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.