What You Missed at the Market

Today, Michele at KMK had the first kohlrabi of the season, which was getting its usual share of quizzical looks and furrowed brows. “It looks like an octopus,” a young woman next to me said softly to her husband. They turned to the other end of the table, where I was clearly taking a picture of it. “What is it?” she asked.

“It’s kohlrabi. It’s a member of the cabbage family. It’s quite good.”

They weren’t convinced today. Maybe they’ll give it a shot some other time.

Varouj of Bistro Rustico and Kasabella Catering was back to treat marketgoers with a delicious fresh vegetable salad. More about that, and a vegetable riot, behind the jump.

Michele at KMK also had the first beans of the season – yellow and green.

This pell-mell pile of vegetables made me giggle a little bit. It looked like some sort of uprising or insurrection against the zucchini, which were trying vainly to hold back the tide of eggplant.

As in the image above, Varouj Kachichian had combined green and yellow beans, slivered onions and tomatoes, arugula, mint, thyme olive oil and sherry vinegar into a beautifully executed vegetable salad. “I wanted to use tarragon,” he said, “It goes so well with green beans.” I nodded in agreement. “But nobody had any.”

“I had a French tarragon plant for a couple of years,” I replied. “That heat wave we had last July killed it.”

“That heat wave was so bad,” he said, “It killed a whole bed of mint I had. And you know you can’t kill mint even if you try.”

While I was enjoying my salad, another market patron returned to the table and said, “Okay, I got everything, I think.” She held up a bag to show beans, onions and tomatoes. “What’s in the dressing again? Oh, I didn’t get the mint. Can I used dried?”

Varouj and his partner and I all shot each other looks. She was gently counseled by Varouj that fresh mint would make a big difference, and that she could wrap it in a damp towel and it would keep all week.

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