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The Food Party!

By Laura Stec

E-mail Laura Stec

About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Shop Like An Artist at the Farmers Market

Uploaded: Jul 31, 2018

We’ve been Food Partying! at farmers markets for a couple years now. Cooking at the Market is monthly in Portola Valley, and events with California Farmers Market Association happen at markets all over the Bay.

Farmers markets have made me a better cook. Showing up with no recipe in mind, but creating one on the fly from the best ingredients right now. You have no idea what you are doing; you just start cooking. It’s risky and fun.

This is the time of year to flex that creative muscle and shop at a farmers market like an artist, rather than a cook.* There are so many colors and shapes in season. Go hunt for them and forget the recipe. Slice thinly and start piling colors. Build layers of flavors.

Here’s an example, Farmers Flatbreads, a vegetable Picasso of taste. Fast for your daily munch, yet dressed up for entertaining. Best part? Easy. Have a make-your-own party and let kids old and young be the artist-chefs.

Assemble in layers:
1. Farmers market bread, sliced thin
2. Spread – dairy, vegan veggie, beans, nuts
3. Sliced veggies and/or fruits
4. Flavor accent (s)

Here’s one we did last Sunday with Farmers Market at Bay Meadows. All the food came from the market but the oil, capers and Calabrian peppers.

Farmers Flatbread
Garlic Artichoke Spread Tomato Zucchini Fried Caper Calabrian Pepper

1 loaf fresh farmers market bread, thinly sliced
1 carton garlic artichoke spread from the farmers market or equivalent
1 heirloom tomato, sliced thin
1 bunch basil, leaves separated from stem
1 zucchini, sliced thin
1 tablespoon capers, drained well
¼ cup vegetable or avocado oil
Calabrian peppers, sliced very thin
Salt and pepper

Spread a layer of garlic spread on your sliced bread. Put on one layer of basil leaves. Top that with slices of tomato, then zucchini. Heat the oil in a small pan till just before the smoke point. Add capers (not the juice) and fry 3 – 5 minutes till crispy. Remove with slotted spoon onto plate with paper towel. Sprinkle onto bread, along with peppers. Adjust seasonings.

Click here to see our other vegan and non-vegan flatbreads.

Come up with your own flatbreads and send us the pictures!

*OK, cooking is an art too, and the subject for another day.

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Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Aug 2, 2018 at 10:26 pm

I'd rather just buy some nice fresh produce. Why must we overstage everything?

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Aug 3, 2018 at 5:35 am

I've found it interesting as a blogger that the motivation for many comments is negative. That being against something elicits a response in humans much more than for something.

You probably don't put on parties Curmudgeon, and if you do, food is not an area you express yourself. C'est la vie.

For me as young lass, I was attracted to theatre as a mode of personal expression, because it was a living art, rather than an art say, that just hangs on a wall. As I aged, I changed my passion to culinary because it is an art that gave life. C'est la vie encore.

No matter your personal mode of expression readers - may you find and share it with the world with joyful abandon.

Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Aug 3, 2018 at 6:43 pm

My apologies for that pea under your mattress. Mitigation: it's homegrown organic.

But no apologies that my sense of decency occasionally overwhelms my studious sense of polite. It's that, as I see it, in this world where hundreds of millions face chronic hunger and even famine daily, to obsess over prettifying boutique food is obscene.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Aug 4, 2018 at 6:21 am

I am always honored people read and especially write in, thank you Curmudgeon, especially for your creative choice of words. I was not offended by your comment, but did want to respond because honestly it IS interesting that comments to this blog, or any of them, are often negative, which says something about human motivation. Sex, fear, and anger sells as they say. Books and movies often have maladjusted characters because "they are more interesting," but I am bored with the screwed up character. I long for a society where people are totally turned on by positive, rather than negative.

As far as this recipe, it is just a sandwich in the end, taking as long to make as turkey or tuna. Damn you vegetable - you're just too pretty for this world!

Posted by Yeah Farmers!, a resident of another community,
on Aug 4, 2018 at 7:48 am

Just saw it's National Farmers Market week Aug 5 - 12. Here's more info Web Link

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