Infinite Varieties and a $5 Challenge
Cross-posted from my blog.
I organized another installment of "Shop Like a Pro at a Farmers’ Market" today. After leading the group through the Union Square Greenmarket, I began my hunt for the best end-of-summer produce. A wonderful thing about a farmers’ market is the seemingly infinite varieties of many vegetables and fruits. From S & So Produce Farms, I grabbed a handful of Jersey tomatoes, three persimmon orange tomatoes, and one that looked like Black Krim. I asked a worker at the Sycamore Farm tent about the differences in their ample medley of eggplant. He explained that the name eggplant was originally coined because its white color resembled the eggs of geese. It was only later that the plant was refined to develop a deep purple skin to mask the bruising that occurred during shipping. Today, white eggplants are softer and less seedier than their purple counterparts. Softer yet is the smaller heirloom variety, great for Eggplant Parmesan.
Today also marks the Slow Food USA $5 Meal Challenge, encouraging everyone to “take back the ‘value meal’ by getting together with family, friends and neighbors for a slow food meal that costs no more than $5 per person.” I made a late lunch for my husband Ryan and friend Kent using food from my farmers’ market purchase.
Costs are approximate:
Tomato Cobbler (source unknown)
3 tomatoes, peeled and diced - $0.80 per person
1 chile, seeds and stems removed - $0.05 per person
2 garlic cloves, diced - $0.05 per person
1 shallot - $0.35 per person
Seasonings like cumin, salt, pepper to taste - cents
1 stick of organic butter - $0.50 per person
1/2 cup of flour - cents
1/2 cup of cornmeal (also purchased from farmers’ market) - cents
2 teaspoons of baking powder - cents
1 teaspoon of salt - cents
1 cup of milk - $0.25 per person
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix tomatoes, chile, garlic, shallot, and seasonings. In a large cast-iron skillet, melt butter on low heat. In a bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add milk and stir until batter forms. Pour over melted butter in skillet, and spoon the tomato mixture on top. Bake for 35 minutes.
Corn on the cob - $0.50 per person
Butter - $0.15 per person