season of plenty

garden and market

I hadn’t been able to find my favorite basil, African Blue, at any of the farmers’ markets, but a quick trip to Garden Fever solved that. I picked up the two plants on the left, plus the French tarragon next to them, plus a few other things ( you know how that goes). The other three pots, on the right, are pepper plants that were 99 cents each at the Linnton Feed & Seed. Sooo…lots of future goodness there. The sugar snap peas are the only thing direct from my garden, the first of a couple of weeks of daily harvest. They will go in stir fries, be dipped in various concoctions, added to salads and chomped on straight from the vine. Everything else is from the market, and it’s the fava beans I want to talk about. They take some preparation, but shelling beans during the cocktail hour is a pleasant task to share. Then they go into boiling water for about 3 minutes, a cold water bath, and then there’s still another step. Slit the outer jacket with a fingernail and pop out the tender bean inside. Thinly slice some shallot and brown it in oil, then prepare Israeli couscous (I use Bob’s Red Mill) according to the directions on the package. Meanwhile, make long, thin strips of lemon zest and juice the lemon. At the end, throw in the beans, the shallots and lemon juice to taste, salt & pepper & garnish with the zest and some fresh mint. I know so many people that are trending vegetarian lately that I was happy to find this meatless main dish.

deer-ravaged strawberry patch

We had a handful of strawberries from our own patch, and they were better even than the local berries direct from the farmers market. The next morning I went out thinking that a few more would have ripened. The deer had beat me to it. I guess unless we dedicate a covered bed to strawberries, we will have to be satisfied with the next best thing.

Visit Wendy for more food talk, and join in if you like. It’s a great place to find inspiration.

9 Responses to “season of plenty”

  1. Heather Says:

    Ricki, your entries always make me so hungry! I’ve never had fava beans before but I think I might pick some up at the store and try this.

  2. ricki Says:

    Heather~They have them at Food Front.

  3. Wendy Says:

    Garden Fever – what a great name for a store. So aptly names!

  4. Jane / MulchMaid Says:

    Mmmm, fava beans. I’ve been looking for a couple of small organic Asian eggplant starts. The best I’ve found is gallon-sized plants at Portland Nursery for $5.49 each!! Garden Fever may still get some in: fingers crossed.

  5. ricki Says:

    Wendy~A clever name can get me to take a look every time. This one pays off.

    Jane~It’s hard when you have something specific in mind. Linnton Feed & Seed is off your beaten path, but worth a call to see if they have it (99cents!)

  6. Grace Says:

    African Basil is my favorite too. It is so pretty when it blooms and the bees go nuts over the flowers.

  7. ricki Says:

    Grace~Yes, and the taste (no licorice overtones) and texture (kind of rough) are just right, too.

  8. James Says:

    I did favas a couple seasons ago. They were delicious, but you did point out some of the food prep issues you’re in for. At least they’re pretty robust growers–and attractive too. You’ve just reminded me I need to get out my flashlight and pick the two ripe strawberries I spotted over the weekend. I don’t have your deer to fight off, but it seems like everyone and everything likes strawberries… It looks like you’ve got some great meals ahead.

  9. ricki Says:

    James~Are your strawberries planted where passers-by can pluck them, or do thy actually steal into your back yard to steal them? I thought only the deer were so brazen.

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