summer salad with beets, peaches, & sprouts Posted on May 22, 2012 By hello kitchen

Saturday was Food Revolution Day! After an early morning visit to Quacks for a chocolate twist, bagel and cinnamon roll for the three of us, I split off and headed to the downtown farmers’ market. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it this bounteous: zucchini, beets, purple & yellow potatoes, yellow wax beans, cabbage and radicchio all appeared to be in season, so I was having a little bit of decision anxiety. Does anyone else feel like they have to troll the booths several times before committing to a purchase? Luckily, the Lightsey Farm peaches gave me some clarity and inspiration for my potluck brunch dish. I was then able to continue my shopping:

The peaches would go into a salad, since I always love introducing a salad-type thing to a brunch menu (I count on the more practical souls to bring the egg dishes, and they indeed delivered). Since the beets were also looking good, I decided to roast them and toss with the peaches, toasted walnuts, and these lovely, amazingly fresh sunflower sprouts. A garlic sherry vinaigrette with pink peppercorns and my new favorite goat cheese from CKC Farms gave it a decadent punch.

And the brunch event was fantastic! It was hosted by Slow Food Austin as a casual intimate get together at a board member’s house. Everyone brought slow food potluck dishes, and the spread was a sight to behold:

Chef Roger Chan was on board to give a cooking lesson that will kick off his summer seriesĀ for kids at Central Market. Phyllis’ house was the perfect setting – the kitchen opens out to the living room, making for perfect food theater!

Chef Roger’s camp this summer will focus on teaching kids how to cook simple, one pot meals in a dutch oven, and they’ll even be using the Le Creuset pots pictured above. On Saturday he demonstrated how to cook an egg, bacon and grits casserole; a ramen soup with crunchy chicken skin and veggies; and cornmeal-topped beef and pork chili. All of the recipes were simple enough for a kid to make, and healthy for the whole family.

I got to talk to Roger more during the meal, and learned that he spearheads all kinds of great Food-Revolution worthy projects. One interesting program is to install roof top vegetable gardens at central Austin restaurants, and have school children help plant and harvest as part of their education.

One of the best parts of Food Revolution Day is meeting all these great folks that are already focused on bringing healthy food to our schools. I know that Brykerwoods Elementary is experimenting with a farm-to-table program and new, inventive side dishes for the kids (read about that here). Our superintendent, Meria Carstarphen, is supporting these healthy food initiatives, as you can read on her blog here.

I don’t think the food revolution goals have been fully accomplished here in Austin, but ever the optimist, I believe we’re getting somewhere.

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