The weekday farmers markets are back! For those of you who work downtown, I'm sure you're pretty excited since you can pop over during your lunch hour and stock up on fresh fruits and veggies. They're open from 10:30am to 1pm. For dates and locations, check out their website: California Certified Farmers' Markets.
This week I picked up some beautiful spinach at the farmers' market. Since the weather took a slightly cooler turn, I decided to whip up a batch of stracciatella. Never heard of stracciatella? Stracciatella comes from the Italian word meaning, "rags" or "shreds." In this recipe, you beat the eggs before adding them into the soup and the eggs morph into wispies that look little rags. It's sort of like an Italian egg drop soup. It's the perfect soup for lunchtime...it's not too heavy.
Stracciatella (adapted from Savoring the Hamptons: Discovering the Food and Wine of Long Island's East End by Silvia Lehrer)
1 pound fresh spinach, stems removed
4 cups of stock (it's traditionally made with chicken stock but I decided to use veg stock)
2 large eggs
Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
a pinch of nutmeg
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
lemon wedges (optional)
1. Wash and dry your spinach. Make sure to remove any sand, grit and leaves that look jacked. Remove the stems and chop the leaves into strips.
2. In a pan, heat up the olive oil with the garlic cloves over medium heat. After about 3 minutes, the garlic will turn slightly brown. Remove and discard the cloves but keep the oil.
3. Add the spinach and toss so it gets coated by the oil. Lightly saute the spinach for about 3-4 minutes. Season the spinach with the Kosher salt, pepper and nutmeg.
4. In a pot, combine 4 cups of vegetable stock and the sauteed spinach. Over med-high heat, bring to a boil then lower heat to medium low. Let the spinach simmer in the stock for a few minutes. Then taste. Adjust seasonings if needed.
5. In a bowl, beat the eggs until they're slightly frothy. Add in the grated cheese and 1 tablespoon of the heated broth. Whisk again then add the mixture in a slow stream to the pot containing the stock and spinach.
6. Upon adding the mixture, stir the contents of the pot around and around for several minutes. The eggs will slowly take on the appearance of little torn "rags."
7. Served immediately. If you like, you can add a small squeeze of lemon to give it a little kick.