Saturday, June 5, 2010

This week at our farmer's market and in our garden

Lavender tuna
This week I decided to do something with edible flowers. We have some beautiful lavender in our yard so we made a lavender and pepper encrusted tuna. I used this recipe as a base and modified it to our tastes ( It was wonderful.

The next challenge was crystallized edible flowers. I picked some lavender flowers, pansies, roses, and violas. I washed and dried them. Next each flower was carefully painted with a mixture of egg white and water (one eggs white and 1 1/2 teaspoons of water) and then carefully covered in superfine sugar. Each flower is then allowed to dry. I placed my flowers on a waxed paper covered baking sheet and placed them in the oven with the light on overnight and they dried nicely. I made superfine sugar by processing regular sugar in the food processor (I don't think I processed it as long as I should have and it affected the results). The flowers that are created are very fragile and easily broken (I broke several). I thought this was a fairly difficult recipe because a lot of patience is required. I probably rushed the process more than I should have. Here are my results:

My garden is really coming along. We harvested one green bean. It was great. More beans are on their way. We also finally have peas and baby eggplant. I just planted more beans and I am going to plant a Serrano pepper and another basil plant. All we we have been using basil, parsley, chives, and dill in pestos, salsas, and green goddess dressings so I am a little worried about keeping up with the demand. It is so exciting to go out everyday and see the changes in the garden. Unfortunately I have not been pulling weeds and the weeds are quickly growing. So a fair amount of weeding needs to be done today. But now the farmer's market is calling!

We had coffee at the market, relaxed, and chatted about what to have for dinner. We decided on a nicoise salad. It is prefect for a hot summer day. It does take a lot of prep work but it is worth it. As we were discussing dinner and plans for the rest of the day, we realized that it was 11:00 and the market was closing. We quickly bought potatoes, lettuce and green beans for our salad. My version of the nicoise salad is full of boiled egg, lettuce, green onions, potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, and olives. I dressed it with a mustard vinaigrette. We decided on a salmon. I made a brown sugar jerk rub and Steven cedar planked the salmon on the grill.

Nicoise salad