Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Consider: "The Ten Dollar Solution"; Recipe: Fiddleheads

The Farmers Markets will all be open soon - both here in Philly and around the Region. The products carried by Fair Food Farms will also be changing weekly at a much faster pace than over the winter months.  Many of us will be growing lots of fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs, as well. It's all good. 

I love our local markets and cannot imagine life without them, but I also enjoy a bit of a road trip once in awhile to stroll around other markets, to stop at roadside stands, to meet other farmers and purveyors, and see what's selling.  I hear that some people look at houses!! Odd!

As we look forward to the Markets all returning, consider this, please.

If every household in Pennsylvania spent $10 a week on locally/regionally produced food, $48 million dollars would stay in the local economy each week.  Spending your money on locally grown and produced food sustains the community, provides us with a better quality of food (fresher, tastier, safer) and thus provides better nutrition, preserves family farms and the businesses of small producers, generates jobs, and beautifies the urban and rural landscape.  Ten dollars a week!

I can't imagine that this isn't the case for other regions as well, although, as I like to remind folks - we live in an incredibly rich region of farms, independent producers, and markets.  We're very lucky, but we have to sustain those farms and producers and markets.

Remember:  A typical supermarket carrot travels over 1800 miles to reach your plate and the "average" supermarket egg (not discussing all of the other things wrong with it) is at least 45 days old when you buy it. 

Check out:  www.buylocalpa.org for more information.

Enjoy these glorious days.


Garlicky Fiddlehead Ferns

1/4 to 1/2 pound of fiddle heads does very well for two people

Fresh garlic, peeled and minced (3 cloves)

Good extra virgin olive oil (2 or more tablespoons)

Butter, unsalted (2 tablespoons)

The Herb of your choice - we like dried Thyme, or fresh Parsley - really whatever is on hand (2 - 3 tablespoons)

Dried red pepper flakes, Sea Salt, and Freshly Ground Pepper


Clean the fiddleheads well, remove any fuzz found in the curl of the fiddlehead (just run your finger thru the curl and then give them a rinse)

Dry the fiddleheads very well; we use our salad spinner.  You could use a produce bag and just swing it around - however you approach it,  you want to get them nice and dry

In a skillet heat the extra virgin olive oil AND the butter until hot

Add the fiddleheads and the garlic to the oil and butter mixture, cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the fiddleheads get a bit of crispiness to them - tasting them helps the judgement process

Add the herb you have selected, sea salt and freshly ground pepper and if you want a bit of a kick, add a small scattering of dried red pepper flakes and give it one more good stir

Serve Hot.  They make a great side dish and they are wonderful on brushetta.  They literally taste of Spring!

Enjoy!  They aren't around very long!

Fiddleheads before cooking

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