Farmers’ markets are unpredictable. What’s being sold one week in abundance may not be sold at all the next week. Sometimes this is a seasonal shift, sometimes vendors just run out of produce early and sometimes, well, who knows? The size and shape of produce at farmers’ markets is also unpredictable and never as uniform as it is at grocery stores. Fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. This unpredictability is what I love about farmers’ markets, but I wouldn’t be an honest Worker Bee if I didn’t admit it’s a little frustrating at times.
Worker Bee here – bringing you another weekend Primal recipe. This time it’s all about modern foraging for a simple, creative summer dish.
The weekend at Mom’s was long and full of summer picnics, food served trough-style in big aluminum pans, set out for questionably long periods of time in the hot summer sun; food that looked about as uncomfortable and sweaty as we all were sitting packed beside one another on tight picnic benches under someone’s backyard tent.
The only clearly edible options at the summer smorgasbord were the ones I felt least safe tasting – the pulled pork, the burgers looking a little off-color, even whilst mingling under their protective grill lids. I spent the majority of the time at the outings sipping cups of iced water, picking at plates of raw vegetables and watching other people pump the keg and eat potentially E-Colied food with their bare fingers.
Sometimes chefs seem like magicians. How else could they transform food into shapes and flavors that seem impossible to replicate at home? Training, yes, but let’s also not forget that just like every good magician has a few props, (a double-sided quarter here, some disappearing ink there) so does a good chef. Maybe the perfectly sliced and diced vegetables on your plate were the work of a well-trained prep cook, but it’s just as likely they were quickly cut on a nifty device called a mandoline.
During the summer, it’s easy to turn into an impulse buyer. How can you not come home from the store or farmers’ market with more than you need when there’s all that irresistible produce out there? Freezing is one way to handle the excess. Getting creative in the kitchen is another way. Start by looking at a recipe, then mix it up a little. Before long you’ll find yourself throwing things like broccoli rabe into the food processor with nuts, a few garlic cloves and olive oil. Voila! Broccoli Rabe Pesto. Just like there aren’t any rules that say pesto has to be made with cheese, there aren’t any rules that say pesto has to be made out of herbs.
The toughest thing about eating Primal has nothing to do with dessert. Especially not when this little custard cup is so delightfully in tune with the Primal lifestyle and all its nutritive guidelines.
I must admit how I’ve missed, a little bit, the crusty, flaky sweet-filled stuff of cakes and pies and cookies ever since switching to the eating habits of Grok. But this eggy last course, which combines the best parts of all my favorites – the sweetness of a cookie, the texture of a chilled cake, the satisfying warm flavor of a gooey brownie or buttered scone, ends the yen. It’s a bit of an in-between dessert; not quite the high-carb, sugar shock item that once came with trips to the Jewish bakery or Dairy Queen – those summer after-dinner memories! – but more of a cheesecake, a flan, or even, when frozen, a sweet and delicate Italian ice that tastes a little bit like egg nog.
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