Think crispy bacon... swimming in a puree of butternut squash, sauteed leeks and corn, savory fried sage and melted parmesan, over a bed of the best sauce catching rotini. This masterpiece used up the last few goodies left from the 3rd winter share all thrown together into a bowl of delicious by Carla Morris.
Learning to cook well with what you have is truly an art. A proud member since 2009, Carla and her family reside in the South Wedge neighborhood, and have made walking over to the South Wedge Market for their Good Food share each week a family affair, for 6 years! As she stands over her beet stained fingers, chopping up the impressive two pound root (that packs more of a potassium punch than bananas!), Carla shares with me a few words of wisdom; “good food makes me happy,” “...I eat a beet a day, and you gotta love ‘em raw!” Sprinkling them over her arrangement of julienned carrots, watermelon radishes and cabbage covered greens, Carla gives her signature sweet and tangy tarragon vinaigrette a good shake and drizzles it atop her raw rainbow salad.
She and her husband Jason enjoy creating a space of spontaneity and adventure as they challenge themselves and their little ones to embrace the treats of our region in season. “Making the kitchen a fun place teaches our kids to explore their senses and learn what good food really is.” Carla explains. This year’s most beloved treats for 8 yr. old Charlie and 9 yr. old Louisa have been red radishes, spinach and family favorite, Carla’s sweet potato salmon frittata, (which was breakfast this morning!) Shredded sweet potatoes browned in butter, chopped onion, tarragon, “and kale if we have it”, Carla then adds frozen corn and a nice hunk of salmon. After searing the salmon on both sides, she lightly breaks it into bite-size chunks. Separately, 6-8 eggs, a few good splashes of milk, salt and pepper are whisked together and poured over the salmon mixture, along with plenty of chunks of swiss cheese. Straight into the oven it goes and 15-20 minutes later, Louisa describes, “an exquisite breakfast!”
As they sit gathered around their colorful dinner table sharing excitement, laughter and happy taste buds, I realize just how much good food really does bring happiness. I also am left pondering what scrumptious delights Carla will cook up next...