Blog Archives for category Farmer’s Market Finds
So there’s a chance that I might be an official Seattleite. It hit me 4 miles in, as I was running down the street with 2 fistfuls of snow peas. Pull up a chair, this is a good one. I’ve been on the waiting list for a P-Patch garden since moving here, and finally snagged a plot this spring. Seattle has an amazing network of neighborhood gardens, and for about $25 a year, you can have a 10′ x 20′ patch of dirt to call your very own. I’m sure you can understand how I have an aching in my bones to do this…
Call me Pollyanna (you wouldn’t be the first), but I believe that politicians want to do the right thing, all dogs go to heaven, there’s a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow, and that everyone loves Brussels sprouts. It’s unfathomable to me that anyone could possibly turn up their noses at these nutritious little gems. Ok, maybe I can understand the nose-turning part, they are a little stinky. But hold your nose and deal, people. Brussels sprouts are seriously nutritious…
I have food issues. Too much food is an issue. I lay awake at night, stressed out about a full refrigerator, trying to figure out who I can invite over for dinner to avoid having to throw stuff out. (Email me if you want to be put on the short list.) I’m not really sure where this comes from. Maybe I’m just cheap, or maybe my experiment with vegetable gardening has scarred me for life – “I just nurtured that little broccoli plant like only a mama can, and THAT’S ALL I GET??” Either way, tossing produce in the waste can feels to me like ripping off a fingernail…
The culture of nurturing a connection between food and table runs deep in Seattle. We have one of the largest networks of neighborhood farmers markets in the country. Some are year round, some are only during the summer; some are all produce, some feature local artists and businesses. All are a blast to wander through. On a sunny day, the neighborhood farmers market is jam packed with produce, kids, dogs, and laughs. It’s one of my very favorite ways to spend my weekend morning….
Too bad the recipe I chose for them completely obliterated the aesthetic appeal of the beets. Quite literally. I opted to make beet hummus for my recent red-white-and-blue themed potluck, and I was so excited to be able to use produce that I had grown myself. I love hummus, I love beets. How could these not be delicious together? Drizzle a little olive oil, scoop onto a little pita… doesn’t get any better than that….
I suppose to classify this as a “farmers” market find is a little bit of a white lie, unless of course you live in Central Mexico. Then you will be able to find these gems at your local farmers market. For the rest of us, it’s off to Whole Foods, which is where I found them last week. I don’t care if they came from Mars, these mangoes are A-MAZE-ING.
They have a beautiful, smooth, thick yellow-orange-pink skin, and the flesh inside is smooth as butter. I have always liked mangoes, but these are different. They’re sweeter than your run of the mill mangoes, and the flesh is less fibrous, yielding a really smooth, fleshy meat that will make you want to bite right into them….
You can crack a Festival Squash in half, remove the seeds, and roast face-down on a baking sheet at 425 for 30 minutes or so. Then scoop out the meat and eat it just like that. Or add just a bit of cream and seasoning for delicious mashed squash. Or dice it up and roast or boil it for a lovely topping for salad, or a great side dish. Or throw it in the blender with a little chicken stock and puree until really smooth and then sit a pork chop or chicken breast on top of it and you have a homemade equivalent to those purees that are all the rage in restaurants right now. I was feeling particularly fancy, so I decided to use it as ravioli filling, mixed with cheese and herbs….
I happened to be at my favorite produce stand, Sosio’s in the Pike Market, and the expert produce guys there turned me on to these German Butterball Potatoes. They’re small heirlooms with a firm skin and soft, buttery interior. Ok, NOW I like potatoes. These are by far the best spuds I’ve ever tasted.