Monday, June 25, 2007

at the market: saffron?

In my continuing effort to eat locally and seasonally, I thought I'd write each week about what's available at my local farmer's market and what I'm cooking with it. The farmer's market has been going for three weeks, but I've been too busy (fishing and backpacking--poor me) to write anything about it. Anyway, here is the first installment.

This weekend, the market was filling out a bit--the veggies moving beyond salad greens and garlic scapes. There were piles of cherries, peas, the first melons of the season. But the real surprise of this week's market was saffron.

Beautiful, delicate, expensive saffron grown right here, in a Salt Lake suburb. A couple started planting saffron crocuses about seventeen years ago. And now it's at the market--tiny jars of the bright orange stigma. And it's only $5 for 6/10 an ounce. Not a bad deal.

Tonight I made a lovely saffron risotto, accompanied by sauteed chard (from the market, of course). I tried to take a picture, but risotto is a fussy subject.

It's easy to perceive eating locally as dull and difficult--especially when you live in a landlocked state with a short growing season. But eating locally can also provide some impressive surprises.

(for anyone in SL, you can find the saffron on the east sidewalk of the market)


Blogger Lisa B. said...

I saw the saffron but haven't bought any yet. How bizarre and also wonderful, I thought.

7:10 AM  
Blogger lis said...

I agree--bizarre and wonderful. you should definitely buy some.

8:03 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

I've never cooked with saffron, and to be honest, I'm not sure I even know what it tastes like. I've only knowingly eaten it once, and it was in a bite of someone else's risotto.

8:46 AM  
Blogger lis said...

This was the first time I've cooked with saffron. It just always seems too expensive. It's hard to describe what it tastes like. I think it sort of tastes like lake water, but in a good way.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Saffron is sexy. Like vanilla beans, it's worth spending the money on! How fabulous that they grow it right in Salt Lake.

7:50 PM  

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