farmer's market rainbow

i often have to work on thursday nights, but this past thursday i didn't! so i took the opportunity to stop by the mid-week installment of the clark park farmer's market to re-up our produce drawer. we're getting to the part of the summer where the local produce is ridiculously beautiful, and i just couldn't help myself. this is what i came home with:

a produce rainbow! this spread included some more normal, though no less gorgeous, items (tomatoes & collards), but also some specials, too: a purple pepper, a patty pan squash, and a white eggplant! the white eggplant was so elegant and sleek. much like my late spring score post, the vegetables themselves were enough to get my brain juices flowing, and with wusthof wielded, i went to town.

first things first: get some almonds in the toaster oven to roast for a salsa romesco (inspired greatly by the one we sampled at the blue sage grille). 2nd at bat: crank the oven to 450F, thinly slice up the eggplant, squash and a red onion, coat in olive oil, and get 'em in there to roast. next task: chop the tomatoes, radishes, some cucumbers and the purple pepper, add some juices and spices, blend half the batch, and set in the fridge to chill for a gazpacho. getting going now: prep the collards for a nice steam.

then i kind of hit a roadblock: where is my protein in this meal? some toothy texture to chomp into? i've been trying to rely less on tofu and other meat substitues in cooking, and regardless, no such goods were hiding in the fridge. what i did find, in a quick dig, was a tupperware full of half cooked potatatoes that ryan had abadonded during our lunch cooking session the day before. also excavated was a container about half full of white beans. as if through a hazy fog (or was that just cold air billowing out of the fridge from leaving the door wide open during my space out?), i saw my plan unfolding. potato fritters!!

so i got to work on that (more below), and finished the romesco sauce. the veggies came out of the oven, beautifully browned and softened, and the greens were sprinkled with hot sauce. the plate plated, i was soon sitting in the backyard, bare feet propped up, digging into this plate and listening to the birds sing their sunset songs:

potato zucchini fritters with salsa romesco, confetti gazpacho, and roasted patty pan squash, white eggplant and onions with black bean crema on a bed of spicy collard greens

potato zucchini fritters (lauren called them cutlets)
makes about 12, takes about 40 minutes, including frying

- roughly chop up 2 potatoes (and kind'll do), and get them to a gentle boil in salted water. throw in a whole, peeled clove of garlic while you're at it.

- while the potatoes boil, roughly chop about 1/2 a medium zucchini and sautee gently in olive oil until browned and partly translucent. take them off to cool.

- now check on the potatoes. they should be pretty soft, so drain them and let them cool.

- then, in a food processor, blend up the cooked potatoes and zucchini, with about 3/4 cup white beans (i used some from a can. my new years resolution was a long time ago!).

- when all that is pulverized and mixed up, add a a teaspoon of sea salt, some black pepper, a few sprinkles of marjoram or rosemary, and some water or a few squeezes of lemon juice. pulse again. of course, you can add all kinds of other spices, vinegars, really anything. i wanted to keep the flavor simple, since they would be a bed for the romesco sauce, which is super spicy.

- finally, add some flour - or a combination of flour and vital wheat gluten. add a little bit at a time, pulsing between each addition, until the batter is less sticky and more doughy. there is no real science here, since i was making this up on the fly.

- in a non-stick or cast iron pan, add a nice layer of vegetable oil and let it get pretty hot. then drop scoops of the fritter batter and and fry over medium heat until golden, about 4 minutes on each side.

- drain on a paper towel.

you know what i just realized? in the winter time, you could substitute sweet potatoes and it would be crazy good too! you could even dip them in maple syrup like healthy little pancakes. but you know what? i'm glad it's not winter.


1 comment:

Nate said...

The fritters look awesome! I will have to scope out some zucchini Wednesday morning at the Farmstand.

Beware the beauty of the purple pepper! She turns green when you cook her!