Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hello, Ris-otto

"Let's see," Sapphira said. She mentally tallied up my finds as she pulled the netted bag off the scale. "That's $25."

"Did you remember the lettuce?" I asked, holding up the bag of baby lettuce.

"Got it."

I delved into my pocket, pulling out five 1's and a crumpled twenty dollar bill. I know many people buy from every farmer at their market. Perhaps I should but I don't. My farmers' market is always bustling and, besides, Sapphira is my friend. I've known her for the past year. She supplied me with the most beautiful San Marzano tomatoes last fall for pasta sauce. She sets aside cheddar and purple cauliflower for me because she knows my oldest loves it. I bought Frankenstein - an enormous blue-green Hubbard from her - and, even though she named him for me, we turned him into pie and soup. Sapphira and I have talked about our kids, her broken washing machine and my book club. We've swapped recipes and shared garden growing tips (well, that mostly comes from her side).

Sapphira is my friend. I buy my vegetables from her.

I handed her the money and carefully nestled my potatoes and tomatoes, peas and cucumbers, and remainder of my bounty into the wagon. I stood to say good-bye and prepared for the onslaught. Sapphira does this every week. "Can I give you some onions?" She offers. "They are wonderful." I laugh and tell her I haven't yet eaten the ones I grew in my own yard. She switches tactics. "Then the Swiss Chard. You must take some. Look, look. The colors are so gorgeous. Please take some." I wave her away and tell her I don't need any freebies. I've got all I need but thank you very much for the wonderful produce. I'll see you next week.

Then she stops me cold.

"How about these carrots? You must take them. They are beautiful." She waves a bunch of the most glorious carrots I've ever seen in front of me. I've bought many different carrots over the past year - purple, white, red, yellow and the ubiquitous orange but never this lovely shade of rose. This delicate, soft pink.

"Okay," I give in. Who wouldn't? I thank her profusely and promise to see her next week.

I toted Sapphira's pink carrots home. I have no idea what the variety is. As Kale for Sale suggests, I should have asked. But, in my gratitude, I forgot.

That night, the comely carrots mixed with some standard orange ones I bought from Sapphira last week to become Carrot Risotto. It's a dish so delicious that I am not the only APLS in the Bushel Basket who made it this year.

One Local Summer Meal: Carmelized Carrot Risotto
The recipe is from Sunset magazine and you can find it here.

Local ingredients:
Long Meadow Ranch olive oil (purchased on site)
Strauss butter
Sapphira's carrots
homemade vegetable broth (from vegetable scraps)
homegrown onion
Peju white wine from organic vineyard (purchased on site)
homegrown thyme
Bravo Farms Silver Mountain cheese (substituted for the Parmesan, I skipped the mascarpone)

Non local ingredients:
bulk organic Arborio rice
bulk fair trade, organic sugar


Abbie said...

This looks great! I might try it when my carrots are (finally) ready.

eco 'burban mom said...

Yummy, though I would HEAP the cheese on top totally washing out the nutritional value of the carrots! ;o) This looks like something that would reheat well the next day too, I might nab this one for myself this week!

BTW - I also buy all my veggies from the same vendor every wednesday, it's funny how they start to look for you and ask how you're doing. They're also no longer surprised that I bring my own bags and they trust me to fill my bags, total my veggies and just pay them instead of the other way around. Not to mention the farmer is pretty darn cute too! ;o) Don't tell the eco 'burban dad! LOL

Allie said...

I use the same vendors every week too. I have three -- one for bread, one for peaches, one for berries.

That recipe looks amazing.

eco 'burban mom said...

WOOT! I love the new green super-woman. That is totally you, GB! Fierce, green and fabulous! ;o)

Robj98168 said...

I might try it too when my carrots are ready( Growing a rainbow of carrots)
I have one farmer you can put money on I will buy from at the FM- he always has the best produce, is friendly, flirts with the ladies. I check out the other stands and always buy from him!

Green Bean said...

Abbie: Is it just me or do carrots take FOREVER to grow!! Worth it though.

EcoBurbs: Well, yeah, a heap o'cheese makes it extra delicious. And yes, it does reheat very well for a day or two. Dang, I'd like a hot farmer at my market. Mine are mostly women and older gents. Someone send the cute boys please!

Allie: It's funny how you get so that you buy certain things from certain people. I get so attached to my farmers that, if they miss a week for some reason, I have to start all over and figure out who to buy from.

EcoBurbs: Thank you girl! I kind of like it. ;-)

Rob: Hey, you have a new pic too!! Nice. I love that you are growing a rainbow of carrots. I tried but none of my seeds came up. I'll have to give them another go.

Chile said...

Mmm, caramelized carrots. Hold the cheese for me, I want the carrot taste to star!

Abbie said...

I keep pulling them to check on their growth... By the time they are ready, there won't be many left :)

Melinda said...

That sounds FABULOUS. Yum. And I am a sucker for new varieties, shapes, colors, sizes of carrots. I think it's a total shame that we pretty much ended up with just one variety and color in the grocery stores. The flavors and nuances of other colors are just incredible!

Debbie said...

While the recipe sounds yummy, my favorite part of this post is the interaction between you and Sapphira. Being connected to others is what it is all about. Now I am off to buy some local carrots -here in the Granite state they only grow to be 2 inches long! ;)

jennconspiracy said...

pink carrots? Yum! I want some!

CindyW said...

Love love love risotto. I use caramelized onions all the time. Caramelized carrots? That's totally intriguing. Will definitely have to try the recipe.

Your friend at the farmers' market has a lovely name. Sapphira just sounds nice.

arduous said...

@GB, you should come here for the hot farmers! ;) The guy I buy my goat brie from is suuuuuuuper hot! (The cheese is good too.)

Julie Artz said...

Although I buy from several different farmers each week, I do have my loyalties and try to check my favorite farm stands first before looking anywhere else.

I love that I now know who has the best strawberries, who grows the sweetest melon, and who has the best potatoes!

And this recipe sounds delicious--thanks for posting it because I seem to have oodles of carrots these days...

kale for sale said...

I get so excited about new things I forget to ask too. If I can remember one new name and not loose any cash from my pocket I'm happy. And that's with no kids.

One of my favorite things is to offer the farmers a berry or kumquat or some little thing I've found and am excited about. They are always surprised and love it.

Green Bean said...

Chile: No need for cheese! This could be a totally vegan dish and totally delicious.

Abbie: Uh oh! I have the same syndrome. That's why I ended up with one carrot this year.

Melinda: It is that way with so many vegetables, isn't it? That is why it is nice that heirlooms are reemerging - especially at farmers' markets - and we are rediscovering how truly beautiful food can be.

Debbie: I recently read (in Deep Economy) that a visit to the farmers' market yields on average 10 times more conversations/interactions than a single visit to the supermarket. I'd say that is definitely true. I've chatted up farmers, bakers, fellow shoppers, and made all kinds of friends in my sojourns to the farmers' markets.

Jennconspiracy: Oh yeah! Just think what creative you could do with them.

CindyW: Carmelized carrots ROCKED! And Sapphira is such a sweetie. A truly good friend and the reason I keep going to the Wednesday farmers market.

Arduous: Rub it in, why don't you!

Julie: It is nice, isn't it, how after a while you know immediately who to head for for your strawberries, your peas, your apples. I know who's organic (even if they aren't certified - and most aren't), what methods of agriculture they use, where they're from and, for some of them, what their children's names are, what they like to do on vacation.

Katrina: Glad I'm not the only one who forgets to ask. I need to remember to offer stuff to other farmers. I did mean to bring Sapphira one of my blackberry scones but ate them all. Oops!

Tiffany said...

That looks and sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I am a total sucker for different colored veggies and new things too. I have yet to see pink carrots at any of our markets here in DC!


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