Friday, January 20, 2012

Farmer's Market & Lemon Spaghetti

When it comes to groceries, I'm picky.

Sometimes it's because of quality of ingredients, how the meat was handled, et cetera, but it's
always about PRICE.

I can't help it. I grew up in a family that saved and planned and scoured the ads for good deals. No extreme couponing needed here, because my parents and grandparents were really smart with their money. And it proved to pay off for them when they wanted to plan a big trip or retirement, and that legacy is something I hope to carry through.
Our finds at Dallas Farmers Market
That being said, I love fruits and vegetables and we eat a fair amount, so we like to get good deals on good stuff. Here's where the Dallas Farmer's Market (or anytown's farmer's market) comes in. Mattand I tried it out on a cold, rainy day. The market closed at 6 and we got there at 4, so we didn't expect much. We were wrong. The crop was good (bigger/more flavorful/brighter than any grocery store produce) and the prices were awesome (3 giant ruby red grapefruits for $1, giant bag of spinach for $2, a dozen tangerines for $2).

Here are some of our market picks:
large honey crisp apples 8 for $2

$3 for 1 1/2 pounds of blackberries, $2 asparagus, 6 sweet oranges for $2

All of those tomatoes for $3---I counted 27 total
Now onto a fun recipe. I spotted this on Rachael Ray's site a year or so ago, but haven't gotten around to trying it until this week. Lemon spaghetti is light, citrusy, and slightly creamy. I adapted Rachael's recipe a little, and it turned out well. We had bright green broccoli and tuna burgers (minus the bun) on the side.

Lemon Spaghetti

(adapted from Rachael Ray)

This dish is light, creamy and great to serve with fish. You can decrease the crushed red pepper if serving for kids.

20 minutes to make; 4 servings


  • Salt
  • 2/3 pound spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan (or parmigiano-reggiano)
  • Handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (optional)
  • 8 leaves fresh basil, very thinly sliced (optional, or sub with 2 t. dried basil)


step one: Boil a pot of salted water, dropping in the spaghetti. In a large, deep skillet, add the olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper.

step two: After the pasta has been cooking about 5 minutes, add a ladle of the pasta water, the lemon juice

step three: When the pasta has been cooking about 5 minutes, add lemon juice, a ladle of the cooking water from the pasta and the milk to the skillet. Raise heat a bit to bring sauce to a bubble.

step four: Drain the pasta when it is al dente. Add the lemon zest and the cheese to the cream sauce. Season with salt and red pepper, to taste. Add pasta to pan and turn off the heat. Toss the pasta for a couple of minutes so that all of it is coated in sauce. Top with parsley, basil and additional cheese, if you like. Enjoy.  

Happy eating and happier weekend!

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