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I really believe in the concept of eating with the seasons. On the occasional times I have been able to do that with regularity (when I had a CSA membership, when I lived on the Navajo Reservation) I have felt great. Like I really had a concept of what the earth produces at certain times of the year – you know The Harvest. I also found that it made me much more creative, culinarily speaking. You have all these veggies of the same kind for weeks in a row – how can you make them interesting? After having these experiences of seasonal eating, I have always wanted to live near a farmer’s market so I could keep up the good work. When I lived in MA and when I travel back to The Northeast and I find myself in Boston, I always get jealous of the people living there that have access to one of the best farmers markets I have ever seen. They have meats, cheeses, breads, fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, grains, food stalls where you can eat, ad infinitum. It is a playground for anyone who loves food or anyone who is looking for quality product- local, organic, FRESH and inexpensive! Granted living in rural MA we had our farm stands which don’t get me wrong, are pretty great. But I just envied the variety these people in Boston enjoy. Then I start blogging and I read blogs like Figs Olives Wine and Once Upon a Feast and you hear Amanda and Ruth talk about the importance of eating local and fresh and you see these wonderful photographs of the Farmer’s Markets in their communities and I think to myself, why doesn’t every town have this? Every town used to have this.The market has always been, for centuries, the mainstay, the hub of a community, have we become that out of touch?

Well I guess the Foodie Fairies have shined their light on me, because now I get to live in a community that has a farmer’s market and a good one at that. This is good news because it is more fodder for my kitchen creations and my writing. I hope to be inspired, challenged and in love with this market. I will do my best to do right by it – get most of my produce there, meet the farmers and learn who they are, just get back in touch with the earth, even in this small way. I love simplicity – great ingredients that still taste like they are supposed to after they have been enhanced by a few other simple ingredients. If Leftovers are rooted in simplicity, the other side of the coin is this.

And did anyone see the SIZE of that Swiss Chard Leaf up there?

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How about this LEMON? Yes it is the size of a an orange, 5 for $2. Unbeatable.

This leads me to Today’s Recipe: Swiss Chard and Potatoes

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This recipe is near and dear to my heart – it is my adaptation of one of my Grandfather’s recipes and as those of you who keep up withthis blog of mine know, I love my grandfather. He had 3 things he made: Home made Italian Sausage (mild AND hot), Pepperoni Eggs and Swiss Chard with Potatoes. His version is very simple – thinly sliced potatoes, garlic and onions fried in olive oil, mixed with chard, salt and pepper. To mine I add the juice of one lemon and Parmesan cheese. I then put it in a casserole and bake it in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 F. Then I broil it for a few minutes to get the Parmesan crusty and browned. It is simple fair but my goodness is it good, especially when you use such quality ingredients!

INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, peeled but whole
½ large onion, thinly sliced
6 red skinned potaotes (I usually only keep red skinned potatoes on hand as they seem to have less effect on those with nightshade sensitivities), thinly sliced, like this:

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1 nice bunch of Swiss Chard, chopped
juice from one lemon
salt&pepper to taste
¼ cup fresh and good quality Parmigiano-Reggiano (not the kind in the plastic tub – we are talking about the good stuff here).

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat the oil in a large (cast iron preferable) skillet over medium heat. Add the whole cloves of garlic and sautee until aromatic. Add the potato slices and cover with a lid. Leave it alone for 5 minutes. You want your potatoes to form a crust. So that the potato is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. If you mess with them too often, they will just get soggy. Take a large flipper and flip the mass of potatoes to brown the other side. Add the onions and cover the pot. Continue to do this until most of the potatoes are browned on both sides and the onions and garlic are nice and caramelized. Once this is done add your swiss chard and wilt. Place everything in the skillet into a casserole dish. Squeeze lemon over the top and season with salt & pepper. Grate parmesan cheese over top and put in the oven for 15 minutes. Then broil for a few more, so the cheese gets crusty and browned. Enjoy!

I have several more Farmer’s Market treats in store:

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
Sausage Greens and Beans
Stuffed Eggplants (Imam Biyaldi)
Lamb Stew