Today, I went to the Ballard Market.
If only I'd been carrying my camera! There were organic carrots, beets, and onions, flats of peaches and nectarines, berries of all kinds, and heirloom tomatoes in all shapes, colors, and sizes (we saw one the size of a softball). Emilia stuffed her shopping bag with romaine lettuce, zucchini, carrots, cute little beets, and pints of raspberries and blackberries. We sampled albacore tuna jerky (yum), pluots, and a bunch of sauces and spice rubs. Handmade fennel and ricotta ravioli were very tempting (maybe next week). I think the best thing about the market, though, was the variety of friendly Ballardites and visitors shopping there. Hippies, yuppies, indie-rockers, and moms and dads with little kids were all out enjoying the vegetables and sun.
It seems that Ballard is the perfect neighborhood. It has a Sunday farmers' market. It has the Tractor Tavern and a Sonic Boom record store. It has Madame K's pizza. It even has a Than Brothers pho place. I wonder if they make "I Heart Ballard" t-shirts.
Part II: Arugulicious
I've been thinking a lot about arugula lately. I keep going back to browse the 312 Epicurious hits that result from a search on "arugula," and I've been wondering how on earth I could make an arugula pesto when my kitchen doesn't include a food processor, blender, or even a mortar and pestle.
Yesterday, I couldn't take it anymore, and bought a nice big bag of it at Trader Joe's, along with a big ol' chunk of Parmigiano. The result was a very satisfying Saturday-night dinner. And the obsession continued this morning at Volterra, where we stopped for brunch before visiting the market. The prosciutto and mozzarella frittata looked good enough on its own, but once I noticed that it was topped with baby arugula, I was sold. Arugula and prosciutto, an unbeatable team!
Having just eaten a panino with (you guessed it) arugula and Parmigiano for dinner, I still have almost an entire bag of the green stuff sitting in my fridge. Any suggestions?
The dregs of a box of penne (I have no idea -- maybe 4 or 5 oz?)
1 handful baby arugula leaves
While the pasta is cooking, chop up your arugula. I used that fancy-schmancy chiffonade cut that's always popping up in Food Network cooking shows. (Roll up a bunch of leaves into a small cigar shape, then take your knife and slice thinly. It should look ribbony, and it's kind of fun to do.) Grate as much Parmigiano as you need (I used a lot). When the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot. Add the arugula and enough olive oil to make it easy to mix. Mix. Add some cheese and mix again. Top with lots of cheese. I let this cool for a while, so it was room temperature when I ate it, and it was just right!
posted by shan at 1:24 PM;