This post is for our friend Tom and his family at Red Barn Farms. Tom just announced the amazing array of produce they are planting this year. We won’t be there to partake of all of it, but we can share a little bit of what our family is eating from the farm stands in Italy.

IMG_2373On Wednesdays, I now make it a habit to stop at the open market in Perugia’s Piazza Matteotti. It is a small market (compared to the Saturday market in the Pian di Massiano). The vendors are local producers of olive oil, wine, and cheese; and there is one family that sells produce. After picking up two pieces of fresh mozzarella and a wedge of pecorino (Jakob likes the sotto vino variety: aged under wine for at least 6 months), I make my way to the produce stand and try to think through the menu options for the week.

For several weeks we have been in the hearty winter greens stage (the only additional color on the table is provided by a few tomatoes that come from somewhere else in Italy and do not taste much better than the supermarket tomatoes we have at home). The Romanesco broccoli that the kids enjoyed is gone and we are now subsisting on rapi (broccoli rabe) and beitole (chard), which comes in several varieties (I am feeling iron fortified). But this week there were some new items on the table, including several different forms of radicchio that I had never seen before. The woman who runs the stand suggested I take an assaggio (taste) of each to see what we liked best.

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