Blurring the Lines Between Fruits and Veggies
While we assembled this beautiful platter for a family gathering Saturday, I realized how frequently vegetables and fruits play together, or exchange roles, in ways I would not have imagined a few years ago. Perhaps it all started with carrot cake and zucchini bread. Then came the surprise of cucumber-chile popsicles and blackberry jalapeño glaze on chicken or pork, ideas that moved from cooking magazines to restaurants and then into homes.
Now in the 1916 family farmhouse kitchen where my grandmother cooked, I blithely strewed fresh red raspberries on top of the mostly fresh veggie/herb salad, just as if it were perfectly normal. Results? A brighter, broader range of flavors in a "What's Ripe Right Now" summer salad. My only regret is not adding a few of the gorgeous Kentucky grapes that stayed primly to the side in their own little serving dish.
If this salad were a movie, the credits would run longer than the film itself. The ingredients reflect the happy confluence of ripeness at the late August Lexington Farmers Market.
- Tomatoes from Henkle's Herbs and Heirlooms and Briary Creek Farms
- Lime Basil from Blue Moon Farm
- Red Raspberries, Basil, and Sweet Italian Peppers from Elmwood Stock Farm
- Shiitake Mushrooms grown in Bracken County, sold by Blue Moon Farm (sautéed slowly in butter, the only cooked ingredient)
- Feta Cheese from Bleugrass Chevre
- Light sprinkles of salt, olive oil, and Cavalli Balsamic Seasoning -- the only non-Kentucky ingredients.
The bright colors and flavors lit up our plates. I wish the three cooks who had presided over that kitchen -- my grandmother, mother, and father -- could have shared a bite.
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The world is coming to visit central Kentucky this year for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. To help our visitors know more about Kentucky's food and food ways, Savoring Kentucky is rolling out 116 Savory Kentucky Bites, one for each of the 100 days before WEG begins, and 16 for the days during WEG, September 25 - October 10. Today's Savory Bite is number 69.