Friday, May 20, 2011

Spring is here and so are the Farmers Markets

The farmer's markets in my area are finally opened.  I am so happy!  Even though the scale of the markets are much smaller compared to Union Square Farmer's Market, there are lots of nice local produces.  And each town has their own market, so I can visit different ones easily and that's fun, too.

Tomatoes are very reasonable at the market and the wether is getting warm, so I decided to make fresh tomato pasta one day.  This recipe is adapted form the cook book written by Sophia Loren, the Italian actress, which was translated to Japanese and published in 74.  My parents must have bought it when it came out.  It is really a precious cooking book for me.  Same version translated in English is published in 98 as " Sophia Loren's Recipes and Memories".  The English version has more pictures of the actress and nicely styled food photos, but the Japanese one has more recipes.  

* Fresh Tomato Pasta (For 4)*
2 large tomatoes
10 green olives
3 teaspoon capers
1/2 small onion
A bunch of parsley
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 table spoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

1 box of your favorite pasta 

< 1 > Chop tomatoes to bite size.  Chop olives and capers to small pieces.  Mince onion and parsley.  Crash garlic with the blade of large knife so the extract will seep out. 
< 2 > Put everything together and keep it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.  (It will keep 1-2 days).
< 3 > Just boil the pasta to al dente and pour the tomato sauce over and serve.  Don't forget to take out the garlic cloves.

I always feel like that I should put fresh squeezed lemon juice in when I'm putting all the ingredients together, but it is not called for.  The tartness from olive and caper is enough, yet more gentle than lemon juice so the sweetness of the tomato stands out more.
Don't press garlic through a garlic press.  The juice comes out from the crashed cloves is just right amount of garlic taste.  More than that will be overbearing.  A slight garlic taste is more suited for this dish.  I have to admit that even though I'm a garlic lover.

This pasta makes me feel like it is finally spring.  It was nice weekend lunch.  Although we had a cold spell this week.  

The strawberries are in season right now, too.  I found a gallon of them for $10.  That is a lot of strawberries and we ate them in many ways.

Strawberries with pancakes, strawberry mojito, strawberry and grapefruits sorbet, strawberry roll cake, strawberry and rhubarb pie.....  They were all very enjoyable.  Simple strawberry sorbet is in my freezer right now.

Other thing that I must write is these donuts at the Farmer's Market.  These donuts are very famous in this area.  Mennonites fry them and glaze them right in front of your eyes.  I am not a big donut fan.  Not a even small fan either.   I only eat them every 3 to 5 years.  I love sweets like tarts and cakes, but I was never attracted to donuts. 

There is always a long line of people trying to buy these donuts.  The first time I saw it, I though: they are probably good, but I definitely wouldn't stay in the line for 20 minutes to get something like donuts!  But J sent me for them one day because he ate it at his office and it was very good.  The day, the market was not too crowded because it was early and drizzling a little, so I stayed in line for 5 minutes.
These donuts are not donuts that I knew.  It's fluffy, light, not greasy, not too sweet, has nice aroma of vanilla, so simple.  They are the best donuts I've ever eaten.

Now that I know that they are the donuts form heaven, I must fight the urge to stay in the line every time I go get fresh vegetables....  It is spring now and summer is around the corner.   I can't put on weight right now.


  1. Wonderful blog! I love the pictures! :)

  2. Thank you Alexandra! Hope you visit here again.


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