Farmers' Market to Table Picnic Board {idea}


Farmers' market produce during the summer is my big thrill. Juicy grapes and blackberries, and figs. Figs! It was blazing hot, and by noon everything was wilting, but those figs were so plump and beautiful.

When Sundays come along, there's a few things I have on my to-do list (and getting up early for crossfit or pilates ain't one of them... so, no crossfit workout today, sorry). Sunday is my lazy day. I have to lift grocery bags full of fresh fruits and veggies instead.

Since today was over 10o°F degrees, no cooking (or thinking about cooking) was a possible option. What to eat, then? I poured an iced matcha tea (a glass of rosé too) and assembled all of the farmers' market finds, et voila. I thought about making frosé (frozen rosé is way too easy to make) but it was seriously too hot to do anything (except lift the ice cube tray). So I used the ice cubes and made a light rosé refresher. I really wanted to have a picnic in the backyard garden under my orange tree. Perhaps dinner alfresco once it cools down.

Can we talk about juicy green olives for a minute?

So I bought stacks of containers full of hummus, olives, feta, and these giant Italian lupini beans marinated in tomato sauce from a lady at the Eliki olive oil stand. Those olives. Gorgeous green fleshy olives, meaty and salty and just too good. I ate them all.

A few kitchen and random notes:

  • The 12" round wooden board in the photo above is this one, and it's great because it’s the perfect size for serving (me, with a pile of figs and olives) and my sweetheart, or a good way to put out a bunch of snacky things for the kids.

  • I have had a mandoline for awhile and find the best ones at the Asian supermarkets, which, by the way, can be absolutely amazing for finding all kinds of fun things you never knew you needed. So far, I haven't cut myself. I have developed a safety technique or using a fork (I lost the grip protector) to hold the veggies I'm slicing so I don't slice my fingers. In the above case, I sliced the cucumber up and all went well. If you want to prep veggies, there are lots of cute slicers that help make your crudité platter so much prettier.

  • I find fresh herbs, fruits, veggies and assorted produce from my local farmers’ market on Sundays, or I dash to Trader Joe's for things when I can’t find it at the farmers’ market. Or if I can't get to the farmers' market. Envious of those people in Italy and France that always go to the open markets any day of the week. Anyway.

  • The newly renovated Ralph's market just went through an incredible transformation. I was absolutely gobsmacked because for a moment I thought I walked into the Whole Foods produce section. Dragonfruit was on display like it was all fancy gourmet hipster shopping. Therefore, friends, I have new feelings for Ralph's. It's gone from my go-to market on the side into a serious romance. It's like the market version of a shy nerd in glasses that asks you out, but you always date the bad boys and say no, but then you finally say okay, and then the shy nerd suddenly goes from Clark Kent to Superman.

I'm not saying that my local farmers' market is necessarily equivalent to a "bad boy" but perhaps it's the one that you like more than he likes you. You're always trying to see him, yet he doesn't try as hard to see you. Trader Joe's, while we're on the subject, is quite dependable, but doesn't do produce that well, but you still like him for trying.

But I digress. Today was extra lazy. It went like this:

Get up even though the 6am alarm didn't go off, but the neighbor's gardener did, and he wants you up too.

*Sigh* get out of bed even though I didn't set my alarm for 6am. On Sunday.

Make iced tea.

Read through Find Your True Fork cookbook and write down ingredients for raw vegan Chef Jason Wrobel's Black Garlic Tempeh -- because I have a big package of tempeh in the fridge and I loved that amazing tempeh from the Wanderlust dinner that Jason made.

Think about going into the garden to train the bouganvillea and jasmine vines.

Make more iced tea.

Make matcha waffles with blueberries for the kids (and me, okaaay).

Realize that it's getting way hot outside and I've changed my mind about going out to garden (those giant beetles love me) so I'll do it later, like at night.

Think about painting the rest of the living room. Not today though.

My youngest daughter wants empanadas. She also wants to bake. She wants to bake empanadas.

I laughed and said, "No way frosé! Not to-day!"

Then I realized: we are totally out of raw cashews, again, because I make cashew milk and creamer a lot. I'll need to get cashews.

Now what will I use for my tea?

Make some frothy golden milk using this powder, adding the rest of the homemade cashew almond milk from the fridge.

Anyway, I finally got out of the house (and my robe) and went to the farmers' market. This is all I really did today, and it was so worth it. Sweet cherry tomatoes. Green olives, figs. Grapes and blackberries.

Picnic platter shopping achieved.

Afterwards I came home and cooled down with a glass of rosé and put together this beauty of a plate. Et voila indeed.