All About Beets!


It’s time for summer beets!! Whether you love ’em or hate ’em, or maybe just haven’t met the right preparation yet, we’re going to try to find something for everyone here!

To me, beets are sweet and rich, iron-y in the best way, like a rare steak. My favorite way to enjoy them is roasted with a little onion and olive oil, in foil over the grill or on a sheet pan in the oven. Be sure to cut them into pieces that are no more than 1/2″ thick, and that the pieces are as uniform as you can, so that they cook evenly. I like to toss the cut beets in a bowl with olive oil, so that they’re all coated, then dump on sheet pan and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Roast at 400°F for 45 minutes or until tender. Serve as is, or with a little fresh goat cheese, build a salad w/ marcona almonds, or blue cheese and walnuts, or mint.

Now, I can’t do a post on beets without throwing you a little curve ball… beet juice. (that’s beet on the left)

You have questions? I have a few answers.

Q: What do you do with beet juice?
A: Drink it! Diluted, of course (it’s quite intense). I like it with apple cider or just water. Or use in your beet pickling!

Q: What do you do with the pulp?
A: Add to carrot cake or quickbreads, or freeze for use later.


Pickling recipes:

Wms Sonoma:

Ball Blue Book:—ball-auto-canner-recipes-br1448.html


All About Kale: This weeks seasonal focus

Lacinato Kale and Mint Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
aka “dinosaur” kale, pictured at left.  It’s my favorite — it’s almost blue, it’s so dark green, and its flat-ness means it’s easy to chop finely or slice into ribbons, or shred in your food processor until it’s unrecognizable and hide-able. Not that I would do that.

The best thing about kale salads like this is that they’ll keep a few days, as the kale takes longer to break down than lettuces. The dressing on this particular salad is close to a sesame noodle dressing, but a bit more tangy than nutty. This may actually be a good dressing to mix up and have on hand, just in case you get a hankering for the salad.  [more kale recipes from Food52]


Green Falafel Bowl
Make your own falafel patties with fresh, local greens, eggs, garlic, breadcrumbs, and hard cheese. Make ahead, even, then toss in a bowl with your favorite raw or roasted vegetables, rice or grain (and a swish of that gorgeous beet hummus pictured in the recipe!), for a meal you can repeat through the week.  [more kale recipes from 101 Cookbooks]



Potato and Kale Knish
I am so making up a batch or three of these to put in my freezer for winter. Potato and leek, potato and kale, sweet potato, spinach, maybe even some roasted beet and cabbage.
“as excellent as you would expect from carbs, wrapped in more carbs, brushed with egg, baked until flaky outside and steamy inside and filling enough to require the cancellation of all other meals for the remainder of the day.”
That, my friends, is the knish of my dreams. [more kale recipes from Smitten Kitchen]


The Greenest Green Smoothie
Full of kale, but also banana and matcha and almond milk, which somehow magically cancels out all kale bitterness.

This recipe also includes pineapple, almond butter, and a bit of ginger — all of which are a bit too complicated, for me.

When I have kale growing in the garden, I use the smallest, newest leaves for smoothies, as they’re the most tender. [more kale recipes from Bon Appetit]



May 26, 2018: Part 1

Well, we’ve done it again! We’ve reached the end of another work week, and are looking ahead to the weekend! There’s much to look forward to at the market, and around town! The downtown market event will fill you in on the vendors attending this week’s market. A great guide, if you’re not sure which farmers are alternating weeks!

This time last year: Week 4 (May 29, 2017). We had bok choi! and swiss chard and strawberries!

I’m pretty sure we’re too early for both of those this week, but a little birdie tells me that there might be some cucurbits from hoop houses (cucumbers or summer squash).

And several vendors will still have plants. If you haven’t planted tomatoes yet, this is the PERFECT time for them to take root and thrive. I always have quite a few “volunteer” plants in my garden, but they’re a couple weeks’ behind the plant starts I got from local farmers in terms of size.

Want to get the healthiest plants for your garden? DEFINITELY shop local. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had blossom end rot from plants purchased at a big box store. Don’t let your garden take on that sadness. Life’s too short for sickly tomato plants.

Native Plants of IL / Woodland Mushroom Farm will have herb (chervil, sorrel, epazote!) and flower plants, but also shiitake mushrooms!!

This weekend, I’d also suggest you check out the array of local meats at the market:

Destiny meats has a variety of pork products, including bacon and brats.

Witzig meats has beef and pork in a large variety of cuts; sides and quarters of beef are also available, if you want to stock up for summer grilling.

Above Normal eggs has chicken and duck eggs. 

Dearing farms will have eggs, goat and lamb meat, and possibly beef.

Huelskoetter pork has lots of pork! Breakfast sausages and brats and pork burgers.




Tomorrow, we’ll have some recipes and ideas for marinades and summer picnics!