Opening Day 2011
This past weekend, we celebrated the opening of our 2011 season. The day, in my estimation, was an unqualified success. The air was warm and the ground was dry. People were ambling about the market site with smiles on their faces and baskets on their arms, hugging neighbors that they might not have seen since the last market. Kids with sticky ice-cream and berry-smeared faces planted green bean seeds in paper coffee cups, becoming the next generation of gardeners and vegetable-eaters. Professional chefs and their children created edible masterpieces in a friendly competition that showed how much can fun it can be for families to prepare meals together.
This may sound like a trite sentiment, but as a board member, the energy felt during those 4 hours of market this past Sunday is what makes all of the planning, budgeting and meeting through the off season worth it. Now don’t get me wrong, I really, really like spending time with all of my fellow board members. And we spend a lot of time together. But after the umpteenth meeting to discuss the finer points of our annual budget, and when trying to eat seasonally means a limited palate of late winter produce, I sometimes feel my energy falter a little bit. But that all changed Sunday at 10 am when people applauded as Gretchan, our market manager, and her son Rory rang the opening bell.
So if I may be a bit maudlin, I would like to express my appreciation to all of the board members (past and present), market manager, volunteers, vendors, local businesses and customers that made the kickoff to our 5th season such a feel-good day for me. I think we have a pretty cool thing going on here at our stretch of Stark Street.
I was too wrung out to make more than an ordinary, un-newsworthy salad for dinner last night, but tonight I’m going to make one of my favorite beet recipes to celebrate the great produce and local foods that are once again a regular part of our weekly shopping experience. Here’s what’s for dinner tonight.
Beets and Greens with Bulgur and Miso-Tahini Sauce
- 6 main dish servings
- 2 lbs beets, with greens (about 8 medium)
- 1 1/2 c uncooked bulgur wheat
- 4 green onions, minced
- 2 T toasted sesame tahini
- 3 T light colored miso
- 3 T lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic minced
- pinch of cayenne
Trim the greens from the beets. Rinse the beets and steam then in 2 inches of water over medium high heat for 25 minutes or until tender. Add more water as needed. Set aside.
Place bulgur, dry, in a medium saucepan over high heat and toast for 3 minutes. Stir in 3 cups of water, pinch of salt, pepper and green onions. Bring to boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Allow to stand, covered, 5 minutes and fluff with a fork before serving.
In a small bowl, mix tahini and miso together. Add lemon and mix. Add 1/3 cup hot water a little at a time, stirring to incorporate. Whisk to create a smooth consistency. Stir in garlic and cayenne and set aside.
Steam the beat greens over medium heat for 5 minutes until wilted. Drain in a colander, pressing to remove as much water as possible.
Skin the beets when cool enough to handle and slice into 1/4 inch rounds.
Serve bulgur, topped with beets, greens and a drizzle of sauce. Garnish with additional green onions.