Summer bounty and street food galore--a photo gallery
Fresh veggies pulled from the garden just this morning
When harvest approaches in the Midwest, fresh veggies seem to come out of nowhere. Neighbors try to pawn off their excess zucchini, and you might actually get sick of eating fresh tomatoes in your salad each and every day. This week I played with different ways to manage both my garden and CSA haul so as to not waste any delicious food, and to enjoy the season for months to come. You know what this means: canning.
There are several ways of canning. I'm a traditionalist and love pickles. The idea of making my own had always intimidated me, until last year when I made my first dilly beans. This year was far easier, and though my batch was small (I was still a bit intimidated) my gerkins look delicious and crunchy. I can't wait until I can crack them open in a couple weeks to see how I did!
Aside from the traditional pickled gerkin, I also tried to re-create the Italian art form of Sott'olio: blanching vegetables in acidic water and then preserving them "under oil" with various spices. I tried my best with eggplant, which is how I enjoyed my first sott'olio when living in Italy five years back. Another waiting game to see how they turned out. If edible, they'll be delicious on top of fresh crostini in a few weeks.
Beyond pickling, sometimes you just have to get creative to utilize your overflowing crisper drawer. Not quite in the mood for insalata caprese, I turned the traditional tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil dish into a main course, adding two cloves of fresh garlic to cooled al dente pasta. Delicious and elegant.
With all the fuss about street food in Minneapolis, sometimes it's fun to run into vendors you haven't even heard about yet. Last Thursday I stumbled on the Smack Shack (which has now been exposed to the masses via every food media outlet in town) and ordered the only menu item that wouldn't give my shellfish allergy a reason to bring me to the hospital. The andouille sausage po' boy was outstanding. The natural casing on the sausage gave it a nice, crisp bite, the arugula a bit of spice, and the buttery bun slathered with aioli was sinful.
Finally, I make it a point to go to the Northeast Farmers Market every Saturday. My favorite vendors in the city reside there (almost) every Saturday. Visiting the newly famous Erica Strait from Foxy Falafel, I saw that she had a new item on the menu last week: a mini-falafel sandwich for $1! One ball of falafel with all the fixin's stuffed into a bite-sized pita. Brilliant!
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