Farmers’ Market Fabulousness and Balsamic-Ginger Reduction

I love veggies. I truly do. Fruit, not so much, but veggies – I could eat them all day long, every day. There’s not a veggie I don’t like, except for peas. I. LOVE. Veggies.

We are fortunate to have a farmers’ market open two days a week about a half-mile from our house. When we first moved here, there were NO farmers’ markets – I figured that we were in such a rural area that everyone knew someone with a farm and there was no need for a market. Lucky for us, that has changed recently. We typically walk up to the market once a week with the girls and stock up on fresh veggies and fruit. I love, love, LOVE fresh veggies. I’m not crazy about fruit but I’m working on that.

Check out the beautiful white eggplant! You can’t really see from this picture, but the yellow squash has green lines on it. Gorgeous!

Veg = beauty

Fresh kale – my favorite!!

Some of the chopped veggies to be used in a recipe

Peaches and blackberries, getting ready to be in a cobbler (recipe posted soon)

Cooking up some zucchini for the girls

Not from the farmers’ market, but another side dish – pressed tofu, cooked in the cast iron skillet with a dash of oil, soy sauce, and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast. An easy favorite, loved by kids and grown-ups!

I thought the produce he bought was so beautiful – individually and all together – that I just had to take some pictures of it.

My husband went to the market with the girls while I stayed home to clean for some guests. He went, in his own words, CRAZY – eggplant, white eggplant, pole beans, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, kale, blackberries, peaces. Almost all of it is gone, just half a week later. We most enjoyed just fresh, raw or lightly cooked veggies. I made kale chips; our guests made some delicious rice-paper rolls with fresh chopped veggies. My brother-in-law made a fabulous balsamic sauce to go along with the rolls. I usually stick to soy sauce/peanut sauce/other Asian-inspired sauces when I eat rice-paper rolls, and I never would have thought of using a balsamic reduction on them, but it was FANTASTIC. He cooks like me – a little bit of this, a little of that – so I couldn’t get him to figure out exact amounts, but this is what he could recount.

1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar

1 ginger root, peeled and sliced very thinly

2-3 teaspoons sugar

Stir in a small pot; bring to a simmer and cook until it is reduced by about 1/2.  This seemed to take about a half hour. You could probably reduce it less; it just wouldn’t be as thick.

The ginger gives the vinegar a nice, spicy bite, and the vinegar is nicely syrupy without being too sweet. My favorite part, however, was eating the ginger – it was soft and sweet, almost like ginger candy. Delish.

Beautiful in its simplicity

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