Saturday, June 17, 2006

Size is Everything (no matter what they say!) – WHB

We saw these giants at the Farmer’s Market today. They should be kept in brown paper bags. Out of sight of the innocent.

Huge. Lush. Dark and swollen. The women gasped. The men glanced in their direction occasionally, discretely, enviously.

Some say that the smaller ones can be sweeter. Others try to convince that it’s all in how you use 'em.

But just let everyone see some really big ones, and the truth comes out. They all want the big ones.

So we got three pint boxes of huge ones, for an equally obscenely large price. But berry season comes and goes quickly. And this is the high season. And it is for my day, sort of.

We got some lemon verbena as well. My idea here is to make some little tart shells, a lemon verbena crème, and just place the berries on top. They look so fantastic, no cooking or manipulation could improve on them.

Plus, we got some fresh shallots. I’ve never seen shallots in a market that were still ‘fresh’ like this with the tops and roots still on. Usually they arrive like onions – greens removed, somewhat dried out. So these will go into the ribs marinade for tomorrow. Beef ribs. Roasted in the oven, then grilled to perfection.

And we saw some purple basil. And I mean purple. Pretty fresh too. So we snapped that up as well. I am not 100% sure where this will fit in, but it will. I’m thinking that a fresh corn salad with a light basil dressing. The purple would go nice with the yellow corn. Some shallots could come into play here as well.

And we also found something called Kelites. A green small-leafed affaire sold in big bunches. With the roots still attached. Apparently a variety of spinach. I was not able to find any information on this herb on the internet. It may be that the name the stand guy told us is not quite right. But there were a few ex-hippie types – in their 60s (!) with the full 60s regalia who ensured us that they ate it all the time, and that it was indeed a relative of the spinach family. So, we’ll give it a try.

And to finish off the menu for tomorrow, grilled sweet potatoes. Maybe with a light lemon or lime and cilantro garlic marinade.

Now there’s a meal. BBQ Beef Ribs, tomato salad with tarragon vinaigrette, fresh corn salad with purple basil vinaigrette on kelites, roasted sweet potatoes, and for desert the lemon verbena crème tarts with fresh black berries.

That's it this week for , sponsored by . Today was a prep day for tomorrow. Just getting things bought and ready. Figuring out how to put it all together. I will post the results of all this tomorrow!

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Blogger Kalyn said...

Happy Father's Day. I saw this on Technorati so I included it in the recap.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous mae said...

Those giant berries look so juicy! and i would really like a bunch of shallots please!

1:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How were the Kelites? They look an awful lot like this to me:

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Kaalogii said...

As a child, my mother used to take us out in the meadow to pick kelites for dinner. It is a great childhood memory. This is the correct name as my spanish, pueblo and navajo relatives referred to them. They grew about 4 feet tall or higher. The seeds grow on the top of the stalks, however, they are definitely not the same as "lambsquarters". Those look way too leggy, the clusters on top are too spindly. Kelites have a mild spinach flavor.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Claire said...

I, too, was looking for info online about "kelite", and came across your blog post. Apparently, it's more often written "quelite" and can either be amaranth leaves or goosefoot, aka pigweed, aka lamb's quarters, which judging by the picture, is what you had.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelites, actually, quelites, are basically a spinach-esque weed. Maybe there's one specific plant that is a true quelite, but from my experience from living among Mexicans in TX, it basically meant "anything that grows in your lawn that you can eat." I've eaten the same plants I just spent two hours weeding from a friend's yard.

In some instances, I knew they were dandelion leaves, but they were still referred to as quelites, and other times they were some weed I couldn't put a name to. But they did taste like spinach.

A traditional way of preparing them is to wilt them, roll them into small balls, dip them in an egg bath, and then fry them.

8:13 AM  

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