Greening

This week, last year: our market menu, featuring the hilariously informative sketch of the mythical vegetannual. We’re currently in the leafy green base part of the season, and will remain there for a few weeks.

 

My garden seems to have gone from March to June in the last week and a half, totally skipping April and May. Everything’s green (except for the Japanese Maple that apparently died in the fall – major sadfaces here!), and our rhubarb has already shot flower stalks up to the sky. But as with all green things, garden or farm, we take what the weather gives us, right?

So, at the market this weekend, we should definitely be seeing more asparagus and rhubarb, plenty of greens — including fresh cut herbs — and small/shallow roots like radishes and turnips, thanks to farmers with hoop houses, who got an early start!!

 

If you’re looking for some new recipes for Rhubarb, we’ve pulled a few that might be of interest:

  • Hot Pink Rhubarb Compote – delicious in oatmeal or over yogurt, probably amazing in custard, according to the Brits.
  • Rhubeena – a syrup/cordial, to be added to club soda or other drinks throughout the summer.
  • Rhubarb Crisp – I love the oats and nuts in this recipe, but it would be just as delicious if you were to make it nut-free. It calls for AP flour, but I see no reason why you couldn’t substitute rice flour or another gluten-free option, since the dough doesn’t need to hold any kind of structure.

 

Asparagus probably needs no introduction, but here are a couple of ideas just in case: 

  • Shaved Asparagus Salad – a little extra work, but if you’re going for something unusual, it’s worth it.
  • Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan – posted for the pictures, and oven temp, but it’s so simple you won’t need a recipe! (olive oil, salt and pepper, sprinkle of parm, roast in a 450F oven about 10 minutes)

 

The little roots might need a bit of promotion, though.

 

I really like spring turnips sliced on a mandoline (less than 1/4″ thick), sprinkled with a little salt and pepper, raw. They’re mild in the spring — it’s a great time to try turnips — and the white haukerei variety that’s become more popular in recent years are practically juicy like a fruit. You can also do a quick pickle, with vinegar and salt and pepper and a little ginger. The haukerei are delicate enough, you don’t want to overwhelm them with flavors. But that’s only if they make it in your crisper long enough to get to the pickling jar!! This farro salad with turnips and greens is also super lovely.

 

I also like to slice radishes on the mandoline (watch the fingers, though — get one of those knife-safe kevlar gloves!), either to add to salads or eat raw. I tried pickling them last year, and didn’t love the results. I usually enjoy radishes raw, but sometimes they do sit in the fridge awaiting an idea for something different; this roasted radishes w/ radish tops (and brown butter!) is the something different I found at one point last year. It’s really nice, mild and perfect for taming the heat that radishes can bring sometimes. Though radishes can be stored short-term, we’re at the peak of their fresh season right now, so enjoy them!

 

Hope to see you out and about this weekend, whether at the market, Green Top Grocery, Common Ground Grocery, or one of these local farms* (see below):

 

*Do you know of a local farm doing on-farm events or farmstand sales, not listed here?  Please let us know, and we’ll add it!

Previewing the Market: May 12, 2018

This week, I thought I’d share some recipes that have been hanging around my (browser) tabs recently. They tend towards the green and light, just right for the season.

Beet Salad with Broiled Feta and Sesame Sunflower Seeds – you could save this recipe for later in the season when local beets are back, or you could grab some golden beets at Green Top, and some of the new local goat milk feta (from a farm in Arthur) that make this worth trying now!

Chilaquiles Brunch Casserole – thanks to Smitten Kitchen (from which I never met a bad recipe), featuring eggs and tortillas and lots of options for add-ins.

Savory Green Curry French Toast – Ok, bear with me here. Let’s not call it french toast, maybe? Let’s call it Thai-spiced fried bread. Or something. Read the author’s recollection of her childhood savory-spicy breakfasts, and if you’re on the fence, I think it might help push you over the edge.

Potlikker Papperdelle – Southern (U.S.) and Southern (Italy), already close and made closer. Bacon, garlic and shallot, vinegar, collards and a simple, flat pasta. One-pot, one-dish.

Rhubarb Galette – from Ottolenghi, in case you need a new/easier application for your rhubarb (mine is going gangbusters already!)

Farfalle Pasta with Arugula Gremolata – from Mollie Katzen, delicious hot or cold, and best with fresh, delicate  spring arugula.

Simple Green Salad with Dill Vinaigrette – the first of many salad dressing recipes we’re hoping to post this summer!

This time last year: Market Menu, week 2 

May 5, 2018: Market Opening!!!

One year ago: we were awaiting market opening, but also the opening of the new co-op, Green Top Grocery! It’s hard to believe a whole year has passed since then. This year, the weather has been quite different, with the cold temps hanging on all through April, so it’s possible that farmers’ offerings of early favorites like greens and rhubarb might be delayed by a week or two. But there will still be plenty to cheer about at the outdoor market this week!

(We’re so excited for the market opening, we tried to publish a new post before we got it written!!)

Jenn posted some of her favorites and long-awaited treasures below, along with ideas for what to make with them.

I thought I’d add some of the things that I’m particularly looking forward to:

  1. Fresh herbs! I’m not sure what the farmers will have for us this week, but I’m hoping for anything fresh and aromatic. On one of these suddenly-it’s-summer days, a glass of cold iced tea with a sprig of fresh mint, thyme, or basil is going to taste amazing. Some ideas here.
  2. We can get local eggs year-round now, between Green Top Grocery, Common Ground Grocery, and others, but I’m looking forward to seeing the farmers and buying from them in person.
  3. Oats! I’m out of local oats, and need to stock up! See last year’s posts on oats here*.
  4. Plants? I’m hoping for some herbs, at least.
  5. Asparagus? Dare we hope?

Check out Jenn’s post below for some cooking ideas, check out our post from one year ago for more, and let us know what you’re doing with your #legitlocal buying!

*Did you know that you can use the list of categories at the right to find previous posts that highlight certain market items?  Check it out!

A Week of Market Meals

The Downtown Bloomington Farmers Market sends a handy e-mail before every market; the “What’s Fresh and Fun” e-mail lists every vendor and what they’re bringing with them on Saturday.  I use it to plan our meals during the week, and even though spring is just getting started, farmers have plenty of fresh, local food to share, from fresh produce to preserved fruit, locally raised meat and poultry and local grains.

Here’s a menu based on all of the vendors who will be at the market this week:

Make shakshuka for breakfast with Above Normal Eggs – the recipe calls for a touch of honey, which you can get from C & B Apiaries. Use that honey for another great breakfast – on toast with avocado with bread from Central Illinois Bakehouse.

Make a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich using gouda from Ludwig Farmstead Creamery. Compliment that sandwich with pickles from Trimble’s Produce Farm.

Dinner can be grilled pork from Huelskoetter Pork with arugula salad from PrairiErth Farm.  Make a sandwich with bacon (here are a bunch of ideas) from Destiny Meats . Check out the beef from Bauer Crops and Cattle and serve a roast with local potatoes, carrots, and a fresh salad – all from Saturday’s market.

I LOVE the dried herbs and spices from Granni’s Acres – I’ve been sprinkling their dehydrated veggies in everything. (Try adding their dried radish powder or jalapeño powder to soups or to mayo for sandwiches.)

Roast chicken from Dearing Country Farms. Use the leftover chicken to make sandwiches, soup, or salad.

Use herbs from Ackerman Certified Organic farm in everything.

See you at the Market!