Thursday, October 14, 2010

Farmers' Market Dinner

Melissa spends Monday-Friday in her cube and can't wait to escape home to her kitchen - she is a Foodie at Work. She loves experimenting with new recipes and sharing food experiences on her blog The Foodies at Work. Melissa loves connecting with the blogger community and is so glad she met Michelle and has this opportunity to guest post! Questions or comments for Melissa? Reach her at 

Farmers’ markets just aren’t convenient for a foodie who works in the suburbs. All summer I’ve been jealous of everyone who can go to the markets on their lunch break. When I noticed the Allston Farmers’ Market on my new commute home, open until 7 p.m. on Fridays, I was so excited to finally have a convenient market. I knew that I wanted to let the farmers’ market inspire my guest post on Michelle’s blog, because I thought I could easily prepare an inexpensive menu.

I walked around and checked out each vendor before deciding on what to purchase. This didn’t take long since there were only six tables. There were only two farms, a pasta vendor, Big Sky Bread Company from Newton Center (used to love their butter when I was younger), and a few other small tables. The full list of vendors is on the market’s website above.

Being a pasta lover, Fior d’Italia Pasta caught my eye. They were selling interesting raviolis, plus traditional pasta meals like lasagna. The arugula and fresh mozzarella ravioli immediately appealed to me. The box was $8 - not exactly cheap for ravioli. However, the vendor told me there were two servings in the package. He also informed me that they don’t have their own restaurant, but that many restaurants purchase their pasta. I was sold. I think it’s okay to spend a little more on nice pasta from a market than I’d normally spend in a grocery store. And, $4 per meal is fine by me.

Next, the tomatoes intrigued me. I’ve been into tomatoes lately. At $1 per pound, I started creating a tomato salad in my head. I bought 2 green tomatoes, 1 orange heirloom tomato, and 1 pineapple tomato. I’d never had any of these before and was excited to try something new. All four tomatoes cost about $2. Preparing a dinner for the boyfriend and me, I was up to $5 per person. I later purchased feta cheese and lemons at a grocery store, and I already had arugula, so the salad was still looking like an economical option.

I couldn’t wait to start preparing this meal. We had plans to watch fireworks, and I thought this would be a perfect picnic dinner.

While the ravioli cooked, I made lemon vinaigrette dressing for the salad. I didn’t measure this; I just tossed in a few ingredients. I used the juice of two lemons, white wine vinegar, olive oil, a spoonful of sugar, some salt and pepper, and a dash of garlic powder.

Then, I admired my tomatoes.

I diced the tomatoes and tossed them with arugula, feta, and my lemon dressing. 

I tossed the ravioli with butter, salt, and pepper. I packed everything up in Tupperware to take to our picnic before I remember to take a photo of the ravioli! But, I will say that these ravioli were delicious! Much better than anything purchased in a grocery store and better than most restaurants I’ve been to. Although they were frozen at the market, they tasted so fresh after cooking. I am very impressed with them and will definitely go back to the Allston market to purchase them again. Plus, if you buy more than one package of ravioli, they end up costing only $7 each. The tomato salad was really tasty, too. The blend of flavors went so well together and the colors made it beautiful. We had a delicious meal for under $10 a person!

Thanks for the guest post opportunity, Michelle!