Posts Tagged ‘farmer’s market


Wonky Vegetables?


Do You Buy Wonky Vegetables?

Interesting post on Epicurious… brief aside:  “wonky” is my new favorite word.  Whereas on Capitol Hill, being called “wonky” would be a compliment, the Brits seem to think it means “wrong” or “awry.”  Perhaps there are more similarities that one would wish to acknowlege between the two types of wonk, but that’s another post…

Back to the wonky vegetables. The Epicurious post says that “the EU is finally repealing rules that prohibit the sale of ‘substandard’ produce, whether it’s a cucumber that’s too curvy, a whimsically shaped carrot, or a kiwi that’s smaller than its cousins.”  The question is, do you care if your vegetables look a little funky as long as they are in otherwise sound shape?


The answer for me is no.  In fact, I gravitate towards the more unusual looking produce, whether it’s strange colors and shapes of heirloom tomato or a crazy-looking squash that could be an interesting centerpiece. That’s why I love going to the farmer’s market — you get to see all the wonky vegetables at their best.


The problems I find are with human-induced wonkiness, such as when the tomato or apple you pick up has large bruises on its top and bottom from being squished into a pyramid-shaped display. Or when it’s just old and you can’t tell even by doing your due diligence at the store.  For example, garlic heads that look ok from the outside but have started to sprout when you cut them open.  So my conclusion is, as long and they’re fresh and good quality, bring on the wonky vegetables!


Beer Battered Zucchini and Carrots with Creamy Peppercorn BBQ Sauce

Yes, I’m STILL using up the zucchini I got at the farmer’s market last week.  This is a good appetizer – excellent football food.  I borrowed from this Beer Battered Zucchini recipe (from a site called “” no less) but also made things up along the way.  The batter is very thick, sticks well to the vegetables and turns out like tempura.  Here’s the final recipe I ended up with:

1 medium zucchini
4 medium carrots
1 cup flour plus a little extra for coating vegetables
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
6 oz. beer
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup olive oil

Peel carrots.  Cut zucchini and carrots into spears.  Place vegetables into Ziploc bag with a couple tablespoons of flour and shake until they’re thoroughly covered.

Mix flour, salt, baking powder, cayenne and paprika.  Add beer and stir until mixed.  Let stand for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat vegetable oil and olive oil together in a large skillet until bubbles appear and oil sizzles if a drop of water is added.  Coat floured vegetables in batter.  Fry on one side until golden brown.  Turn and repeat on the other side.  Remove vegetables to a plate lined with paper towels for draining.  Put plate in the oven to stay warm between taking out batches of vegetables.  Add salt and serve immediately.  Serve with the sauce of your choice.

For a dipping sauce, I mixed light creamy peppercorn dressing with barbeque sauce and it went with these amazingly well.


Farmer’s Market Produce Bonanza… Except for Chives

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