Farmer's Market Bounty
Saturday mornings signal one of my favorite weekend rituals- shopping at our local farmer's market.
It is as much a social affair as it is a healthy and inspiring way to stock the pantry and plan for a week's worth of meals.
Of course, there is no planning at all. I just pick the meats and vegetables that look best, taste best and are new to this weeks harvest. The meal will create itself at home as I ponder my purchases and decide what flavors I want to eat and cook for that day.
The ritual ends with a celebratory lunch at home, appreciating the farmer's who work so hard to bring these delicious ingredients from the earth to the table.
Today's meal began with a simple starter inspired by a beautiful bulb of corn-yellow cauliflower nestled protectively by arms of green leaves. This kind of ingredient only requires me to give it a light hand and soft touch. I simply boiled it gently until soft.
I cooked it longer than I would ordinarily, so the texture would be creamy and melt in the mouth.
Sweet cream butter is melted with Wild Oregano and Sage Savory Salt, then drizzled over the top of the cooked cauliflower.
Nothing could be more simple and delicious.
For those of you that want a heartier, cooked dish- I have the perfect recipe!
BAKED CAULIFLOWER GRATIN WITH WALNUT SAGE CREAM SAUCE
The walnut sage pesto and cream create rich velvety sauce, a great compliment to the earthy flavor of the cauliflower.
1 head cauliflower
1 cup Walnut Sage Pesto
¼ cup chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup heavy cream
1/3 plus 3 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Preheat oven 350°
Cut the stem and leaves off the head of cauliflower. Remove the core from the center and discard. Cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces and blanch in boiling salted water until tender, about 4-6 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Place in a 9-inch round buttered ovenproof casserole dish and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the pesto, broth, cream and 1/3 cup of the cheese. Pour over the cauliflower. Mix the remaining 3 tablespoons of cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the to. Bake until tender, golden brown, and bubbly at the edges, about 35-45 minutes.
copyright 2008 Alisa Barry