Now this is what I’m talking about! I found a great article in the Los Angeles Times about the complexities of cooking with produce from the farmer’s market. According to the article, improvisation is everything. I can’t disagree.
Cooking from the farmers market is a bit like playing jazz (or so it seems to this tone-deaf, beat-deprived fan). Shopping straight from the recipe is like playing sheet music — it might be acceptable, but it’ll never be much more. On the other hand, buying up everything that looks good and hoping to find the recipe later is like one of those bebop players who throws out a gazillion notes in hopes of stringing together two or three that make a melody.
But to improvise successfully you still need a basic structure. Not one so rigid that you wind up hamstrung, but more like a theme that allows for variation — general ideas you can go back to again and again, varying them to fit your mood, the season and what seems best.
The most important part is to enjoy yourself and have fun!