Friday, May 25, 2012

Gatherer Spring Salad

While in Winter Park, Fl earlier this spring, I had lunch at The Ravenous Pig, a gastro pub that gets BIG raves online. I happened to stop in during one of the monthly pig roast Saturdays, which featured a limited menu of a mixed grill plate (two kinds of sausage, pork roast, kraut and potatoes) or salad (for the vegetarians)!

Let's just say the salad stole the show.

Called "The Gathered," per the menu, it featured: mixed baby lettuces, beets, radish, goat cheese, avocado, pistachios, herb vinaigrette.

My version, culled from what I was able to find at the indoor winter's farmers market, along with a little help from Trader Joes, featured bibb lettuce, red onion, grapefruit sections, feta cheese, avocado, pistachios and a vinaigrette made with basil oil and some extra grapefruit juice. Although my version was not as pretty, it was very tasty. And with my outdoor farmers market opening for the summer season next weekend, it's a recipe I will try again soon.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Winter Park, FL Farmers Market

National Geographic recently posted a list of 10 world "food markets." I've only been to two (New York City's Union Square and London's Borough Market) -- time to make some vacation plans! Seriously though, many vacation destinations have great markets, if you only stop to look.

A few months ago, I was in the Orlando area (yes, to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter) but the true highlight of the trip was an afternoon spent in Winter Park, FL.

A small town north of Orlando, Winter Park has several great tourist sites, including the Morse Museum of American Art, a scenic boat tour and of course, the Saturday farmers market.

Set in an old train depot, literally across active Amtrak train tracks, the market was packed with people and produce.

But not all the produce was local. Oh sure, there were boxes of local citrus - but alongside were kiwi from Italy, beets from Michigan and artichokes from California. From what I've read, this situation - a mix of local and non-local items - is the case with markets across Florida.  

So I browsed and ended up getting:
-Two kiwis, imported from Italy
-Three heirloom tomatoes, grown locally
-A box of strawberries, also local
-A bag of the most amazing kettle corn (and I generally hate kettle corn)

The kettle corn was made fresh in front of me (I guess that makes it local?!) and was just the right combination of sweet and salt.


My biggest regret is that I couldn't justify buying an orchid and taking it home with me. There were at least three vendors across the market selling beautiful orchids at all price points. Maybe next time.

The Winter Park Farmers market is open on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is worth a visit if you're in the area.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Spring (and What I Did on My Winter Blog-cation)

Happy first day of spring! Given it is the vernal equinox, I decided it was high time to end my blog-cation and share a little bit of what I've been up to these past months.

I visited the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden (true, this is not edible, but the picture was too pretty not to share).

I made a lot of crockpot chicken stock for various soup recipes.

 I experimented with different brussel sprout preparations, including shaved brussel sprouts.

Frankly, shaved brussel sprouts were not worth the effort (could  have just used cabbage).

I made a bunch of macarons, including a new favorite -- cinnamon shells with pumpkin and white chocolate ganache.

Now that spring is here, and the outdoor market season is about to kick off, I plan on posting much more regularly about my latest finds and cooking attempts. Stay tuned.