Sunday, August 8, 2010

I *Heart* Farmers' Markets

Just 15 mins away from where I live, and what a find! Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids is perfect. So good that I think I got carried away the first time I went there this weekend. Now I have mounds of the most beautiful fresh veggies and fruits at home, and I'm feeling overwhelmed. What to do what to doooooooooo?! There are a million recipes out there, but the pressure of finding the right ones is pretty intense.

I also went a little crazy when I saw the variety of fresh herbs they were selling. I've dreamed of growing my own herbs, so I finally took the plunge, and bought not one potted herb - but four! I'm now the proud and nervous parent of a lovely rosemary plant, a stunning golden sage plant, a fragrant basil plant, and a rather bedraggled lemon-thyme plant. Wish me luck, dear readers. I'm no gardener, after all. And the basil is already wilting. DH took on the project of re-planting them in our ceramic pots. All I did was provide the Miracle-Gro and the fervent prayers! My expectations are very low on them surviving, let alone flourishing. But I'll keep giving them love, and update you on their condition.

*sigh* Didn't everything look just beeeeeeeeeautiful?! I want to go there again. I will go there again. And again. I live here now! (I just realized that)

I already put some of the veggies to good use. The earthy beets were the main ingredient in my eye-popping Beetroot Raita, which pairs splendidly with my simple Vegetable Pulao (recipe in next post).

Beetroot Raita

Click here for printable recipe

1 medium beetroot
1.5 cups plain yogurt
2 tbsp (or more) coriander chutney (recipe below)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut the green tops off the beetroot and put it in a small saucepan. Cover it with water and boil till tender (your knife should be able to slip in and out of it like butter). Let it cool, then peel away the skin and dice it up.
2. Now mix the diced beetroot well with the yogurt, coriander chutney, and salt and pepper. Cover and let it chill in the refrigerator. The color deepens the longer it sits. Serve with your favorite rice dish.

Fresh Coriander Chutney

Click here for printable recipe

1 bunch fresh cilantro/coriander leaves
2 tbsp grated coconut
4 whole green chillies
1 large garlic clove
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
Juice of 1 lime

Method: Whiz everything together in your food processor. Freezes well. Or refrigerate for a few days in an airtight container.

Verdict: I think this is a good way to get your kids to eat beets. The earthy flavor is not as pronounced as it would be if the yogurt and chutney weren't mixed in. And it's fun to eat something so glaringly PINK! I've had it with all kinds of biryanis and pulaos, and have found that the beetroot raita is a perfect complement to all of them.


Anonymous said...

the market looks fabulous~i love farmers market!

Mona said...

Wow, that gorgeous lovely color of beetroot raita is simply amazing!
Farmers Markets are my weakness too Muneeba, the sight of fresh fruits and veggies make me immensely happy :)

nandini said...

Hi muneeba, how r u ?. Its been a while since i stopped by here. Got little hectic with the homeschooling thing for my kids. The Raita looks divine. Adding chuntey to it is genius.

Kate Morgan Jackson said...

Aren't farmer's markets the best part of summer?? This one looks great. :)

Unknown said...

I've never made any raita except cucumber, though I see there a lot of fantastic variations. In one of my books there's a pomegranate mint one which i need to try one of these days. I am not sure what Hubby would make of the pink colour though. He is fabulously picky and naughty.
*kisses* HH

Jennifer said...

I went to the farmers market as well and am also ovewhelmed, LOL! Us foodies are alike! I am actually afraid of beets but your dishes look yummy!

Food for 7 Stages of Life said...

I simply love being in farmer's market. Watching the beautifully arranged vegetables, fruits, eggs and other summer things rejuvenates me. Beetroot raitha looks so pretty on that plate of rice.

Joanne said...

The color on that raita is amazing! It would kind of make me feel like I was eating crayola crayon infused raita. But in a good way. I love crayons.

I'm jealous of your farmer's market! I mean, okay, ours are pretty awesome but they are always so packed with people it drives me crazy.

Kerstin said...

So pretty! I'm glad you're settling and in and found a farmer's market you like :)

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Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

The beetroot raita looks magnificent & just look at that radiant beautiful colour!!

I also love markets like these,..lovely pictures too!

That chutney looks great too!