Springtime at the Market

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Although the calendar says “late April,” winter has been reluctant to leave us this year. But at least the farmer’s market is here to reassure us that spring really is on the way.

How do you know spring has sprung? Because, in addition to our reliable root staples, at you’ll find a variety of spring greens at the market to help reclaim your sanity after our loooong winter.

Spring veggies also inspire lighter meals with easy preparation. Some spring greens are delicate and tender, and require a light touch with dressing – perhaps just a touch of olive oil and a spritz of lemon juice.  Greens like arugula are spicy or even bitter, and are great paired with a contrasting flavor – a sweet dressing or fruit, or something rich and robust, such as bacon or chicken thighs.

The recipes below combine spring greens with other market staples that you should be able to find this week.

Breakfast

Make-ahead, freezer-friendly spinach feta breakfast wrap (lots of ways to switch up the ingredients here).

Use fresh mint from the market in a pineapple, arugula and Macadamia nut smoothie. (You can sub almonds – buy them in bulk at Common Ground Grocery.)

Salad for breakfast? Absolutely! This savory “breakfast buddha bowl” features springtime asparagus, greens, avocado, and a fresh egg.

Skipping the greens? Thomas Keller’s BLT fried egg-and-cheese sandwich is probably just as good without the tomato (patience, readers! The tomatoes are coming). You could always top with some locally-made salsa.

Oatmeal is always a winner, especially with local maple syrup (or “sirup“!).

How about savory oatmeal with greens and yogurt? (Here’s an overnight oats version.)

You could definitely top breakfast fried rice with chopped greens (look for Illinois-grown Cahokia rice at Green Top Grocery).

WHOLE WHEAT PANCAKES. (Or waffles, which freeze and reheat well in the toaster.) You’ll find locally grown wheat at the market from Ackerman Farms and Funk’s Grove pancake mix at Green Top Grocery.

And sausage, spinach, and apple breakfast sandwiches are a nice twist on the usual egg-based breakfast sandwich.

Lunch

Arugula and carrot salad with walnuts and cheese (you could also add another protein, like chick peas or chicken).

Green gazpacho is portable and healthy.

Just in case you want something without greens: roasted carrot soup (so many variations!).

Avocado, arugula and walnut sandwiches would be great on a hearty local bread (add ham or bacon if you’re a carnivore).

Dinner

Days are getting warmer, but nights are still chilly. I like the idea of this white bean and vegetable bowls with “frizzled” eggs (topped with fresh greens, of course!). That’s something that would come together quickly on a weeknight after work.

It’s time to fire up the grill again. Make grilled chicken with arugula and chick peas (think of the leftovers!).

Use this green harissa as a marinade, a sauce, or a condiment.

Root veggies shine in this potato and arugula salad (Smitten Kitchen adds lentils, swaps greens for parsley).

Is anything more welcome than spring herbs? Check out these options for herb-based sauces that you can put on virtually anything.

And remember, everyone – this is just the beginning! See you at the indoor market this weekend, and at the OPENING DAY of the 2018 outdoor market on Saturday, May 5 at the square in downtown Bloomington!

 

 

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