4.26.16 Wisconsin Grown | Part 1
We’re trying something new this year guys. One of my favorite parts about living in Wisconsin is the fact that we have access to a ridiculous amount of amazing, locally grown produce for much of the year. Obviously, this is something I take advantage of as much as possible. When local Wisconsin produce abounds, I do my best to get my hands on as much of it as I can.
The truth is, living in Madison, we’re a little spoiled in the local produce department. Between our weekly CSA share (for those unfamiliar, that stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and it’s one of the best things ever), frequent trips to the Dane County Farmer’s Market (the largest producer-only farmer’s market in the country, I’ll have you note), and our own little backyard garden vegetable growing experiments, we stay well stocked with Wisconsin produce.
But what to do with it all? I mean, keeping on top of all of this locally grown goodness can sometimes get overwhelming, and letting it go to waste would be a travesty. My solution has been to keep a weekly list of procured produce and come up with a plan for how to use each item. It’s worked great for me, and I figure now it’s time to share the knowledge. Throughout the season, I’ll be posting about what local fruits and veggies I’ve currently got on hand, and what I’ll be making with them. Hopefully, it will help inspire you to be creative with your locally grown bounty as well!
This week, we got some great finds from the farmer’s market. Last weekend was the second outdoor market of the year (we were out of town for the first), and I was beyond excited. Here’s what we’re working with this week:
Spinach - This frost-sweetened spinach is going to get scrambled up with eggs for breakfast and most likely made into saag aloo, a potato and spinach curry that’s perfect for chilly spring weather.
Rhubarb - This rhubarb upside down cake is calling to me.
Ramps - These early season alliums have a mild oniony, garlicky flavor and are one of my favorite ingredients to cook with this time of year. This week, I’m thinking ramp pesto, which will probably end up in pasta, in an omelette, slathered on toast, or all of the above.
Scallions - These guys are getting grilled up with some pineapple for one of the easiest, most delicious grilling side dishes ever. Chop one bunch scallions and 1 medium pineapple into approximately 1” pieces. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt, throw in a grill basket (or thread onto skewers) and grill until soft and caramelized, about 10-12 minutes.
Shallots - Fried shallots you guys. I bought a pint box of shallots this week pretty much exclusively for this purpose. Use them as a delicious crunchy topping on pretty much everything.
Eggs - I almost always buy my eggs at the farmer’s market when I can - regular old grocery store eggs have nothing on these. Perfect for general breakfasting, and I’m hard pressed to think of a meal that can’t be made better by putting an egg on it.