If you’ve been listening to my silly podcasts over at Shop Small, you know that I have gleefully skipped my way into Farmers’ Market season. We buy a fairly large amount of fresh veggies at the grocery store each week, but it’s usually a predictable list — broccoli, carrots, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, perhaps the occasional cucumber or mushroom. So it’s an utter joy when market season rolls around, transforming grocery shopping from chore to treasure hunt. It’s like a culinary T.J. Maxx — you never know what you’re going to find!
This year, I am working hard to 1) buy new things and 2) actually use them. My first Farmers’ Market foray introduced two new characters to my kitchen: Beets and bok choy. And I am proud to say I cooked and ate them both.
The bok choy was … interesting. Not bad, just very crunchy. I have decided that the time has come for me to invest in a wok. Perhaps a visit to T.J. Maxx is in order? Sources say “Yes!” PS: I also found out that bok choy can be very dirty…
My next veggie to tackle was the much maligned beet. After eating and enjoying them in Italy, I was determined to give ye olde dirt flavoured root a fighting chance. The helpful beet purveyor at Snow’s Bend told me I didn’t have to peel these young beets, and that these orange and candy-striped babies were less messy, which is ALWAYS a good thing for me.
I know I know I know — that’s just how beets taste, Josh. OK, maybe I was just high on Tuscan ambiance, but I swear they tasted different over there. I roasted mine with salt, pepper, olive oil, and rosemary. When I first put a bite in my mouth, it was pleasant, almost potato-like. But three chews in, the BEETNESS side-kicked me in the back of the tongue, resulting in an involuntary shudder that I STILL experience just recounting the tale. I’m making the Yuk Face right now. Blech!
Turns out a tangy balsamic vinaigrette helped, along with some gorgonzola and walnuts, but not enough for this Mischief-maker. Sorry beets, you have been booted out of the pantry. Back to the dirt, where you belong!
Although my tastebuds have been irrevocably offended, my sense of culinary adventure remains unscathed. So what fringe vegetable is up next? We’ll let the market decide! See you Saturday at Pepper Place! 😉