May 3, 2008

Seeing Green

I got up early this morning and headed over to St. Louis to browse through the Soulard Farmers Market. I even talked Jerad into coming with me. I was on the prowl for fiddlehead ferns and ramps, and I needed another pair of eyes. But we didn't find either of those there. Still, I came home with a bounty of fresh green spring veggies (and a few purple potatoes).

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I was especially excited when I saw a whole mess of fava beans at one stand (and I only saw them at that one place!). The only other time I've had favas was last July; I ate just a couple favas that I got from the supermarket. I plan to eat these (I have 2 pounds!) next week with bacon on toasted baguette slices.

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I also got some green tomatoes, so that I could make the year's first batch of fried green tomatoes. These were a staple of my diet last summer, and I am anxious to repeat that behavior.

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I also grabbed some thin asparagus and fresh spinach. After all, who can resist those beauties?

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I'll probably eat the asparagus with soft-boiled eggs for breakfast next week. The spinach is going to end up in a breakfast dish, too, as eggs Florentine tomorrow morning.

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I also bought some local goat cheese. I've had this brand before; it's a wonderfully mild goat cheese. The cheese is sold as heart-shapes coated in herbs. I chose the herbs de Provence. Some of it will go in a gratin I'm making tomorrow with those purple potatoes.

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I was just a little disappointed that I didn't find fiddleheads or ramps. I keep hearing about ramps, in particular, and I was really looking forward to seeing what all the fuss is about. "Oh well," I figured, "there's always next year."

After leaving the market (with mini-donuts in hand), we headed over to Whole Foods (with a brief stop at City Diner for breakfast...meatloaf omelet with mashed potatoes & white gravy!!) to do some beer and cheese shopping. I always scan the produce department for interesting goodies, and today I spotted a big pile of......

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......RAMPS!!

I was so excited! I picked up just one bunch, because the sign said they were $11.99 each. While I grabbed a few other items throughout the store, I made an effort to not over-indulge since I was splurging on the ramps. So, I didn't get the small heirloom tomatoes, or the hard orange French cheese I wanted to try, or the Chilean rose wine.

When I went to check out, the guy working behind the counter had to call about how to ring up the ramps. He said he's never heard of them before. When he finally put in the code, they came up only $2.99 a bunch! I stopped him. I asked if that was right. He said it was. I could have sworn the sign said $11.99 each and not a pound. I didn't argue. Instead, I sent Jerad off to grab a couple more bunches. I was perfectly happy...a great way to end a fantastic morning.

Tonight, I am making a ramp tart for my dinner. I'll let y'all know how it turns out tomorrow...

2 comments:

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

All those veggies look beautiful! Next Saturday I get to visit Tower Grove Farmer's Market. Our weekly ritual is to walk from home for our produce shopping. I can't wait.

Ms Unseen/MsF/Redlotusblossom said...

FIddleheads. i bought some of these in Nova Scocia while on vacation there and renting a cabin on a windy cliff. I steamed them and butered them, and thought them rather fine. I have never seen them around here, except in those little trucked in expensive packages. Are they available?? I have to say, for me, the Tower Grove Market is far far far superior to Soulard, even though the Soulard is walking distance from my house. P.S. -- I'm so mad at you Kelly for being a couple blocks from me and not calling! :-)