese co is there and right next to them was Valicenti Organico to by sauce and pasta.  And this was also the first time that I tried hummus at Seta's Mediterranean foods.  I have to say that it was delicious!  Instead of buying hummus, I bought some kale and chick pea salad.  I can't get enough of my leafy greens lately, so I knew that would be a great meal this week.  And while you are shopping or just hanging out you can get a cup of coffee and listen to music. 

Egleston Farmers Market is located in Egleston Square in Jamaica Plain on Saturdays from 11-2.  It's a great market and go hungry because you can stop by the food truck and get something delicious for lunch.  This week Mei Mei food truck was there and I got some oolong tea and cheese and leek bread pudding.  And their food is made with all local ingredients!!

Recipe of the week:  Roasted Cauliflower

I got this idea while I was watching the Chew this week (it is my latest obsession).  Daphne Oz was making a roasted cauliflower recipe.  I decided that I wanted to try a simple recipe to really taste the flavor and then maybe next time I will play around with some spices.  But Daphne gave me this idea of getting that nice carmelization around the edges of the cauliflower.  This recipe is delicious and super easy.  I though that this was close to tasting like french fries, however, my husband disagreed.  He said that if they tasted like french fries, he would want to eat these with ketchup, which he did not.  Then, later on in the evening, my dad said there is no way that cauliflower would ever taste like french fries.  Regardless, these are delicious and I recommend trying this recipe.

1 head of cauliflower chopped into same size pieces (so they cook evenly)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Wash and cut the cauliflower into same size pieces.  Liberally coat with olive oil so all the pieces are covered.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Put in a roasting pan and cover with foil.  Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes and uncover.  Continue to roast stirring every 10 minutes until the cauliflower has that nice brown color.  It took me about 30 minutes total.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Natick Winter Farmers Market

Before the big Christmas feast, I got the chance to stop by the Natick Winter Farmers Market.  I remember going to this farmers market last winter, but I like it even more this winter.  There were two produce vendors and I got so excited to see the tomatoes that I forgot to get the name of the vendors.  One vendor has my favorite juliet tomatoes, which is a tiny tomato similar to a grape tomato.  I sampled one and it tasted just like summer.  There were also plenty of collard greens, scallions, potatoes, carrots, and parsnips.  The other tomatoes that I bought were a little bit bigger than the juliet and came in red and yellow, another favorite summer time treat.  I put those tomatoes in my winter local salad that I served on Christmas eve.  I was excited to see boxes of nice mixed greens and bags of baby spinach that also went into the local salad.

Other vendors at the market include The Cookie Lady, Fior D'italia, Naragansett Cheese, Nobscot Cheese, and several vendors with goodies such as jam, fudge, breads, pickles, and soda.  I also saw some coffee as well, but I had already had my morning cup at that point.  

I was very happy with this visit because I was able to get everything I needed for my winter local salad.  I like to eat a lot of salad and I now know where to get everything this winter to continue eating local.  The Natick Winter Farmers Market is open on Saturdays from 9am-1pm and located on Union Street at the Leonard Morse Hospital.  Parking is easy and there are signs to get you to the market.  In the parking lot, there is a vendor, Chestnut farms, which sells beef, pork, and chicken.  Go check it out!

Recipe of the week:  Tomato Jam

The first time I tried tomato jam was last summer.  It has a very unique flavor of the sweetness of tomatoes, but a little flavor with the basil.  This is a recipe I found from the food network and made over the summer.  I brought this to a New Year's Eve Party and it was a big hit.  Serve with some crackers and goat cheese.  If you find some winter tomatoes, try it out.  If I can find some good tomatoes and may make more for some gifts ;)

2 1/2 lbs. fully ripe tomatoes (about 5 large)
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons snipped fresh basil (I saw basil at the Wayland Market today!!)
1/4 cup sugar
1 (2 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin
2 3/4 cups sugar

Peel, core, and de-seed tomatoes, then chop.  Place tomatoes in a large pot (at least 6 quarts) and heat until boiling, reduce and simmer about 10 minutes.  Add lemon and basil and combine 1/4 cup sugar with the pectin and stir into tomatoes, heat to a boil.  Then stir in remaining sugar and return to boil.  Remove from heat and skim foam with a spoon.  Ladle into sterile mason jars, leave 1/4 inch head space and process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

Home canning does come with risks, so be sure you do your research before trying this out.  You can always make the jam and serve the same day or put it in the fridge.  Check out for some great canning tips.