Going to the market, usually on Saturdays, is as much as you make it to be. Whether it's trudging down there in your 'cleaning-the-house' clothes and spending 10 minutes getting what you need and getting out of there or it's an event of pursuing the foods, sampling the seasonal items, watching the band play and getting a bit to eat of the tamales, crepes or giant 'sinnamon' rolls. Regardless, visiting the market connects you with those people who grow and harvest your food. They care about the whole cycle; from plant to table, they can tell you about the growing struggles for the year to the best way to cook the given vegetable. I love seeing the children of the farmer's there. Counting pennies, weighing onions and pears, and learning about the legacy of their family.
This past Saturday, I joined my awesome friend Stacia at her Hollywood Market. She volunteers here every weekend and has dove into the community and it's food. We decided to get together and make a meal that came straight from the market. It was fun selecting and discussing what we wanted and the best way to cook it.
Since Stacia is a friend that I adore, but don't hang out with too much, it was a great way for us to connect. You should try it! Share the preparation of a meal with a friend or friends. I recently read about someone conducting Perogie parties that included lots of flour, Russian traditional songs and vodka. That's quite a party, I'm sure you can make it fit your situation and availability for people who speak Russian and know traditional songs. But there's something wonderfully different from just serving friends food to creating a feast with them. Remember carving pumpkins with family? It's that same warm feeling only more sophisticated and you get to hold the knife.
Our meal was the following:Whipped Cauliflower (of the purple variety; that is not a photoshop trick!)
-Chop the flower into manageable pieces
-Boil until soft
-Drain and put into a food processor or good blender.
-Add a tablespoon or so of margarine and blend.
(I've seen this recipe with *mylk and margarine, simulating mashed potatoes. Your preference!)
Sauteed Greens over Quinoa
-In a giant pot, sautee onions, garlic, and ginger in some olive oil
-When translucent, add the mountains of greens. (We used Russian Kale, Rainbow Chard and Beet Tops. Cut into strips) If the greens are wet, you don't need to add any water because the small amount of water helps steam the greens.
-Last, add any other spices and ingredients that might tickle your fancy. Stacia used basil, red pepper flakes salt and hazelnuts.
-Cook on a medium setting until the greens cook down and are tender.
-Cut those beets into circles, trimming off any 'hairy' parts.
-Steam them in a stove top steamer basket until soft.
-Serve on top of the greens
Enjoy with your friend, on a porch preferably. :)