read_w (read_w) wrote,

Local vegetables!

The farmers' markets have been open since the beginning of June here in Boston, but until this week they just had leafy things, which in the spring aren't enough different from the supermarket to get excited about (though they're great after the first frost), and rhubarb, which was rather pale. But I got local snap peas today! Snap peas are almost always good, but picked today (or maybe yesterday) they're one of my favorite foods. Here's how I made them, for me and a friend tonight:

Snap peas, snapped
A little oil
A little salt

Preheat oven to 550F (yes, really 550F). Toss the peas with the oil and salt in a roasting pan (single layer), and roast them till some of them have gotten a tiny bit brown, stirring once or twice--probably 3-5 minutes total. For maximum crispness, serve immediately, but they're also good cold. If not eating right away, cover them once cool--they tend to dry out.

If your snap peas are a bit wan, you'll want to cook them a little longer at 500F. Farm fresh don't really need to be cooked at all, so brief in a really hot oven works fine. Older ones will be better a little more cooked.

I cook green beans (especially early ones, later in the season they can be too tough for this method) and asparagus this way too.

This I served with

Cold shrimp soup
2/3 lb shrimp (frozen is fine)
3/4 to 1 seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/8 sweet onion, chopped (maybe start with less)
1-1/2 Tbs dijon mustard
2 tsp dry dill weed (if serving immediately, you'll probably want more)
1 tsp sweetener
1-1/2 to 2 c buttermilk
1/3 c tart white wine, or a bit of lemon juice

All measurements are quite approximate. If your shrimp are still frozen, run them through the food processor first till finely chopped, then add the next 5 ingredients and process till finely chopped. Add the buttermilk & wine and process again; taste for seasoning. Since almost all the ingredients start out cold you can serve it immediately, or it'll keep a day or so chilled. Serves 2 as a main course.

A very good combination, the slight sweetness of both the shrimp and the snap peas, with the contrasting texture.
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