In his poem, “To His Coy Mistress,” metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) wrote, “Had we but world enough and time/My vegetable love would grow/Vast as empires and more slow.” By this, he meant in a perfect world, we’d have the luxury of time and a love that would grow exponentially, organically, unfolding and revealing itself over the years. But honey, the clock is ticking, so if you want to hook up before you lose your looks and I lose my erection, let’s do it now. Marvell was being as snarky as I am, but he did have a way with words.
We could all take a lesson from Marvell and go for what we have when we have it. Seasonal, local eating is a Zen exercise of living in the moment, which I’m bad at. Fortunately, there’s a reward involved, like the tomatoes ripening on my plants right now, harvesting my tender collard leaves and bright red tabasco peppers and the incredible array at the farmers markets. The vibrant flavors make awfully compelling evidence this is the right thing to do. Not compelling enough? Have you seen PETA’s veggie porn ad?
Okay, poetry, porn and now dinner. Do not feel intimidated by the list of ingredients. This is a celebration of seasonal eats and what I call a chop-and-walk-away recipe. There’s a little prep work, but then you throw your farmers market haul into a pot, clap on the lid and let gentle heat and time do the rest. You’ll be madly impressed and you’ll have made it yourself.