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Not only do we love to support our local farming friends, we feel so satisfied coming home from the market, spending a couple of hours washing veggies and fruits, and making a dish (or an entire week’s meal plan) from what we have discovered that day.  More often than not, we come home (via bicycle) with our baskets and handlebars loaded down with amazing, locally grown Willamette Valley produce.  We are fortunate to feast on these treasures until our next trip to one of many farmer’s markets in Eugene.

For those of you living in Eugene, you only have to go as far as the Eugene Saturday farmer’s market to make this delicious, seasonal offering.  Cheers to a taste of spring and this charming young root vegetable braise.  You will not be disappointed with this dish!

Recipe:

– 4 slender leeks, including a little of the pale green, or 1 bunch scallions

– 6 carrots, yellow and/or orange, 3 to 4 inches long

– 12 little turnips with their greens

– 1 bunch radishes – pink, red, or purple – with 1/2 inch of their stems

– Sea salt and freshly ground pepper (you may omit this if you can’t find local salt and pepper or include it if you aren’t too much of an extreme localvore)

– 1 pound fava beans, if available, shucked

– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

– 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

– 1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon

– 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1.  Slice the leeks crosswise about 1/4 inch wide, then rinse them in a bowl of water and drain.  Cut all but 1/2 inch of the carrot greens off, peel the carrots, and slice them in half lengthwise.  Leave 1/2 inch of the turnip greens attached.  Peel with paring knife up to the shoulders.  Leave smaller ones whole and cut larger ones into halves or quarters.  Halve the radishes lengthwise, soak them briefly in a bowl of water, then rinse, especially the stems.

2.  Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.  Blanch the carrots, turnips, and radishes for 7 minutes, then scoop them out and set aside.  (There’s no need to rinse them).  Drop the fava beans into the water for 1 minute, then scoop them out, saving the cooking water, and rinse to cool.  Pop them out of their skins.

3.  Melt half the butter in an 8 or 10 inch saute pan (preferably a dutch oven for ample space).  Add the leeks and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add 1/2 cup of the vegetable cooking water, the banched vegetables, half the herbs, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Simmer until the vegetables are fully tender, 10 to 15 minutes, adding water in 1/3 cup increments so that the pan doesn’t dry out.  There should be a little sauce.

4.  Add the fava beans, remaining butter, and lemon juice.  Raise the heat and swirl the pan back and forth until the butter has melted into the juice.  Remove from the heat, add the zest of the herbs, season with pepper, and serve.

*This recipe is from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison.

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