One of the best things about having a farmer’s market right in your town is the relationships you develop with the vendors. Whether they grow the produce, bake the brownies or make the cheese, you get the unique chance to actually connect with the people who create the food you’re going to eat.
And so, over the years, I’ve come to enjoy the people as much as the product. Like the amazing husband and wife team who cook high-end Mexican street food – by way of Norway. They know I love their butter and sugar crepes as a “walking around” snack. Or the baker who has Noah’s favorite cookies in her hand as she sees me approaching. And the farmer who insists I sample that new-t0-me plum or cherry before I buy it – just to make sure.
And then there’s Gaia’s Breath Farm. I look forward to seeing Tara’s smiling face as she greets me each week (preferably with some sausage “hidden” in a safe place). Gaia’s Breath Farm is the jewel of our market – selling organic meats and gorgeous heirloom vegetables, and pretty much spoiling me for anything else. For the last 3 years, I’ve stopped by Tara’s table to chat, taste and of course, purchase. I always ask her the same question – “how should I prepare (fill in the blank)?”. And Tara smiles and patiently says a variation on the same thing – something along the lines of, “Oh, as simply as possible”.
I finally realized what she was trying to tell me – which is obvious, I’m sure, to most of you. That when you are using the very best ingredients, the simplest preparation is in order. No need for lengthy roasting, heavy-handed seasoning or lots of fussing.
In honor of that advice, I decided to take one of the simplest dishes I know – a frittata – and “elevate” it by using only ingredients from Tara’s farm. I bought eggs, farmer’s cheese, kale, and slab bacon (O.M.G.), with some of her beautiful mesclun to serve on the side. I picked up some bread from the baker and brought my bounty home, eager to make my “stepped up” frittata.
It was delightful – and truly delivered the message that “simple” is often the best when you are simply using the best there is.
We had this as a light supper on one of the “doggier” days we’ve had this summer, but it would make a lovely brunch dish too – and was a yummy lunch served cold the next day.
How about you? If you’re lucky enough to have a local farmer’s market, what do you love most about it? Any recipes you’d like to share (or suggest)? Let me know!
adapted from Becoming Bianca
8 large eggs
1/2 c. whole milk
8 oz. farmer’s cheese, shredded and divided (can substitute with your favorite)
8 oz. slab bacon, diced (if using strips, chop into 1″ pieces)
1 medium onion, diced
8 oz. fresh kale, rinsed, dried and roughly chopped (can substitute with spinach or your favorite leafy green)
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 450.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and half the cheese. Season with salt and pepper – set aside.
Cook the bacon in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat till crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. When cooled, add to the egg mixture.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat and add the onion to the pan. Reduce heat to low and saute for 3-5 minutes, till onion is softened and slightly translucent.
Add the kale and toss until wilted (tongs are great for this!). Add the egg mixture to the skillet, and stir until well mixed. Increase heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes, or till eggs begin to set. Sprinkle the remaining cheese across the top, and place the skillet in the oven. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until edges are brown and eggs are cooked through.
Cut into wedges and serve immediately.
This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver