Tuesday, July 6, 2010

SALAD DAYS, BLACKBERRIES, AND ASPARAGUS BURGERS


While many of my bloggy buddies, it seems, were busy baking, my holiday weekend began with a quick meet-up with Cindie at the Lunken Farmers Market - the market where both our mothers shopped back in the days before farmers markets became trendy, and numerous.
It was a little sad to see far fewer vendors than I remember from my childhood, now most of them old-timers who may not have offspring interested in carrying on their farming tradition. But that didn't stop me from packing up a plentiful haul. This is just part of it.

Afterward, I stopped at Lobsta Bakes of Maine, thanks to an email tip-off that they'd ordered too many scallops and were reducing the price. Unsurprisingly, I also picked up a few other items too tempting to pass up.

Despite all I purchased, as dinnertime rolled around and I decided I was in the mood for a cool and refreshing salad, I realized I was without any type of salad greens. No lettuce, no problem! Instead, I decided to use a mix of tomatoes as my salad base.
I topped the tomatoes with some fresh rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and a splash a sherry vinegar.

Certainly a satisfying bowl of food in and of itself. But as this was to be my main course, I added some hand-picked Maine crab I'd been itching to try.
Then I topped it with a dollop of Roasted Shrimp Salad I'd also picked up at Lobsta Bakes.
Their Roasted Shrimp Salad definitely reminds me of Ina Garten's recipe, which I've used in the past. Her dressing - made of mayo, orange juice and zest, vinegar, herbs, and capers - works well on tomatoes and lots of other fresh veggies in addition to shellfish. What I had not previously done with Ina's recipe was to actually roast the shrimp. These were perfectly cooked - moist, yet firm, and they took to the dressing better than my more water-logged versions of boiled, steamed, or pre-cooked shrimp I've used previously. I will definitely have to try that roasted shrimp technique in future. With a few extra capers (because, well, can one ever have too many capers?), here's what the topping to my tomato seafood salad looked like.


While many of you were far more industrious baking your peaches and berries, I simply sliced a peach, added some blackberries and Madisono's vanilla gelato to the bowl, and sprinkled on some sweet and spicy rosemary walnuts I picked up awhile back from the North Market in Columbus and have been hoarding in the freezer (sorry, Shamy, I've been trying to recreate that recipe, but so far, no luck).

After a meat-free weekend, today at Tuesday's Market on the Square, I opted for yet another one of Cooking with Caitlin's inventive little burgers, this one a beef burger with a schmear of goat cheese and topped with an asparagus slaw that I must try to make myself.
Here's the asparagus slaw recipe on Caitlin's site, although my guess is she used a different version today, with walnuts(?) rather than smoked almonds and maybe some garlic scapes tucked in. Lightly but flavorfully dressed, with crunch from the nuts as well as the asparagus, this is one of those dishes I love discovering when I eat out that inspires to try something new at home.
Time for me to go check out everyone else's 4th of July weekend cooking posts. I'll be back later with further reports on what I did with the rest of my farmers market goodies.

eggy

14 comments:

Dani said...

You and Shamy kick booty when it comes to cookin'!

LaDivaCucina said...

YUM! Looks wonderful, Eggy! Those beans look interesting as well. And asparagus slaw? Divine!

Big Shamu said...

Hey blame Top Chef for all the pie action this past weekend.
I learned something new today - Maine's got crabs. Who knew? Now I want some.
OK how do you in Ohio, just as land locked as Kansas, have this great seafood supplier? HOW???
I'm glad you roasted the shrimp for that salad. I think it makes it so much better.

Everything looks wonderful, looks like you had a filling Fourth.

Barbara said...

I love Ina's shrimp salad...think it's just about the best I've ever had. And she does do roasted shrimp for appetizers. Wonder why she hasn't combined the two? After your suggestion, I'm going to make it that way next time. More time consuming, but I bet more flavorful too.

I love your post name and the fact that I posted an eggplant pasta this week made me smile when I saw it!

buffalodick said...

Golly, that all looks great! Bet it was..

intuitive eggplant said...

Dani, thanks for thinking of me in Shamy's league, although I myself applied no heat to the making of this dish. Straight assembly, with the purchased roasted shrimp salad.

Diva, there are beans in my future. Many beans. And I will share.

Shamy, the guy who owns Lobsta Bakes is from an old lobstering family in Maine. I seem to recall he moved here because his wife is from here. Lucky for us! He also caters lobster bakes with all the fixin's and holds public ones about once a month during the summer at a public park near his shop. I'd love to go to one. The Maine crab he sells was described to me as tasting very similar to Carolina blue crab. Sadly, it has been way too long since I've been in the Carolinas and tasted their blue crab to offer up an opinion on how similar they taste. This was darned tasty, though.

Barbara, welcome and thanks for stopping by! I checked out your eggplant pasta sauce post and really liked the idea of letting it go to mush for the purposes of good, and tastiness :) Your bean salad recipe caught my eye too. Because, did I mention, I've got beans.

B.D., oh, yeah. That salad was so good I had it two nights in a row.

Making Space said...

Yowza that all looks so amazingly good, as usual!!! Tomatoes, herbs, crab, shrimp, and a dressing? Seconds please!

I have a post up called "Pie" but it's not really about anything you'd like to eat... haha go check it out.

Trix said...

A food shopper after my own heart - your farmers market haul looks very much like my own. Though I'm sad that there are a dwindling number of vendors. You are right - tomatoes make a perfect salad base, especially in all this heat!

intuitive eggplant said...

MS, you're a cheeky one. That's a whole 'nother, er, kettle of pie.

Trix, welcome and happy blogoversary! I can see I'm going to find some great ideas for using my future farmers market hauls over at your blog!

WaterDog said...

I met Sharon at Farmer's Market & had my own agenda - corn, tomatoes, squash, blueberries & peaches. I feel that the peliferation of small village market's"Oh it is in that place and we have to go there b/c it was advertised in the paper has hurt our long standing market. I do not have the photos to share that eggie does, but one blueberry pie with local BB was a hit, plus the BB peach pie as well. Right now in this locale if you can not find it fresh, you do not know where to look! All is very good

Sook said...

Everything looks scrumptious!

Boxer said...

I always find it strange to see blackberries in early July because in my part of the world they don't ripen until mid-August. Nothing beats them, in a pie with ice cream. Hmmmmm.

Courtney said...

Wow, Wow! I had the good fortune of eating one of their lobsters at a catered party and it was AMAZING. I'm definitely going to have to track them down again.

Tomatoes look great by the way.

Sweet and Savory said...

I just finished dinner and I am getting hungry, looking at your photos.