Dena, the title of this post is in your honor.
This morning we went to the City of Falls Church Farmer’s Market and it rocked my life. And my lunch. Behold:
DAZZLING! So okay first of all just going through the farmer’s market was basically a second breakfast- there were people from this fancy shmancy all-local-food restaurant giving out samples of julienned smoked vegetables with yogurt foam (!) and recipes; local ice cream; all kinds of fruits and veg; all kinds of baked goods and breads and sweets. So many samples! I am dangerous.
There is also a great selection of prepared food, and the one stall that is almost legendary, that I have heard nonstop about from multiple sources, sells empanadas. What you see on the left is a mushroom empanada.
Oh. My. God. Just look at the inside!
Inside a dough of flaky loveliness is an unbelievably delicious and meaty and flavorful and moist and perfect filling of mushroom and… honestly, I don’t know. I was too busy swooning to even bother trying to decipher it. Tomato? Herbs?
It was joined by summer squash, prepared, in my opinion, THE BEST and also THE SIMPLEST way:
Someone at last summer’s farmer’s market actually recommended this to me- how many people have dealt with stringly and/or watery and/or mushy summer squash that has been steamed, boiled, or baked?
This prevents all of that! All you do is heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat (you don’t need much- I used like a tsp for a whole squash, approximately6 inches long) and then throw in the squash, thinly sliced. By the time it is golden and lovely on the outside, it is perfectly crisp-tender. I finished mine off with salt and pepper and some fresh oregano from the deck garden.
But actually another exciting component of this lunch is yet to come:
LOCAL GREEK YOGURT AGH! There was a beautiful selection of local and/or organic milks, yogurts, and cheeses. Life is beautiful.
And dear God it was good. ‘Specially with some cherries (the only non-local thing, apologies. From Safeway. But still, I have to say, so insanely perfect).
This yogurt was way rich(despite being nonfat!), sooooooo creamy, soooooooooo tanglicious, soooooooo thick, soooooooooo filling!
Dinner was more bounty: green beans that were likely picked this morning and tasted like summer and sweetness and love and just all that is good. God they were amazing.
My mom just tossed them in olive oil and salt and pepper, nuked them until just crisp-tender, and drizzled with lemon juice. They are so perfect! That is all they need!
Is an extreme closeup of green beans awesome or grotesque or both? I don’t care. I’m posting it.
Also, what is apparently my favorite new side dish- cannot stop making it. Yay for an ad libbed concoction that becomes part of the regular rotation.
Toast barley in a pan. Add water or broth (twice plus a little the amount of barley) and cook til barley is al dente or to your liking. Then add lemon zest and a tonnnnnnnnnn of fresh herbs, whatever you have on hand (tonight, parsley and dill). So. Good.
And finally the main dish (they are so often an afterthought to me) was flounder, which I looked up in our copy of Mark Bittman’s as usual concisely named cookbook, Fish.
Simple. Make a sauce of dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh thyme, salt and pepper, and sugar.
Throw it on a filet of flounder and broil it. This picture is of it INADEQUATELY COOKED. COOK IT LONGER THAN THIS.
As usual I undercooked it. What is my problem? I guess I just don’t want to overcook anything and have it get all gross, but then I undercook EVERYTHING (it’s particularly dangerous when it’s chicken) and then everything ends up having to be microwaved for hours on end anyway and still gets gross. So I should just aim for overcooked, I guess.
My sister left candy by my bed. It’s like a Hilton in this house! (The muscle rub is for my still-aching furniture-moving muscles!)
Finally, my cousin Rach (the Austinian pastry chef) just emailed me this with the concise but perfect subject line “CAKE!”
Doesn’t she need to start her own food blog? Which will quickly, quickly surpass mine?