The last time I shopped at the market I was working for
For an appetizer Ron was going to barbeque skewers of
There were stand-outs at the market: large bunches of watercress from White Crane Springs Ranch, peaches and nectarines from Frog Hollow Farm, and Ella Bella Farm's broccoli di cicco (sprouted broccoli). We also bought corn, tomatoes, arugula, and Italian parsley. The market is such a treat. Even if you didn't need to shop, walking through the crowds and enjoying the visual experience of the waterfront setting is more than enough reason to come to the market.
Ironically we would have missed one of the best parts of the market if the forest fires weren't raging in
We hadn't planned to eat at the market because we were on our way to
Claire had patiently endured our extra time at the market. We owed it to her to finish shopping quickly. While she ate a breakfast muffin from Downtown Bakery, I picked up a chicken from the Golden Gate Meat Company and a piece of Capricious cheese from Achadinha Cheese Company.
Later that afternoon Ron, Michelle, and I cooked our dinner, which included grilled chicken, sausages, and vegetables; a summer drink of white rum, mint, and limes that combines the best of a Mojito and a Caipirinha; Ron's skewers of Wagyu beef and morels were amazing, the morels' earthiness perfectly complimented the meat's buttery sweetness; chopped liver and egg salad; grilled lavash; arugula and carrot salad; chopped salad; watercress with grated Capricious cheese; and the banana chocolate chip walnut cake.
Of all the dishes we made, what Marii liked best was the chopped salad with grilled vegetables and Italian parsley. There will be more about the rest of the dinner in subsequent posts, but I wanted to start with Marii's favorite dish.
Summer's Best Chopped Salad
A salad with an infinite number of variations.
Yield 4 servings
Time 45 minutes
2 bunches Italian parsley (washed, finely chopped, leaves and stems)
1 large avocado (peeled, pit removed, roughly chopped)
4 carrots (washed, peeled, cut into 1/4" thick, 2" long slabs)
2 scallions (washed, ends trimmed)
4 ears of corn (husks and silks removed, washed)
1/2 pound broccoli (washed, ends trimmed, stems peeled, florets cut into 1/4" thick, 2" long slabs; if using sprouted broccoli grill whole)
1/2 pound string beans (washed, ends trimmed)
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and pepper
Put the chopped parsley and avocado into a large mixing bowl. Heat a barbecue grill. Drizzle olive oil on the vegetables, season with sea salt and pepper. Grill 5-10 minutes until lightly brown. If you don't have a grill, you can accomplish a similar result in a 350 degree oven. Turn frequently in either case so the vegetables don't burn. Remove and let cool.
Reduce the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan on a low flame until you have a quarter of the original volume. The vinegar will become sweet.
Finely chop the grilled vegetables, add to the parsley, drizzle with olive oil and reduced balsamic, season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Toss well and transfer to a salad bowl.
Keep the salad vegetarian and grill any vegetable you enjoy, like squash, asparagus, onions or mushrooms, chop, and add to the salad.
Add cheese such as crumbled feta, finely chopped comte, mozzarella, Swiss or cheddar.
Add chopped artichoke bottoms.
Add chopped hardboiled eggs.
Add homemade croutons.
Add chopped roasted beets.