Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Eating Local - Frittata, beet-orange salad, herb-infused rice



The Sources
The numbers in the map above indicate the approximate origins of the ingredients for my meal:

#1 - Sebastopol (48 mi), Redwood Hill Farm
#2 - Santa Rosa (50 mi), Ludwig Avenue Farm
#3 - Guinda (67 mi), Riverdog Farm
#4 - Winters (50 mi), Terra Firma Farm
#5 - Sacramento (70 mi), Bariani
#6 - Hollister (84 mi), Avalos Farm
#7 - South Dos Palos (105 mi), Koda Farms

The Meal
My first meal for the Eat Local Challenge was a delicious success, but possibly required a slight stretching of the boundaries in the southeast section of my 100-mile circle. The culprit was one of the only grains grown in large scale in California: short-grain rice. The Koda Farms website says that they farm in the San Joaquin Valley, which is an enormous place that is partially within my circle. But whether the rice is inside or outside of the circle, the Koda Farms Kokuho rice is significantly more local than the imported basmati and jasmine rice that I typically eat (from India and Thailand, respectively).

I don't have anything profound to say about this meal, as it was not terribly outside my normal cooking style. In this post, I'll give a summary of what I cooked; recipes will be posted separately in a few days.

The photo shows herb-infused rice in the background, beet-orange-walnut salad in the left foreground, and a fritatta in the right foreground.

The herb infused rice consisted of short-grain white rice (#7, 105 mi), carrots (#4, 50 mi), herbs from my backyard (rosemary, chives, chive blossom, and thyme), and some sea salt. The purple flower is a chive blossom, which has an intense onion-like flavor--it looks better than it tasted. I used my Japanese onigiri molds to shape the rice into little triangles.

The beet-orange-walnut salad is an old favorite of mine. It combines the earthy sweetness of beets with the sharp, acid sweetness of orange, with the walnuts adding some richness and bitterness. The oranges and walnuts were from Winters (#4, 50 mi); the beets and green garlic from Guinda (#3, 67 mi); and the olive oil from Sacramento (#5, 70 mi). I used a little bit of Italian balsamic vinegar in the dressing.

The frittata was a great success. Spinach provided the background, the large pieces of goat-milk feta and sun-dried tomatoes were delightful bursts of tanginess, and the pieces of mint and parsley were a perfect match for the feta. The eggs were from Santa Rosa (#2, 50 mi); garlic, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes from Guinda (#3, 67 mi); feta from Sebastopol (#1, 48 mi); and the herbs from my backyard garden. Note that the sun-dried tomatoes were from last year's crop, reminding me that eating local is a year-round activity (more on this topic in future posts).

For dessert, I had some fresh strawberries from Hollister (#6), a town that is much more famous for rowdiness than farming.

Note: map above downloaded from the Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection, numbers and circle added using Microsoft Visio.

Indexed under Miscellaneous, Eat Local Challenge
Technorati tags :: :

3 comments:

Tea said...

Great map! Thanks for putting that up, it's wonderful to have a visual.

One thing this challenge is teaching me is that I need to brush up on my N. Calif. geography so that I know where all these small towns are located.

jeanne said...

great map indeed! the visual is helpful for those of geographically challenged in San Francisco!

mimulus said...

what a delicous lookng plate of food! Ilove the herb studded rice molded into shapes...presentation is A+ as is the presentation of the post...martha would be proud.