You know those days. You wake up, your plans are fluid, you head out to the farmers’ market without a shopping list to see what you’ll find. These are the best days, when all that’s required is to flow with the season, let your culinary imagination work purely by what you find.
Old Friends at the Market
As spring progresses, this little flight of fancy becomes more and more exciting. Vegetables and fruits appear like old friends we haven’t seen in a long time; and like old and enduring friendships, there is the thrill of rediscovery!
Local Grower First
I always head to my favorite local grower first. Because his produce is pulled from the ground the night before he displays it at the market stand, and I’m not the only one who knows this. If I’m not there before 8 a.m., the line is long and the very best disappears quickly. Never was the adage “The early bird gets the worm” more true than at the farmers’ market.
Spinach and More
But this morning there variety was light but the quantities were huge, so there was plenty of meaty spinach, bunches of new shallots, radishes of course, and lettuces that defy the imagination, they’re so beautiful.
Local, Local, Local
Once I’ve gotten what I need from the grower, I stroll through the entire market to pluck what is most tempting. I stick with produce from France because it will be freshest and best.
And that’s where I find old friends like small artichokes, garlic in its most nascent form, perhaps a strawberry with intense aroma (which I save for dessert!). And finally, some gorgeous crème fraiche. Even it, I find, is best in spring!
You take what you find, watch the video for inspiration, and you’ll have a spring feast on your hands.
There isn’t really a recipe, but here is basically what you can do, slotting in the vegetables you find, keeping the shallots and the garlic as constants:
A Delicious Guide
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet with the garlic and the shallots. When those begin to sizzle, stir and cook for a minute or two. Season with salt, stir, then add any remaining vegetables. If you aren’t using spinach with the rinse water on it, then you’ll want to add several tablespoons of water. Stir, make sure the liquid is simmering, cover, and cook until the vegetables are the tenderness you like them.
Add some creme fraîche, stir, let it cook just minute or two so it keeps its fresh flavor, adjust the seasonings and serve, garnished with the herb of your choice. Bon Appétit!