Friday, May 11, 2012

Farmer's Market Inspirations and I am so...simple


I'm in Love with Spring and I don't care who knows it!  I couldn't wait for opening day of our local farmer's market. I happened upon a new one this past weekend, pulled over with a crazed look in my eye and proceeded to grab so many of the goodies that I had to make a trip back to the car so I could go back in and get more.

I have a little problem when it comes to farm stands or farmer's markets. I have to stop, it's some strange compulsion.  I'm working on it, but I consider it a relative bargain as opposed to shoe shopping.

I was outside talking with my new neighbor the other day; he was busy telling me about how much he loves cooking and then blurts out "Look I'm just a simple guy."  I couldn't for the life of me figure out what he was referring to.  I know my husband has talked to him a few times, so I couldn't help but think, what in the heck did my husband tell him.  "I am so...simple!"

During the week, I'm lucky if the dishes are done by 9:30 and even though I might be craving something exotic and labor intensive, simple yet tasty food usually wins out.  I want to share three simple recipes with you I made with my farmer's market finds.


Fried Potatoes with Herbs and Smoked Salt
5-6 Yukon gold potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
10 chive sprigs 
Minced fennel fronds (a couple tablespoons or so)
Smoked sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Wash and slice the potatoes into 1/4" slices.  Yukon gold potatoes work great because their skin is thin and you don't even need to peel them.  Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high heat, add the olive oil and potatoes and cook for 7-8 minutes without stirring.  Stir the potatoes and add the chives and fennel fronds.  Cook for 10-12 minutes more and stir or just flip them in the pan.  Cook until the potatoes are tender.

Finish with a good amount of freshly ground black pepper and a good sprinkling of smoked sea salt (I found mine at a local Trader Joe's.)


Fennel, Onion and Balsamic Topping
1 fennel bulb, white part only, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Add the oil to a large skillet and heat on medium heat.  Add the fennel and onion and let cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are starting to get soft.  Add the salt, sugar and vinegar and cook for 10 minutes longer until most of the liquid is absorbed and the vegetables are nice and soft.

I served the topping over some burgers, but you could throw it over some plain rice just to jazz it up.


Simply Roasted Baby Carrots
1 bunch baby carrots (mine were a gorgeous yellow and red mixture)
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F and arrange the carrots on a baking pan lined with parchment, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper and bake for 30-40 minutes or until tender.

Sometimes when I have something as beautiful as these carrots to work with, I don't want to do too much to them except simply enjoy them.

You guys would tell me if I was complicated, wouldn't you?  Come on we are all friends now and I can handle the truth.

Enjoy,

Gina


33 comments:

  1. Baby carrots? Where do you find those beautiful baby carrots? I'm lucky to find the regular sized orange variety.

    Our farmers' market is so, so bad and the other one that's better is almost an hour away. So, we don't get there often, which is unfortunate, especially if I could find baby carrots. All three of those dishes look delicious, but I have to admit that I'm most drawn to the fennel.

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  2. Bookmarked! My days are so busy - simple is best. The fresh produce is just starting here. What better way to honor it than with simplicity? (Need those carrots stat.)

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  3. those baby carrots look BEAUTIFUL! awesome find! and i love your simple recipes, perfect for amazing farmer's market finds!

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  4. I am in love with those carrots as well.
    I agree that your simple treatment is all those beautiful young vegetables need.

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  5. Wow I love your baby carrots. If I see them at the market I know I will have to get them... irresistible colors!

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  6. Gina,
    I have never seen carrots those colors, Wow! I live about 1 mile away for a working vegetable farm. They have just opened, and only have asparagus, and a few other things. Our growing season is just beginning. I want some of those colored carrots:)
    Happy Mother's Day!

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  7. Hi Gina! I find simple to be the best way to prepare veggies and after all they're healthier that way too;-) Pretty technicolor carrots my friend;-)

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  8. I'm the same way--can't pass by farm stand or farmer's market! Those carrots look amazing. How was the flavor of the purple and yellow ones different from regular orange carrots?

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  9. Thanks everyone and Linda I think they both tasted but carrots, but I think the yellow ones were a little milder than the orange or red.

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  10. Awesome carrots also great drizzled with honey then roasted with rosemary! I love the markets too!

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  11. Simple is often the best!Everything you prepared looks quite wonderful! I am just like you with Markets; I kind of lose it. I still have a a few weeks for this thrill.
    Rita

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  12. Simple is perfect...good, fresh ingredients cooked with love and skill! These recipes all look awesome, sweet Gina!

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  13. Hi Gina! HAPPY MOTHER's DAY ;)!! You simple? Hmmmm.... whether complicated or simple.. you know I love you either way. kekekeke.. those carrots are so pretty.. I don't think I have ever seen in it purple before though. am glad you are enjoying yourself. Take care now. xoxo, Jo

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  14. Simple is never a problem for me, on the contrary, I love simple things in life. This looks so fresh and tasty.

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  15. Gina - LOVE the inspiration from the Farmer's Market. Were you able to check out the one I shared with you? If so, did you love it? Those carrots look amazing along with the fennel topping you created. I am with you on loving Spring!! Happy early mother's day!!!

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  16. Beautiful! I love simple recipes like these--ones that can easily be added to any meal.

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  17. I'm a simple girl too, mostly because I hate doing the dishes if I make complicated meals that called for 10 bowls, 2 chopping boards and lots more :))
    Happy Mother's day Gina!

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  18. Those are some stunning carrots! I'd gotten some at my farmer's market last year, but felt guilty for not presenting them in a way that showed off their colors. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  19. Gina,
    Congrats on the Top 9 today! You are on a roll, girl!

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  20. 3 wonderful dining experiences! There is nothing better than great food, simply cooked. Well done!

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  21. I love going to the farmer's market to get inspired! Those potaotes with the fresh chives sound delicious! Often times simplest is best :)!

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  22. Hi Gina,

    First a belated congratulations on the Foodbuzz top 9!! Have you asked your husband what he said to the neighbor? hehe. Your potatoes look really good. And those carrots are gorgeous! I've never seen anything other than orange ones here. Thanks for sharing your yummy farmer's market finds.

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  23. Love the carrots! And the Fennel, Onion and Balsamic Topping looks simply outstanding. So glad I found you - I'll be back. Good post - thanks.

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  24. A fantastic post filled with wonderful spring colours - awesome :D
    Oops I meant to say and flavours too :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  25. Those roasted carrots look Deeeelightful! I love roasting veggies! Great blog!

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  26. Now those look so good, and you are a pro..so I am sure they tasted heavenly too!
    Loved the clicks and the content in your blog!!

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  27. There's nothing wrong with simple! All 3 of those recipes sound quite tasty to me =)

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  28. I love the farmer's market, the one by my house opens in June and I can't wait!!! love the carrots and simple is always better in my book. :)

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  29. Ironically we we've been talking about a farmer's market lately. Can you believe I haven't been to one since I moved to Texas? Your post brought back wonderful memories because my favorite thing to get at the little Farmer's Market in Pacifica was herb roasted potatoes. I need to make these at home.

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  30. Being complicated and serving complicated food is wholly overrated! I'm glad you make simple, fabulous food (except for the macarons which were a tad bit complicated but oh SO worth it) and share it with your friends :)

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  31. Oh, yeah, simple is best! Yummy recipes...and these are ones that will definitely find their way to my table. Thanks, Gina!

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  32. gawegous....and simplicity is the ultimate sophistication haha...who said that, I know it's a quote somewhere...it might have been Da Vinci - anyway, I love simple...I NEED simple in my life right now!

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  33. Both the potatoes and carrots look "simply" delightful!

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