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Is there a skunk in the house? A KWB reports…

July 24, 2008

Direct from San Francisco, where Kitchen Workout Buddy (KWB), Amy O braved the legendary farmer’s markets, bumped elbows with Alice Waters, slaved in the kitchen, and speaks out now for your reading pleasure:

“In my quest to meet up to la stomach’s challenge to make the farmer’s market an adventure park of sorts, I strayed from my usual path of peaches and plums and sought out some new-to-me ingredients.  I was rummaging through a box of herbs, when the farmer at the stand suggested I try epazote.  Having no idea what this was, other than an herb with a Spanish name, I thought it to be the perfect fit for my challenge.  The farmer suggested mixing it in with potatoes and beans.

Arriving home, unloading my various purchases (okay, I still got the peaches and plums—come on! It’s summer), I decided to head to Google and check into exactly what I had purchased.  Turns out, my lovely new herb epazote is also known as…skunkweed!!!! Or, if that doesn’t get your taste buds juiced up, how about…pig weed!  Or wormseed.  Or goosefoot.  In fact, “epazote” comes from the Aztec words “epatl” and “tzotl” meaning SMELLY ANIMAL!!!!  Great.  What’s more, it was described elsewhere as “an acquired taste” with a smell akin to gasoline or kerosene.  What had I done!

With nothing else to do but give it a whirl, I coursed through the internet, searching out recipes.  My husband and I love Mexican food, so we were in luck.  Epazote is widely used in Mexican bean dishes as a flavoring and as a natural version of Beano.  I decided on Scrambled Eggs, Black Beans, Broth, and Epazote from  The epazote did, in fact, smell exactly like gasoline as I was preparing it.  It didn’t seem to add too much flavor to the beans, but I didn’t smell my husband afterwards either!

I also made Pimientos de Padron, a delicious and simple Spanish tapa-style side, quickly made by sautéing the peppers in olive oil until they blister and then sprinkling with coarse salt.  And, because I always need some type of salad, I combined some of our wonderful market produce for a little gem salad, tossed with Stonehouse extra virgin tangerine olive oil.

And, because I tend to buy as much from the market as my cooking buddy, I have included my breakfast of champions—hot cereal, Greek-style thick plain yogurt, and mcuhas frutas!


Bravo Amy O!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Rachel permalink
    July 24, 2008 12:46 pm

    I’m so impressed, though not surprised, with Amy’s adventurous spirit and talent for pulling off an absolutely beautiful meal!

  2. July 24, 2008 4:13 pm

    such delicious dishes.. and pictures are so tempting…


  1. Farmer’s Market Bounty: August 10, 2008 « la stomach

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