I've been doing pretty well with eating locally. Yesterday I roasted a chicken along with some beets and carrots, and made Orangette's to-die-for radish and endive salad. Mr. Food Musings loved the salad more than anything else on his plate and had double helpings. On salad. So you know it was good.
I've decided that I'm living up to the eat local challenge very well. I'm not killing myself to do it and I'm not cutting anything out of my diet. I'm just opting to use local ingredients whenever they're available, and I'm supporting local restaurants (which I did anyway). The only real changes in my life are adding the weekly CSA delivery, going to the farmer's market each week and thinking more about where my food is raised. Next week I want to hit Rainbow Grocery, which is known for stocking lots of local foods.
On my market list today...
~ Fatted Calf pancetta for spaghetti carbonara, and more bacon for BLTs
~ Marin Sun Farms grass-fed skirt steak
~ more strawberries and oranges
~ a good Spring Hill Jersey cheese that I might use instead of Parmesan in the carbonara, and some cheddar
~ more pasta to serve with my fresh, organic zucchini and beet greens (similar in flavor to chard)
~ Della Fattoria bread
Tomorrow we're having friends over for lunch and I'm serving pimiento cheese sandwiches. Unless I get more industrious than a Sunday morning really warrants (e.g. make the mayo myself) both the mayo and the red pepper are going to violate the local rule. Something tells me I'll still be able to choke down a sandwich. I'm also making a mostly local crab and artichoke pasta salad. The recipe calls for marinated artichokes, but I decided to sub fresh local ones, foolishly buying them at last week's farmer's market. Though they looked beautiful as my kitchen table centerpiece, they started to get soft about 4 days too soon and I realized Thursday that the situation called for drastic measures. So I butchered them into wee artichoke hearts, cooked them and marinated them myself. And they are sooooo good, I may never go back to those horrid vinegary abominations that pass for artichokes in the store.
Makes about 3 cups
A note about the seasonings: I used oregano and basil because those are the spices called for in my pasta salad recipe. Feel free to play around with whatever looks good in your spice cabinet. I would probably add some lemon juice and fresh basil next time.
10 fresh artichokes, prepped and quartered
2 TBSP + 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon basil
pepper to taste
Heat 2 TBSP of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet. Add the quartered artichoke hearts and sauté till outsides soften, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook artichokes until they can be easily pierced with a knife, about 10-12 minutes. Drain and cool.
In an airtight container, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil with the salt, oregano, basil and pepper to taste. Stir to mix. Add cooled artichoke hearts. These should last about a week or so (longer if you have sterilized canning jars available).