Sunday, September 16, 2007

Pepper Place Market, Cooking Demo

I originally told you all about Pepper Place market a few months ago, when I visited there with my friend, Judy, who came over to visit from Atlanta. It's a really neat farmer's market here in Birmingham & they are open in the summer months, through October. This time of the year is perfect to visit, as it's cooled down considerably from the 100+ degree weather we were having in August. This Saturday a.m. was bright, crisp & fallish feeling in the air. Heavenly! My hubby & I got there in time to find a seat & watch chef & owner of Ocean restaurant, George Reis, put together a really yummy bruschetta. This is one of the premier restaurants in Birmingham & they have only been open a little over a year. I've never been, but heard great things about it.
First, he chopped up heirloom tomatoes, which I didn't know what those were exactly. He explained that those were original tomatoe plants that hadn't been genetically altered to produce all sorts of hybrid tomatoes. These were large & beautiful tomatoes. He also chopped up some shallots, as well as basil. I always add minced garlic to mine too.
I've made bruschetta before & it is absolutely WONDERFUL! The first time I had it was in Italy back in the early 90's and then I started seeing it here in Italian restaurants. It is so easy to make, with fresh ingredients, purely delicious. He did a little different spin with it & added goat cheese to the crusty sliced bread, then topped it with the tomato basil mixture.
He had lots already prepared & his helpers plated it up to hand out to all the hungry folks standing around watching.
Here he's drizzling on a little more olive oil.


So, basically, it's grilled fresh crusty bread (you can use any of the different fresh breads that you find out there). Chopped fresh tomatoes, chopped basil, shallots, olive oil, salt & pepper. You can add the goat cheese, which really was a tasty addition, serve it up on the bread & you have yourself a very delicious appetizer. I've made this at home many times during the summer with fresh basil & tomatoes...never added the goat cheese, but it was really good too. There is just nothing better to me that the combo of those 2, tomato & basil...they go together like salt & pepper. If you've never had bruschetta, try it! I promise, it's amazing...simple, pure fresh food.
This little beagle was enjoying his day out with some people watching under the chair.
We picked up some stone ground grits from a local farmer in the area. I've already cooked up some of these & they are fabulous...no more regular grits for me. The place that makes these grits is out near my friend Debbie, so I'll definitely be buying more. There is a WORLD of difference in stone-ground grits & I had no idea. We love our grits down here in the South!
Here's an idea for ya'll to try with your dried flowers. This merchant was selling old windows with dried flowers attached. Would look great in a shabby chic house.
Another variation. My batteries died before I could take pics of some of the pretty fall veggies that were displayed.


Hope you enjoyed our Saturday outing to Pepper Place Market. Enjoy this fall weather!

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Cottage Contessa said...

The food looks delicious, now I'm craving some! I love the idea of the dried flowers in the windows! Will definately have to try that. I'm glad you had a lovely day out.

Abbie said...

I'm also craving some! I'm going to make a variation of the Bruschetta. I love new ideas!
The windows with the dried plants caught my eyes. Awesome.
AND You gotta love those grits!

Tonja said...

My son and DIL were in Birmingham this weekend shooting a wedding. I bet they would love to have gone there. I'll be sure to fill them in on this place. She a really good cook. She was also enjoying doing some good shopping yesterday.

Happy Homemaker said...

I love Bruschetta but I've never added goat cheese! What a great idea! Thank you!

PAT said...

I've had bruschetta with goat cheese and love it!

Great photos, this looks like fun!

Pat

Rosemary said...

That looks so yummy Rhoda!
I make it too sometimes. His tomatoes looked great!
Thanks for sharing. Glad you had such a nice fall day out.
The dried flowers are so cute.
Rosemary

joan said...

Bruschetta is so yummy! Love the dried flowers idea. Looks like a great time! Thanks for sharing.

Nunnie's Attic said...

Sounds great! I love bruschetta and we make it all of the time. I have so much basil right now it's coming out my ears. So I make this often! And heirloom tomatoes are so very tasty. I have heard of George Reis and Ocean before. He's a very talented and up and coming chef. What a treat to have met him!

Thanks for sharing!!
Love,
Julie

Linda said...

Looks like a fun time. I love the window thing. Thanks for always sharing your fun outings with us.
Blessings

justabeachkat said...

I love Bruschetta. Give me some with a glass of wine and I'm a happy girl! You're right...tomatoes and basil DO go together like salt and pepper. Yum!

Hugs!
Kat

melissa @ the inspired room said...

Oh, looks so yummy!

Robyn said...

How fun! I do love Farmer Markets. Looks like you had a great day!

Steph said...

I just love Farmer's Markets! We have a great one in a town about 30 minutes from me and I love to go and see what good things they have!

DebraK from ~the Bunnies Bungalow~ said...

Looks yummy Rhoda! Don't you just love Farmer's markets, especially in the Fall.

I saw the doggie & thought for a minute got an addition to your family.

Too bad your batteries died, I would have loved to see more.
Hugs, DebraK

Nathansma said...

Hey Rhoda,
It's your cousin Carla in Jamaica. Any of our family will tell you that I am NOT a decorator but I have enjoyed reading your blog. Howie told me to ask you to send me the blog info on the city girl that married a real cowboy. He said it would be a good read for me. Thanks! Love you!

willzmom said...

Stone ground grits ARE great. I could get them in South Carolina but haven't found a local source here in Tennessee. So good with gruyere cheese. Thanks for the trip to the market, the pictures are great.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Pepper Place is a lot of fun~ there is always something going on!

Maureen said...

NUMMY! We just adore Bruschetta at our house. Just about the only thing my DH has in his repertoire, but I can't complain! Sounds like a perfect day Rho. The only thing I hate about Heirloom tomatoes is the price you pay for an Heirloom salad in restaurants!

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Oh, I'm going to have to try the goat cheese with the Brushetta...that sounds so good! I love goat cheese and I love Brushetta so it's got to be good!

Andi said...

That bruschetta looks so good!!! Love the picture of the little beagle too...since I'm a dog person! Sounds like you had a delightful time at Pepper Place.

Kari said...

I love bruschetta! My sister started making it several years ago after we tried it at a restaurant in New Orleans (of all places). I could eat it forever...

Cheryl Wray said...

Yummy....
I have heard about the cooking demos down at Pepper Place, but havent been to one yet.

bellacolle said...

What a fab day! gosh, the goat cheese was a nice touch I bet... Amen to the grits!!(Being for GA. and all! LOL) Can't find nothing like that up here in WI... only thing close is the yucky stuff at the grocery store.

ValleyGirl said...

Thanks again for a great tour!! I'm so in love with your town!

jen said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Kaylee

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