Of course, I mean the farmers’ market, not the financial or stock markets. One of the joys of living in Southern California is the year-round farmers’ markets. It is possible to fairly routinely prepare meals from what is market-fresh, in season and locally grown. There are farmers’ markets in most of the towns and cities nearby, many of which are Orange County Certified Farmers’ Markets.
I found some perfect sized and great-looking eggplants, and piles of small, firm brussels sprouts at the market this week. The only question was how to prepare them.
For the brussels sprouts, I went with an old stand-by. I roasted them in the oven with thinly-sliced shallot, a few whole peeled garlic cloves, a couple of small rosemary sprigs, some EVO, salt and pepper. At 400ºF, it took about 30 minutes to get them tender and nicely browned at the edges. I turned them every 10 minutes or so.
I’ve grilled eggplant before – very simply – EVO, salt and pepper. I felt the need this time for something better, so for inspiration I turned, once again, to Marcella Hazan. I adapted her recipe for Melanzane in Graticola, leaving out the rosemary since I was already using it in the brussels sprouts, and cooking them on the grill rather than in the broiler (Grilled Eggplant recipe).
Grilled Lemon-Caper Chicken (this time minus the sauce), grilled lemons, our usual salad of greens and vegetables (from the farmers’ market) with dijon vinaigrette, and a slice or two of multi-grain bread, and dinner is served! As usual, our meal is mostly vegetables with a little bit of meat. Delicious!