So, I invited some of my most farm-y friends, and we had such a great time. ALL the produce was from the farmer's market. We even had local, organic olive oil (amazing!), vinegar, apple juice, and red wine. The *only* ingredients I cheated on were salt & pepper. How cool!
First, I started with some fava bean preparation. Good thing that there was some nice weekend programming on NPR - fava beans take so long! First, you take off the big green husks (not pictured), then boil the beans for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes. Drain them and let the cool a bit. Now, you've got to remove the skins. In the colander are the unshelled favas, in the blue bowl are the empty skins, and in the bottom bowl are the ready-to-eat favas! MMM!
The main entrees were these sweet little stuffed summer sqashes. I don't know the name of this squash variety, but it's basically a round little zucchini in the shape of a baseball. I scooped them out and baked them empty for a 1/2 hour or so - to soften them. Then I mixed up the filling. The filling had spring onions, green garlic, baby green beans, some of the fava beans, chopped up squash (from the scooped out innards), fresh tomatoes, walnuts, and a mountain of fresh herbs - tarragon, basil, parseley and chives. The seasonings were olive oil, a touch of the local red wine, and some homemade veggie broth. Once stuffed, I cooked these little babies again for about 30 min. Wow! They were super cute and super yummy!
Here is the whole table set for dinner. Even though there were 10 of us, we decided to cram around our little table - instead of eating on the sofa or whatever. It was so fun! You can see that everyone got a little stuffed squash on their plate.
There were lots of other things to eat too - this salad had lettuce, fresh basil, yellow-orange cherry tomatoes, red tomatoes, grated yellow beets, and carrots. I don't remember which one of you out there suggested using the peeler as a poor man's mandoline, but I did this for the carrots tonight & it was great! Thanks for the tip.
Jasmine and Bob also brought a salad - so beautiful!! Lettuce, carrots, strawberries, walnuts and rose petals. Mmmm.
I also made this lovely dish from Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Suppers" book. It's called "Asparagus and Leeks." It's meant to be served over toast, but of course the grains for bread aren't grown locally - so we were bread-free. It was not a problem! This was so nice - leeks, asparagus, green garlic, chard, favas, and a splash of wine & a splash of lemon juice.
We also had a big bowl of fresh sugar snap peas, and big dish of roasted butternut squash (from our own garden last fall!) - which I forgot to photograph. :)
For dessert, we had a huge bowl of fresh strawberries - plain and unadorned and absolutely perfect! Here are a few of our wonderful friends & guests. Bob & Jasmine are on the left. Jasmine was a farmer near our house for many years & just this season stopped farming to work at Eco Farm. On the right are our friends JP, Jane & little Bella. Jane's a fellow yogini and yoga teacher, & she and JP are also organic farmers. I've mentioned their outrageously good dry-farmed tomatoes on this blog more than once.
This was a wonderful night with friends, and a delicious meal. It was also such an interesting challenge to stick to truly local and organic ingredients. So many things were eliminated - sugar, anything soy, grains, bread... amazing to reflect on how specialized our agricultural economy has become.
Hope you had a wonderful Earth Day!