From the Farmer’s Market

The Wednesday Farmer’s Market in the Castro (or any farmer’s market, really) always inspires fresh eating and good cooking.  Now that my workplace is only a hundred yards from all the action, I’m doubly excited!  This week I found inspiration from a handful of purveyors, and turned those items into a delightful little dinner.  The story unfolds in pictures below.  But here’s the overview; I was intrigued by the first of the season butternut squash.  So I grabbed a couple.  Prather Ranch was offering spicy Italian sausages, and I like that (squash-sausage) combination.  There were other gorgeous looking vegetables (the peppers, tomatoes, garlic, red onions, figs) along with a couple of flavorful loaves from Crepe and Brioche.  I had a few ideas swimming around by now, and a lot of food to play with.  Here’s how it went down –

We didn’t get to the figs and Teleme cheese which I had planned to enjoy as dessert.  Sigh.  But the meal was a success even without something sweet/savory to finish.

Cooking risotto always reminds me of Chef Louise at N.E.C.I. and cooking huge batches of bouillabaisse risotto for The Bearded Frog in Shelburne, Vermont.  Louise reminded me that, contrary to public opinion, you don’t have to stir the rice endlessly.  In fact, if you do, you may break the grains and end up with porridge.  She encouraged us to finish the risotto by shaking the whole pan rather than stirring wildly, especially when the rice is delicate towards the end of the cooking process.  The bouillabaisse risotto was just a fun dish.  We struggled with the execution and presentation a little, but I’m still in love with the ideas behind the dish, and remember the taste clearly.

Thanks for reading, and try making some risotto(s) for yourself.  There are a multitude of styles, and as many people who will frown on a  dish not made ‘their’ way.  Screw that noise.  Jump in and cook it as you like it.  Finish with butter, cream, olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, plenty of cheese, or nothing at all.  It’s up to you, so enjoy your creation.

Happy Eating, Happy Living –

-Scott

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