Okay, this isn't really a recipe, but it is the kind of simple I really like - buy a prepared pie, cut it, put it on a plate and put a dollop of store bought ice cream on it. I don't buy pies from farmer's markets frequently due to the cost, even though they are worth the money. However, gooseberry pie reminds me of visits to my maternal grandparents' house, so if I find a gooseberry pie at a farmer's market, I like to indulge myself in a bit of nostalgia. I usually don't find the pie as tart and tasty as I remember my grandmother's, but I still appreciate the memories it elicits.
Turnips are certainly not a favored vegetable for many people (evidenced by the number of times I've had to tell the person checking me out in the grocery store what they are\), but I really like them. I enjoy them raw, but usually like them better cooked. I tried a new, and simple, way of fixing them this summer, and give it a definite thumbs up. I peeled and chopped the turnips, boiled them in lightly salted water, then mashed them just as I would potatoes, adding a little bit of butter, salt and pepper, to taste. Then I just stirred in some crumbled bits of crispy bacon (chopped chives and/or shredded Parmesan could also be added at this point). Yum! Despite the dish having bacon - which is usually a win - the rest of my family couldn't get past the turnip aspect, and I was the only one who would eat the dish - but I liked it so much, that I didn't mind a bit. I ate the entire dish by myself...in one sitting.
I hadn't cooked swiss chard previously, so thought I would give it a try this summer. Melissa d'Arabian's recipe for Garlicky Sauteed Swiss Chard seemed like a good choice for quick and simple - it basically just involved heating olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes, adding the swiss chard and salt and sauteeing (cooking the ribs of the chard longer than the leaves), then adding a splash of red wine vinegar at the end for additional flavor. It was quick and easy, but I think my "splash" of vinegar was a little too much, overpowering the dish. If I taper my "splash" to a "sprinkle" next time, I think I will like the recipe. As it was, I wasn't able to really experience and appreciate the taste of the swiss chard due to the strong vinegar flavor.
I like tart fruits and vegetables, so rhubarb is another vegetable that I look forward to in the summer. I have rhubarb growing in my garden, and although the plant is now mature enough to produce useful stalks, I don't get a large enough harvest at one time to do more than freeze and wait until more stalks are ready to harvest. When I saw rhubarb ready to buy, I grabbed it, anxious to satisfy my rhubarb cravings. I thought rhubarb sauce would be nice mixed in with our homemade Greek-style yogurt, and prepared this Easy Rhubarb Sauce recipe from Taste of Home. It had me at the word "easy". The recipe suggests using the sauce on pound cake or ice cream, but I have only tried it in plain yogurt and on pancakes so far, both of which were very good. I'm not sure if I would like the sauce better without the nutmeg flavor, so will probably try the recipe again without it or try another recipe entirely next time, just for comparison. Rhubarb is another vegetable which the other members of my immediate family will not eat beyond an initial try, if even that. Once I instructed Hopper 1 that he should not eat the leaves from rhubarb due to them containing poisonous substances, he became worried that the stalks would harm him too and refused to trust my assurances that he would be fine eating correctly grown rhubarb stalks. Again, it just means more for me.
There seems to be a theme in my family where I am often the only one that will eat the vegetables I get from the farmer's market, and beets are another vegetable that falls in line with this theme. My husband has a visceral reaction when he sees beets and will not even try them. I can sometimes get my sons to try the beets, but they generally don't take more than a nibble. Surprisingly, my youngest son ate an entire slice of pickled beet willingly the other day, so I have some hope that I will not be the lone beet eater in our family. I can eat an entire bunch of beets. With a recent bunch that I purchased, I made pickled beets using this recipe. These are not canned, so have to be eaten relatively soon, but I usually don't have a problem with that. I like adding these to a simple leafy green salad with sprouts and sunflower seeds, serving with cottage cheese for a quick snack, putting them on veggie sandwiches or just eating them plain. I haven't yet tried adding some orange zest or juice as the recipe suggested for an adaptation, but I plan to try it at some point. I'm also anxious to try this recipe for Burr Trail Grill Pickled Beets.
- When adding a "splash" of vinegar to recipes, I might do well to add via teaspoons so as to better control how much ends up in the dish - it is easy to quickly overdo vinegar and ruin a dish.
- I might want to reconsider how I teach my kids about the poisonous parts of plants so as not to scare them away from the entire plant.
- If I want to have a dish all to myself, I should probably make one containing almost any vegetable that is not broccoli, carrots or corn - that would probably guarantee that no one in my house besides me would eat it.