Browsing Category

Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets Home Lifestyle

Winter Delights from the Market

January 26, 2017

There is a significant downturn in Farmers’ Market attendance come November. Maybe it’s the gray weather or the lack of tomatoes? I’ve always been stumped by the disappearance of shoppers. I mean, people still need to eat, right?

Sure, you’re not going to find a sun-ripened peach so juicy you must eat it over the sink or tomatoes so sweet their skins are blistered from growing to fast in the hot sun. But a trip to the market in the coldest season presents some equally intriguing options- if you just give them a chance.

Winter vegetables are nutritional powerhouses containing anti-cancer fighting properties and they are packed with vitamins and fiber. When compared to their spring and summer siblings, winter vegetables last much longer: If stored properly, greens can last at least a week and root vegetables up to four weeks.

My Winter Watch List

  • Hearty greens are everywhere. You’ll find rainbow-colored Swiss chard and Siberian kale you never knew could be so tender. When it comes to hearty greens, I think simple is best. This garlicky swiss chard is so good! If you don’t have Swiss chard you could use kale or spinach or a combination.

 

Cauliflower and Romanesco

Colorful Cauliflower and Romanesco

 

  • Beets!!! Whether red, gold or chioggia (with a candy cane striped interior) are my favorite winter treats. If you have only eaten beets from a can I encourage you to try roasting them at home. Roasting brings out the natural sugar, earthly flavor and retains their jewel-toned vibrancy (when roasted separate from other items). You’ll never eat canned beets again!

Once roasted and peeled store your beets in a glass container for up to one week. I make a simple salad of shaved beets, greens (I like arugula), blue or goat cheese, toasted walnuts and vinaigrette. But you can also eat them raw. Sliced on a mandolin or very fine with a sharp knife they add an earthy crunch to salads.

When you arrive home from the market, remove the beet greens and store them separately. They can be tossed into soups, sautéed and added to omelets, or used raw in a green salad.

 

swiss chard, beets & romanesco

Rainbow Swiss Chard, Beets in three colors and Romanseco

 

  • Radishes that have captivating names like scarlet, watermelon (yes, it really looks like a watermelon inside!), French breakfast and Bordeaux to name just a few.

Radishes

Watermelon, french breakfast and scarlet radishes

  • Celeriac aka “celery root” line the tables of most farmers’ stalls. If you’re looking for inspiration this winter, Diane Morgan’s terrific cookbook Roots will do the trick. From plain old carrots and potatoes to more exotic vegetables like rutabaga and salsify, Morgan presents mouth-watering recipes that make the most of winters’ bounty. Many recipes are on her website, including the delicious Celery Root Purée with Anjou Pear. Potato gratin is such a treat but this Root Vegetable Gratin includes celery root and parsnips and is so dang good!
Celeriac

Celery Root

  • This winter salad combines many seasonal ingredients, oranges, radishes and arugula (called rocket in the recipe). It calls for red lollo rosso lettuce however any lettuce will do. And don’t feel as though you need to follow the dressing recipe exactly. (My family doesn’t care for fennel seeds so I didn’t add them in.)

 

  • A big pot of soup is welcome this time of year. This Winter Lentil Soup is hearty and satisfying. I add or replace vegetables depending on what I have on-hand.

And watch for these other winter favorites:  fennel, winter squash, leeks, cabbages (red, green and savoy), broccoli, brussels sprouts, collard greens, parsnips, turnips, carrots, rutabagas, greens and, of course, citrus.

 

 

SaveSave

Farmers Markets Home Lifestyle

10 Things To Do With Herbs

September 13, 2016

10 Things To Do With Herbs so you don’t end up tossing them after using only a portion in a recipe!

It happens almost every time I buy a bunch of herbs. I use one tablespoon for a recipe and then the rest is placed in my vegetable bin only to find itself being pushed further and further back until, one day, I notice a not so pleasant odor and discover a slimy, dark mass and wonder how long it’s been there. Sound familiar? Here are my 10 tips for using those herbs so they won’t end up in your compost bin.

 

Compound Butter

It sounds super fancy but it’s really just butter with add-ins. Take a stick of softened butter and add herbs. Re-form using plastic wrap or parchment. Place in refrigerator to harden if you plan to use soon, in the freezer if not. Once firm it can be sliced and added to many dishes or placed on top of a steak, think blue cheese and shallot butter. Having a log of garlic and Italian parsley butter to slather on bread for garlic bread is a last-minute wonder, or try one of my favorites. Start with one stick of unsalted butter, add one heaping tablespoon of chopped dill, one heaping tablespoon of minced shallot, a teaspoon of lemon zest, an 1/8 of a teaspoon kosher salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Pulse in a small food processor or mix by hand.

Compound butter

Dill, Shallot, Lemon Juice and Zest Butter

Continue Reading

Farmers Markets Home Lifestyle

Tomatomania

August 23, 2016

Each week I fight the urge to buy more than I need at the farmers’ market. Summer seems to be the most difficult season to curb this impulse. The array of colors, varieties and abundance are all too attractive to resist.

Farmers Market Peppers

Colorful Peppers at Front Porch Farm

I avoid buying tomatoes about 7 months of the year, but when July arrives and farmers’ stalls are brimming with juicy colorful tomatoes, I look for ways to not only enjoy them everyday but to preserve them without the laborious and time-consuming canning method.

This week I purchased a 20lb box of dry-farmed early girl tomatoes from Tomatero Farm. The box cost $42.00 or $2.10/lb. UPDATE: As tomato yields increase prices drop. I found a 20 pound box for $20.00 at Front Porch Farm. Most vendors that grow tomatoes will sell you a box without pre-order. If you think that you’ll be buying a box that day, I recommend getting to the market as early as possible. However, it never hurts to place an order prior to your visit for larger quantities. If you shop weekly then speak to a farmer about picking up a box the following week. Or, many of the farms have websites with contact information.

Tomatoes

Dry-Farmed Early Girl Tomatoes from Tomatero Farm

Continue Reading