According to Michael Pollan’s well-known book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, 92 cents of each dollar a consumer pays for groceries like apples and carrots goes to the middlemen and retailers rather than the farmers. On the other hand, at a farmers’ market, only 6 cents of that dollar goes to the middle processors. The lesson is – keeping money local by buying more natural and fresh products that came from nearby can benefit both the consumers and producers.
After reading Pollan’s book, I have made an effort to shop at the farmers’ market more often! Last weekend, I bought some fresh tomatoes and Italian sausage at a farmers’ market close to campus. Although foods purchased at a farmer’s market are usually priced higher, this is because they are of higher quality – after all, they typically have more nutrients and less chemicals than those mass produced.
With the tomatoes and sausage that I bought, I made shakshuka for dinner. Shakshuka is a traditional Middle Eastern dish of eggs poached in tomato sauce. It can be eaten for any meal – breakfast, lunch or dinner! To be honest, I had never actually tasted it before but the ingredients I had seemed perfect and it is such an exotic dish I had to try it.
This recipe takes a lot longer than most of my other ones. There’s a lot of waiting involved – mostly for the eggs to cook. In fact, it probably took about 20-25 minutes for my eggs to fully cook. If you have one, I would recommend covering your pan to make it cook faster!
(makes 3 servings)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
3 tomatoes, diced
2 cups tomato sauce
6 stems asparagus, cut in halves
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
In a large pan, heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic and sautee until translucent.
Add sausage and cook until browned. Add in mushrooms and cook until browned.
Then stir in tomatoes. Add the tomato sauce and mix well. Add asparagus and cumin and mix.
Using a wooden spoon, create 3 indents in the sauce. Crack eggs into them. Let cook until egg whites are set. (Cover pan to cook faster.)
Season with salt, pepper, and herbs.