My house runneth over with produce. This seems to be a not-uncommon problem for foodies in Portland in the summer – a combination of farmers’ markets within walking distance and more CSAs than we can shake a stick at means that our fridges and fruit baskets are positively stuffed. Does this stop me from buying more, though? Of course not. It just provides more excuses for me to have friends over for dinner. Tonight Riko’s coming – it’s falafel and mezze night here on Montgomery Street, and that fridge of mine had better be half empty by the time I load him up with leftovers to take home.
I have been giving myself a basket-slimming assignment every week at the farmers’ market, though: only buy produce I don’t know much about or haven’t used before. Heirloom varieties of “common” produce welcome, of course. A couple of weeks ago this got me a beautiful little orange melon, lemon cucumbers, and pumpkin greens (by far my favorite discovery for a stir-fry). Last week I picked up some purslane, which got a big snort out of my mother – “You paid $2 for a bunch of weeds!” This is what I deserve, I tell myself, for not getting off my ass and going to forage for this bright, earthy… weed.
I haven’t been very successful with it, overall. I did some research on the Interwebs and didn’t find anything that made me run into the kitchen, so I just started adding it in odd places – in a salad with orange slices and shaved elephant garlic was rather satisfying. I do love what it’s done with a Triscuit, though. (Someday I will write 500 words about my love of Triscuits.) I stuck a stem of it in some homemade blueberry jam that I accented with red onion, a nice slice of good white Cheddar, and some black pepper. This is much better than whatever Kraft-product-intensive recipes they put on the back of the box – citrusy greens go so well with sweet blueberries and rich, softly-biting cheese.