Monday, April 10, 2006

Weekend Farmer's Market & Nihon Ryori Dinner

After a couple weekends of stormy weather, I finally awoke on Saturday morning to the bright sun shining through my curtains. I jumped out of bed, woke up my snoozing husband and insisted we hit a farmer's market. One of my goals this year is to cook more in season, so what better way to see what's in season than to buy all of my produce at the local markets every week?

We didn't let a mediocre brunch (at a place that shall remain nameless since the ladies working there were just SO nice...) get us down, and we made our way to the Pasadena Farmer's Market at Victory Park. The bees were buzzing, the weather was perfect and I excitedly made my way from stand to stand- I told my husband that we had to do a once-over before committing. I looked over the gorgeous produce, artisan breads and flavored honeys before deciding that the produce at one particular stand looked the best.

What did I end up getting? Take a look:

Fava beans, white carrots, golden beets, fennel, oregano, sage, cara cara oranges (THE BEST!!), rainbow Swiss chard, strawberries and a big, beautiful if slightly off-center tomato. It's a bit early still for an abundance of tomatoes but this one caught my eye- I just know it will be juicy and sweet.

I've already got the sage under the skin of a big roasting chicken which is waiting for me in my refrigerator, and I plan to serve it with either braised of roasted fennel and a simple salad. Although I have some plans for the beets, I'm still undecided on what to do with the chard and white carrots. As usual, any suggestions from my fellow food bloggers are more than welcomed.

Last Friday night I came home from work and just had a major craving for gohan (rice), miso soup and a salad. I had a couple of cans of my beloved saba no ajitsuke (mackerel braised in sweet soy) which I made into my own sort of sushi roll. After toasting some nori, I simply spread it with rice (not seasoned, since I thought unseasoned would work best with the saba), flaked saba and minced green onions and rolled up into maki. My favorite thing to put into miso soup is cabbage which I had to use up anyway so I did, along with some cubed silken tofu. Served with some ginger-sautéed red bell pepper and daikon salad, it was a nice accompaniment to the cold sake.

I mean, the sake was a nice accompaniment to the meal;).



carlyn said...

What good fortune to have such a wonderful farmer's market. I live in New England and we're lucky to have SUMMER!!!!! Your meal looks great. You've inspired me to try the maki with saba!!! Thank you

Marie said...

i am always on the lookout for good japanese style dressings. what did you put on your salad?

eatdrinknbmerry said...

Hi TAG, very nice japanese dinner spread! I love japanese food, but i'm actually intimidated by making sushi.

Marie, have you tried the Angelo Pietro salad dressings? I think they are pretty good, especially the Sesame-Miso dressing (garlic, sesame oil, miso paste, soy sauce, sugar and vinegar). Found at Mitsuwa, Marukai and Nijiya (Los Angeles).

Tokyoastrogirl said...

Marie: I actually am in LOVE with a certain "diet" goma (sesame) dressing that I buy at Mistuwa Market in Little Tokyo. I will have to run home and check the exact brand (it's all in Japanese) but man- it is so good and you can't tell that it is diet.