Living in the South for the Summer
Living in the South for the summer has proven to be a culinary artist and a plant-based eater’s dream. Meeting the local farmers and fellow local foodies always makes me appreciate and feel grateful for having access to such wonderful fresh foods. Last Thursday afternoon I went to the local farmer’s market located in Ooltewah, TN and found some extraordinary produce which included beautiful golden chanterelle mushrooms, organic heirloom tomatoes and fresh harvested organic purslane. I was so excited I was not sure what I was going to create. The quality was so good that I kept it simple and ended up with a sort of tapas or antipasti for dinner. Here is how I prepared these simple delicious and nutritious ingredients:
Sauteed Golden Chanterell Mushrooms
First, I created a garlic infused olive oil. I took approximately 1/4 cup of olive oil in a pan and placed 2 slightly crushed garlic cloves in the olive oil. I brought the oil up to a slight bubble and turned off the heat and set it aside and just left the garlic in the warmed oil to infuse the flavor.
I placed a very small amount of the garlic olive oil in a skillet and heated on medium and tossed in a pint of slightly torn golden chanterelle mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cooked until tender.
Tomato Salad with Basil
I prepared a tomato salad with basil by simply cutting a large beautiful locally grown heirloom tomato cut it into bite-sized pieces. Next I turned to my mini garden from our balcony and tore up some fresh basil tossed it in with the tomatoes, seasoned the salad with salt pepper and drizzled some red wine vinegar over the top. Simply delicious!
Purslane is a dark green “exotic weed” and can be eaten as a vegetable in salads or can be stir fried or used in soups. It has a slightly sweet and sour taste and is absolutely delicious! Not only is it tasty it is packed with nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium and protein!
I tossed it with shaved sweet onion, salt, pepper and drizzled it with a bit of aged balsamic vinegar.
What is the most delicious food you have found at your local farmer’s market recently? Do tell……..