Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New Farmers Market Find

Now that I'm an "authority" on regular farmers market produce, I've started playing with some of the weird stuff. (Read - veggies that aren't from around here.  But somebody's growing them, and somebody else is buying them, and I want to know what is up!)

This week it is luffa gourd or Chinese Okra.  (It's not actually okra, but has a similar cross section)

Raw - and with those hard ridges peeled off with a vegetable peeler, it has the texture of zucchini, but is sweet like cucumber.

It can be cut into circles, halved and cut into half moon slices, or quartered and cut into chunks - like here.

Then simply sauté in oil with a little garlic and salt, and add in a few herbs at the end (oregano and basil were on hand...).  I added a squeeze of lemon at the end, just 'cuz it was sitting there, and it seem like it needed a little something.

My vendor told me she likes to stir-fry them and then mix in eggs for a sort of Chinese veggie scrambled eggs.

And East Indian cuisine makes many a vegetarian curry with them (cut in circles for a visual treat) since they retain body through long cooking, and have a satisfying meaty texture.

But I went plain - and was rewarded with this morsel:

There were a few bites of fava beans as well.
They mixed together tastily!

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