Saturday, October 16, 2010

Concord and Pleasant Hill Veggie Markets

Mango Salsa, anyone?
Artichokes? Or works of art? You be the judge!
I think these are palms.
Big Fat Asparagus!
While I was in Concord visiting my father and his wife, Joyce, Joyce took me around to see some absolutely beautiful vegetable markets, both owned by the same family. One was located in Concord, and the other was in a nearby town in Pleasant Hill. These markets specialize in having the freshest local produce available. They seemed to culture agnostic, meaning that it didn't matter what your last name is, you'll find something special from your cuisine to cook tonight. The biggest problem I had was in narrowing down my menu, because I wanted to take home some of everything! I saw at least 6 different types of eggplants, including those darling little round ones they use in Thai stir fries. At the Concord market, we saw fresh tamarind. I've never seen that sold that way -- it isn't something that our wonderful grocery store chain, Wegmans, ever carries. We saw Japanese yams -- smaller than the sweet potatoes we have, and pale orange, like true yams.

We ended up with peas, a butter head lettuce, beets. I made Chicken Dijon, mashed potatoes, butter head lettuce with fresh baked beets, and buttered peas. It was a wonderful dinner. I'm already dreaming about what I'll cook when I go back in November!

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