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By Greg Barbera Greg Barbera lives in Chapel Hill. He has written about anything and everything over the last twenty years. A single dad of two boys, he spends his days working on perfecting his pickling process, reading bawdy fiction and trying to write the next great rock opera for his band Chest Pains. He is also a former managing editor at All About Beer and The Spectator.

On The Hunt, with Greg Barbera

By Greg Barbera Posted July 18, 2013 at 5:17 am

Ours is a community with a voracious appetite. But food comes at a cost. My goal here is to go on a food safari, setting my sights on the delicious and delectable options often overlooked around town. As a single dad of two growing boys, I consider myself a frugal foodie. I like to maximize my investment to get the most out of a dollar. Ten dollars will be my tipping point. The days of the $5 lunch are long gone but I believe there’s still affordable food—be it a sandwich or late night tapas—available to us. Outside of setting my sights on what’s out on the range, I also hope to tap into our other side. The gatherer. Armed with little more than a five-dollar bill, I will visit the area’s farmer’s markets scouring the booths for earthen bounty. I am not a trained chef; every thing I have learned is through observation and experimentation. But I have a will and a way and a limited budget, so let’s go hunting…

Greg BarberaOn a recent rain-drenched Saturday morning I made my way over to the farmers market in the University Mall parking lot, set up between K & W Cafeteria and A Southern Season. I purchased Yukon gold potatoes, a Creole garlic bulb, a squash, a zucchini and a vine-ripened tomato — all for $5.

I made a German-style potato salad, summer seasonal veggie quesadillas and a caprese bruschetta. The important thing to take into consideration when tackling a farmers market is knowing what you have in your kitchen or cupboards. A little bit of planning and preparation goes a long way in this case.

Potato Salad

I cook to taste. In other words, I tend to wing it. A lot of recipes are based on volume (serves 4, 6, 10 etc.), so sometimes I have to adjust them to fit my needs. Am I cooking for one? Three? Seven? The following is my recipe for the Yukon gold potatoes. I bought mine by portion (not weight) in a pulp paper berry till.

-Boil potatoes in (salted) water until you can easily poke them with a fork (about 15-20 minutes)

-As potatoes are boiling, mix white vinegar, sugar, diced red onion and Dijon mustard in a bowl. I like mustard.

-1/6 cup white vinegar

-1/8 cup sugar

-Tablespoon red onion

-Three good squeezes out of a Dijon mustard container

-Sea salt & pepper

When potatoes are done, cut into cubes and toss with your dressing. Wanna get crazy? Top with chives, bacon bits or Fritos. Seriously, Fritos go with everything.

Greg Barbera

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