Fresh and Fabulous from the Farm – A Sunday Supper
One of my favorite things to do while assisting at the Slow Food Buffalo, Chef Demo table at the Bidwell Market is to people-watch.
I get a kick out of observing the customers. They scurry from table to table curiously checking out what each vendor has brought in that week to tantalize their taste buds. Little kids sneak a blueberry while some people secretly squeeze a tomato. Many smell the flowers, sample some sausage or engage in lively discussion with the vendors. Neighbors say “Hello” to each other and catch up on local news amongst the hustle and bustle of the crowd. Wagons filled with kids and goodies and arms laden with recycled bags full of fresh, local goods leave the market, prepared to feed the family for the week ahead.
It seems that there is a loyal crowd, too. I see the same faces every week. Many weave a visit to the market into their Saturday routine, and some even consider it a weekend recreational activity.
Two folks that are regulars are the Bidwell Market are Ed Healy, Director of Communications for the Buffalo Niagara Visitors and Convention Bureau and his lovely wife Karen.
Healy is always writing about the many assets and treasures we have here in Buffalo. He is a believer and booster of all things Buffalo. Not only does he talk the Buffalo talk, but also he walks the Buffalo walk. Ed lives by what he preaches. Ed and his family reside in the city and support the locals who do what they love, making their living by establishing their roots and careers in the city.
“Karen is an amazing cook. She whips up fabulous, fresh dishes made from things purchased at the Bidwell Market or Downtown Farmers Market, and then I enjoy the fruits of her labor and happily do all the cleanup,” says Healy.
Karen Healy, a native of Manhattan and a convert to living in Buffalo, is impressed with the food choices available locally. “We love to get to know the people who grow our food. Buffalonians are so lucky to have so many farms close by—so many different people growing or producing quality food. And the variety is endless,” says Karen. “I first encountered local markets while backpacking through Europe. There was nothing better then picking up some fresh cheese, crusty bread, some fruit or vegetables and having a picnic lunch. I am hooked on this kind of shopping.”
Visiting markets in other cities is always on the Healy’s agenda when traveling. Recently the Healy’s were in San Francisco and went wild over the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. They also enjoyed seeing the Victory Garden, erected in front of San Francisco’s City Hall that was created for the recent Slow Food Nation.
Ed was raving about a roasted tomato sauce that Karen made after their last visit to the market. The whole-wheat linguine was purchased at the Pasta Peddler; a spinach chicken sausage from Avenue Boys was grilled and served along side the pasta and sauce. Karen used some tomatoes that were in her garden and all the herbs in the recipe were from her home garden also.
Karen also made a salad with lettuce and cucumbers purchased from Native Offerings and red peppers from Weiss farms.
This dish is a perfect Sunday Supper to share with your family or friends. Make a double batch and freeze some, and this taste of summer will be appreciated when the snow files.
Roasted Tomato Sauce
Karen’s spin on a recipe she found in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine
Makes 4 1/4 cups
3 pounds tomatoes (beefsteak or plum)
1 medium onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
4 garlic cloves (peeled)
1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1 Tbsp fresh chopped oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Use a sharp paring knife to core the tomatoes. Cut tomatoes in half; transfer to one large (or two smaller) rimmed baking sheet(s); add onion, carrots, garlic, and oregano.
Toss tomato mixture with oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer (turn tomatoes cut side down). Roast until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. If vegetables begin to brown too quickly, push them toward the center of the sheet.
Using tongs or your fingers, peel off tomato skins; discard. Transfer mixture (including juices) to a blender; pulse several times, until chunky. Let cool completely; transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate up to 1 week, or freeze up to 3 months.