One thing I’ve really missed in IM training — other than sleep and free time — is the flexibility to go to the Dupont Farmers’ Market on Sunday mornings. Since I have to get my long rides and runs in early, especially now that it’s blistering hot as soon as the sun rises, I don’t have many chances to browse all the beautiful produce, fresh bread and homemade cheeses on offer.
So when I had a post-Total 200 day off, I jumped right on it. I “slept in” — which basically means past 8am — and made the short 6-block walk to the market with a plan to do more than just look.
I was not disappointed.
My general strategy when I do the market thing is to take a lap, see what’s available and then go back and shop to my heart’s content. I did go with a list and a plan and a specific recipe in mind. But I had fun with some samples along the way too.
I walked away with eggplant, zucchini, tomato, basil (loose and potted), rosemary, cilantro (both potted), a loaf of French country bread and a baguette and some delicious cheese. I’ve had potted plants in my windowsill for a year now, but unfortunately they’ve been dead for most of that time. So part of my morning plan was to start fresh so I don’t have to buy pricey herbs every time I need a tablespoon of something. Cost-effectiveness FTW.
On my menu for the week, in keeping with my summer sandwich theme? Grilled Farmers’ Market Sandwiches, adapted from Cooking Light.
- 2 T olive oil, divided
- 1/2-inch-thick slices eggplant
- 1/2-inch-thick slices red onion
- Zucchini, cut lengthwise into 4 pieces
- 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- Thickly-sliced fresh country bread or ciabatta
- Cooking spray
- Sliced provolone cheese
- 1/4-inch-thick slices tomato
- Fresh basil leaves
Preheat grill to medium-high. I use the George Foreman because I unfortunately don’t have an outdoor grill. In another life, maybe. Anyway. Brush 1 tablespoon olive oil evenly over both sides of eggplant, onion, and zucchini. Sprinkle with rosemary, pepper, and salt.
Combine 1 tablespoon oil and vinegar in a bowl. Brush vinegar mixture over cut sides of bread.
Place onion on grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill for 6 minutes on each side or until tender. Remove from grill, and separate into rings. Grill eggplant and zucchini 4 minutes on each side or until tender. Cut zucchini pieces in half crosswise.
Place bread, cut sides down, on grill rack; grill 2 minutes. Remove from grill. Place 1 piece of cheese on bottom halves bread portions; top each serving with 1 eggplant slice, 1 tomato slice, 1 basil leaf, 2 pieces zucchini, one-fourth of onion rings, 1 eggplant slice, 1 tomato slice, 1 basil leaf, 1 piece of cheese, and top half of bread. Place sandwiches on grill rack; grill 2 minutes, covered, or until cheese melts.
I bought all the herbs, veggies and bread for this sandwich at the market — so it truly was fresh and rivaled a Jetties creation. I highly recommend it. If you’re in the DC area, there are a ton of markets throughout the week all over the city, so you have plenty of opportunities to shop for the ingredients. Enjoy!