The indoor market is held at the Grossinger Arena in downtown Bloomington. Use the Front St. entrance for the December market; the vendors will be in the space just inside those doors, by the concessions. Free parking is available around the corner by the Pepsi ice center, or across the street.
I honestly can’t tell most days whether it’s supposed to be fall or still summer. The leaves are just starting to change, the root vegetables are ABUNDANT, and occasionally there’s an actual chill in the air in central Illinois.
Since we’re wrapping back around, in a way, to some beginning-of-the-season offerings (greens, herbs, radishes), I thought I’d pull up selections from prior weeks. Do you have any favorites? We’d love to hear from you! Check out our Facebook page and message us!
Carrot salad w/ harissa & feta & mint
This dish is one of my favorites from Smitten Kitchen, and a great alternative to green salads when you have vegetarians to feed. It’s absolutely amazing when made with locally-grown carrots. If you haven’t had them raw, you’re in for a treat; they’re almost as surprising as a local tomato, I think. This recipe is great with or without the harissa — a spicy, garlic-y paste/spice mix. You can make your own, substitute it with another garlic-y chili paste, or just leave it out altogether. Pantry Check / Shopping list: carrots, caraway seeds (optional), cumin seeds, paprika, harissa (optional), sugar, lemon, flat leaf parsley, fresh mint, feta cheese.
Vegetable Frittata with Greens and Potato
Here’s a base recipe for the frittata (from Epicurious). To that base, add what you have! I like greens, herbs, potatoes, cheese, maybe some bacon or ground pork. If you have leftover roasted root veggies, chop them up (bite-sized) and add them as well; I think it actually works best when you have pre-cooked potatoes (or carrots or sweet potatoes)!
Pantry Check / Shopping List: chives, spinach or kale, eggs, potatoes, milk, sausage (optional), goat cheese (chevre).
(Be sure to check out this post on soups generally)
So easy, though it does call for a lot of stirring. There are a lot of recipes out there for polenta with a braised or steamed green (try beet greens!). This recipe from Food.com has swiss chard and a topping with dried fruits and nuts, as well as cheese (which is a must for polenta, in my opinion).
Pantry Check / Shopping List: Swiss chard, crushed red pepper flakes, golden raisins, yellow cornmeal, milk, grated parmesan cheese, pine nuts.
Green Chickpea & Chicken Curry w/ Beet Greens
Green Chickpea & Chicken Curry w/… The recipe is written for swiss chard, but did you know that beet greens are like identical cousins? They’ll do very nicely in this recipe. Pantry Check: chicken thighs, shallots, green curry paste, chili paste, ginger, coconut milk, chickpeas, greens
Magic Sauce – From 101 Cookbooks, this stuff is like liquid gold… use it on eggs, pasta, potatoes, just about anything. Pantry Check: fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, fresh oregano, paprika, garlic, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, lemon juice
Be sure to check out Jen’s post on beets — we can’t get enough of beets in my house, even though at least half of them end up pickled…
Local oats (or wheat berries!) with your favorite toppings – from Epicurious. Oats are inexpensive and store easily, and it just might be chilly enough this weekend for a hot breakfast. The next time I make oatmeal, I’m going to try adding in some of my homemade applesauce — which is basically just chopped up apples left in a crock pot until they’re soft. Market items: Oats!
Crispy egg on toast – from Smitten Kitchen Market items: eggs, bread
Scrambled tofu with greens – from Yup it’s Vegan. This is a great way to incorporate vegetables in your breakfast, if that’s a thing you want to do. You can also add in leftover roasted vegetables – sweet potatoes are delicious in a breakfast scramble, too. Market items: greens!
Freezer-friendly breakfast burritos – from The Kitchn Market items: eggs, potatoes, peppers, bacon or sausage
Five days of Lunches
Carrot Salad – This is a fantastic grated carrot salad with parsley and lemon, from Once Upon a Chef. While not a meal on its own, it would go well with some cheese and fruit and/or another assortment of things. I’d put money on this going well with feta cheese, in particular.
Market items: carrots, parsley, cheese, apples
The Peppers and Sausages below make great leftovers, if you chop up the sausages before packing into individual serving containers. Add some rice or bread for a hearty lunch.
My favorite and most reliable lunch these days is chicken and sweet potatoes and applesauce. We’re in the heart of sweet potato season now, so I suggest that you stock up. I like to peel and cut my sweet potatoes into large chunks and boil them (and then mash), or else cut in small-medium (1/2″) cubes and roast. I’ll bake the chicken with a glug of italian dressing and foil over the baking dish, and then retain some of the liquid that remains after cooking (otherwise the chicken can get dry). If you’re going to chop the chicken up after cooking, be sure to let it rest first — otherwise, you’ll definitely have dry chicken.
Five days of Dinners
Spicy Stuffed Cabbage Rolls – filled with rice, spicy pork, and fresh napa cabbage. Made by the Serious Eats folks, in their “Cook the Book” series, from Faith Durand’s Not Your Mother’s Casseroles. As the Serious Eats staff note, the filling can easily be customized for your family’s tastes: less or more spicy, different vegetables, substituting ground beef for pork, etc. Market items: Ground pork
The recipe is dead simple, and takes only 10 minutes in the morning. Slice the peppers and onion (I’d probably do this the night before, and wrap gently – who wants to go to work with onion hands? not I!). Then you add whole-grain mustard and beer, and put the whole sausages on top, and let it cook for the day.
Not only has the weather turned perfectly just in time for hot dinners, but this has been an AMAZING season for peppers! Just check out these beauties at the market!! Market items: Peppers, onions, sausages
Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs and Cabbage – from Food52. This calls for a head of green cabbage, and chicken thighs or drumsticks, and a simple quick marinade of sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sriracha and salt and pepper. The cabbage goes in later – this is the key with sheet pan dinners, is getting the timing right. If you haven’t roasted cabbage or brussels sprouts before, you’re in for a treat. If it were me, I’d make some mashed potatoes to go along with this hearty dinner. Market items: cabbage, chicken, potatoes
Roasted Root Vegetables and Hummus – if you’ve ever felt like making a dinner of appetizers, then this is your recipe. A combination of roasted vegetable chips and three different hummus recipes, to which I’d add some cooked quinoa and roasted broccoli, and maybe a hard-boiled egg. Some crusty bread, maybe. Market items: beets, turnips, radishes, broccoli, eggs, bread
Vegetable Mulligatawny Soup – I adore this recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian. I’m not a vegetarian, but I make this at least once every fall, with an array of local vegetables. It calls for a long list of vegetables, but a small quantity of each: potatoes, carrots, turnips, basil, garlic, onion, plus fennel, cumin, coriander and peppercorns that you dry-roast in a pan and then grind fresh. It calls for vegetable stock, but chicken would be just fine if you eat chicken. Market items: potatoes, carrots, turnips, basil, garlic, onion
While there’s plenty of grain, flowers, lavender, meat and other produce at the market, the theme of this week’s Market Menu focuses on all those hearty late-summer vegetables that we love to ROAST.
Pretty much everything you could ever want in your midwest farmer’s market is available right now, and it’s getting to be the last chance for some of the summer vegetables, so seize the opportunity! Gazpacho season is passing quickly. But personally, I’m excited to see all the winter squash and cooler-weather root vegetables, because they all take to roasting so well — and it’s such an easy way to enjoy fall flavors.
So instead of our usual breakfast / lunch / dinner arrangement, I’m going to separate this into some vegetable-specific groups that include roasting:
What I really love to do with roasted veggies is use them throughout the week as the primary ingredient in Buddha Bowls. Along with homemade hummus or beans, some greens if they’re handy (even finely-chopped kale will work), and some brown rice or farro (or the grain of your choice), they make a really hearty lunch or dinner. If you want more protein, roast up some chicken or bake some tofu and add it to the bowls. A nice garlicky lemon-tahini dressing brings it all together nicely.
Roasted vegetables are also good for quick panini or doctored-up grilled cheese sandwiches. You can toast some nice hearty ciabatta or other bread (the Paesano loaf from Pekara would be amazing for this) and spread hummus and some warmed vegetables, or add the veg to a grilled cheese before putting the second piece of bread on. It’s the one place where I prefer provolone cheese to all else, but I’m sure others like gruyere would be amazing.
Wait, it’s only early September…still PLENTY of veggies pouring into the market every week. (By the way, this song plays in my head every year, basically all September long. Now it’s your ear-worm. I am sorry. It’s groovy, though! Dance with your veggies…) Look, it’s been a long week (you, too?) and I offered to help Steph with the Market Menu this week and I might be a little goofy-punchy today.
But that’s because the confluence of school getting into full swing, days getting shorter, and the air getting cooler means I’m totally energized by the beautiful veggies that are available this time of year. It’s pretty amazing, because you have the tail-end of (still truly fresh and delicious) summer veggies like peppers and tomatoes, the return of more delicate greens and lettuces, and NEW potatoes, squashes, and various root vegetables. To me, that spells menu inspiration.
Steph and I were chatting about what we love to make and eat this time of year – and we both landed on soups and salads. It’s really a perfect match for that summer-into-fall mood. Maybe we’re not ready to let go of summer’s bounty, but (admit it) we’re kind of excited to see fall colors and maybe even shift our energy level to a different space. The recipes below play off the idea of combining those seasonal vegetables in straightforward, fresh ways. Serve with bread and you’ve got a great lunch or light dinner.
Can you believe it’s mid-July already? So many weeks of the market, it’s hard to keep track without having a calendar handy. So we’re switching to dates in the title instead of week numbers.
I visited the farmer’s market in the adorable town of Port Townsend, WA last weekend, and there were some noticeable differences in available produce: cooler-weather crops like fava beans and radishes (since it’s still in the 50s-70s there!), and a large variety of currants. Market day was a “hot” one, which meant upper 70s, possibly low 80s in the sun. Dry as can be, though, which was a nice contrast to our current weather of 90+ F and 90+ humidity! The currants were lovely, and I might have been tempted to grab some and make a quick pot of jam, except that I knew there were currants waiting in the Refuge Food Forest here in Normal!
Back in Bloomington-Normal, our extended heat through July-August means several things for your weekly local farm and garden haul:
chickens may slow down or stop laying for a bit when it’s this hot, so you may have to ration those eggs!
cilantro and basil in your gardens will likely bolt, sending out seed heads that you can save and replant, or let nature do its thing and replant them for you.
lettuces are going to bolt as well; without a hoop house to keep the temperatures low, farmers can’t grow lettuce in this kind of heat. Give it some time, and you can replant in the fall.
provided they get sufficient water, your tomatoes are going to be happy and ripe!
chile peppers of all varieties are going to start coming with a fury! they love the heat, and give it right back to you in flavor 🙂
In addition to the Saturday morning market, you can also find local produce at Common Ground in downtown Bloomington, and Green Top Grocery just east of downtown on Washington Street. And just this week, Browns’ Produce opened their farmstand on Brown Street just off of West Market — be sure to stop by!
This Week’s Menu:
I’m feeling like salads day and night right now, and other things that are FAST and require little tending on the stove. Here are a few of my favorites:
Slightly Savory Granola – an unusual granola recipe from the NY Times, made with olive oil! It’s a tad addictive, especially with yogurt. I used to buy Traderspoint Creamery yogurt in Indianapolis, but haven’t found a new local favorite yet — recommendations always welcome!
Eggy Polenta w/ Mushrooms – From The Kitchn, and a great way to incorporate local grain (corn — I know, not technically a grain) and mushrooms AND eggs! I’d be inclined to use those gorgeous duck eggs I’ve been seeing lately at the market… they’d be delicious!
Chicken Meatballs and Polenta – There are a number of different variations on this recipe; I like chicken instead of turkey, and kale makes a nice addition at the end to plate with the dish.
Cumin-Scented Black Rice and Quinoa – This recipe from Bon Appetit takes a little time to cook (the grains cook separately), but once made, it’s easy to reheat and enjoy through the week. You can add chunks of sweet potato, some greens and a little tahini dressing, and you’ve got a quick meal.
Is it gazpacho season yet? Are you drowning in tomatoes? If not yet, I’ll put this here for later. I generally make Mollie Katzen’s version, which is full of veg and herbs, but I’ve also posted the NY Times version above. Regardless of which recipe you use, make sure to let it rest in the fridge for a few hours before serving; the flavors take a little time to develop.
OK, so from what I can tell, Amy got this recipe from another friend, Laurel. So they both get credit. Yay for sharing recipes with friends and neighbors far and wide! Thanks to both for sharing.
Here’s the recipe I was telling you about in the last post (the one that makes nice people throw elbows to get to the snack table at a party).
Beet Walnut Dip
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes Ready In: 45 minutes
Ingredients 1 pound beets (4 smallish beets), scrubbed 1 cup walnuts 1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled 3 teaspoons sherry vinegar or lemon juice a few fresh herb leaves, such as marjoram or thyme (optional) 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or half as much table salt) 1/3 cup olive oil 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1. In a small pot of water, covered, over high heat, bring the beets to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer them until they’re tender, 20-45 minutes, depending on their size. I stick a tiny knife in and call them done when I feel no resistance. Drain the beets in a colander, run cold water over them, then relieve them of their stems and skins, which should slip right off now.
2. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts (a toaster oven is perfect for this) at 350ºF for five or so minutes until they smell toasty. Let them cool and, if you like, rub them in a dishtowel to remove more of their skins, which can be bitter. Or don’t bother if you don’t mind the flavor.
3. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, whir together the beets, walnuts, garlic, sherry vinegar, optional herbs, and salt, stopping to scraped down the side of the bowl every now and then, until the mixture looks like a coarse puree.
4. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, then whir in the yogurt.
5. Taste the mixture for salt and tang, adding more salt or vinegar as needed, then mound in a bowl and serve with crackers, veggies, or pita chips.
*Ingredient Tips The sherry vinegar gives the dip a hauntingly deep flavor — a perfect echo of the walnuts — but lemon juice is a good substitute; it makes a fresher-tasting and sharper dip. Brace yourself for how stunning this is.
Beets are a pretty contentious vegetable; people usually either love them or hate them. They are marvelously good for you, though, and I’d love to tempt some of the beet-skeptics into trying them. I have a plan…
I’m about to step away from the computer for the holiday weekend and my parents are coming to visit. This is incredibly good timing, because my mom is NUTS about beets. What luck! There will be beets at the market on Saturday. (One of my favorite things to do is to bring guests and family from out of town to the market on Saturdays. I am so darned proud of our market!) Mom is already excited about the fresh beets we’ll be adding to our dinner table this weekend.
So this quick post is to give you three levels of beet-commitment to consider. Here goes.
Level One: The Beet Lover
Profile: You love beets in any form. You’ll even eat them plain. (I am not one of these people.)
Preparing beets for these eaters is easy. My mom is one of these admirably unfussy people; once cooked, she simply peels and slices them and adds a pat or two of butter with a bit of salt and pepper. Directions:
Cut off the tops (save for another use) and wash the beets under cold water.
Place them in a large pot and cover with water; bring the water to a boil and simmer the beets until they are soft, to taste. My mom likes them very soft; some prefer their beets a little bit hard. Use a fork to test for the amount of softness that you prefer.
Drain and cool so that you are able to handle them; gently remove skin with your hands (like I said, make sure they are cool enough to handle).
Add a bit of butter, salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, warm, or cold (but Mom likes them hot).
Level Two: Your Beets Need Friends
Profile: Beets are a bit…strong for you, but are much more appealing with contrasting flavors and textures. Fruit, nuts, cheese (especially goat or feta), greens and (try this one!) sliced avocado are great options. The key is having a good dressing; I like to make sure that the dressing is either on the sweet side or the tangy side and a favorite one for me is citrus-based. This one would be great.
A beet salad is a great way to pair boiled or roasted beets with multiple, contrasting flavors. I adore beets with bitter or spicy greens like arugula, but any green will do, including lettuce or spinach. I also love beets with feta – a Greek salad at one of many Coney Islands (that’s a type of restaurant, by the way) in my hometown of Detroit is always served with beets.
Oranges are probably my favorite beet comrades; citrus complements that bossy beet flavor nicely. Many fruits are flexibly beet-adjacent. A quick internet search will give you lots of ideas. Here is a NY Times Food recipe (don’t forget that this app/site is free, just create an account) that combines a lot of these elements. In these kinds of salads, you can be creative with whatever you’ve got in the fridge, on the counter or in the pantry.
Level Three: Beet Boss
Profile: You’re going to show up at that party with a dip no one can resist and its going to be healthy too.
My friend Amy often brings a dip like this * with her to gatherings, which makes her already-surging popularity (really, she is the best) go through the roof. By that I mean to say that the dip goes quickly and that otherwise gentle people with longstanding friendships suddenly find themselves elbowing each other rather aggressively to get to the food table. Trust me: make this dip.
*I realized when I googled this recipe that there, not surprisingly, many variations on this type of dip, so I picked the one with the best looking web site! But I’ll see if I can track down the exact one she uses, because it’s awesome. Serve with those gourmet pretzel chips from the grocery store.
How’s that for some beet love? I dare you beet skeptics to try it. Tell me what you think.
Seasonal: More greens, more vegetable plants for your gardens! Arugula, Asparagus, Carrots, Chard, Collards, Kale, Mint, Potatoes, Radishes, Rhubarb, Spinach, Turnips, and more!
All Summer: Eggs, chicken, beef, oats, wheat, cornmeal, pork, cheese, honey, baked goods, lavender, mushrooms, popcorn, and much more. See the complete list of vendors at this year’s market for more information about produce and products.
Muesli! It requires no heat, no chopping, and no prep. As close to “cereal and milk” as you can get with whole foods. 4 parts flaked grain (oats, wheat, etc.), 1 part nuts or seeds, 1 part dried fruit. My favorite is a combo of flaked rye and oats, flax meal (lightly ground seeds) and raw pumpkin seeds, and dried apricots. I may have to switch to it soon, when the heat comes back!
Greens w/ cheese and fruit and crackers – boom, lunch! Last week, I went through a round of Prairie Fruits Farm’s Little Bloom on the Prairie at work with some of their homemade crackers, some local honey, milk and carrot sticks and apples.
But if you’re looking for something more, well, MORE, I’m very partial to The Kitchn at the moment for salad ideas.
Kale and Quinoa Salad – The Kitchn
This is a simple variation of the grain-kale salad. No having to choose your combo, just make it as is, and it’s a super tasty one. I’m not sure on local sources for the dates — I love the whole medjool dates that I know you can get at Fresh Market, but check Green Top and Common Ground! Pantry check: onion, quinoa, lacinato kale, dates, almonds, orange, lime, maple syrup
Golden Beet and Barley Salad – The Kitchn
No need to wait for golden beets, this is just as delicious with red! Another easy grain salad that you can make ahead and have waiting for packed lunches for at least a couple of days. Pantry check: beets (golden or red), barley, red onion, swiss chard, lemon juice, feta cheese
“Airplane Salad” (The Kitchn) – so easy, I’ll post the basics here. It’s not that different from the Oh She Glows mighty protein salad, or other grain/green salads; it’s simple and eminently packable, even if you’re traveling.
~ 3 c chopped kale
~ 1 c chopped carrots or chopped steamed broccoli
1/2 c chopped frozen blueberries or peaches
1/4 c cooked and cooled grain brown rice, wheat berries, or farro
1/4 c nuts (I like pecans), seeds (flax or sesame) and/or craisins
2 T. evoo
1 T lemon juice
salt and pepper
I don’t know about you, but when it’s as hot as it’s been recently, I don’t feel much like standing over a stove after work. Grilling, though? Maybe. So this week, I’ve gathered a handful of non-stove recipes that I like. Grill on!
Garlic-Mustard Glaze – Bobby Flay / Smitten Kitchen
Deb (of sk) uses this on skewered chicken, but it’s great on any meat!
Pantry check: Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, white wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, rosemary, paprika
Lemon-Parsley Bean Salad – Cookie and Kate
Quick and pantry-friendly this time of year — w/ the exception of the tomatoes! Just don’t bother, until you can find them locally. Pantry check: kidney beans, garbanzo beans, red onion, celery, tomato (not this time of year, but later!), cucumber, parsley, fresh dill or mint, lemon juice.
Split Whole Cumin Chicken – Food Network
Wondering what to do with a whole chicken from your chicken CSA? Here’s one option! Pantry check: 4-6# whole chicken, honey, cilantro, buttermilk, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, fennel seed
On the side: a quick carrot salad: Grate 2-3 carrots, add a bit of minced garlic, toss with evoo, lemon juice, salt and pepper, parsley, and a little cayenne if you like some heat.
Chicken Salad w/ Arugula, Lemon and Pine Nuts – Food and Wine
I haven’t made this one before, but I’m definitely going to this week! It’s too early for zucchini around here, so I’ll probably leave it out. There will be PLENTY of time for zucchini-friendly recipes later in the season!! Pantry check: currants (or raisins or craisins), cumin, lemon, zucchini, shallot, chicken breasts, pine nuts, arugula
Cowboy Caviar – Cookie and Kate
SO much better than dumping Italian dressing on beans, which I’ve done to great disappointment. Pantry check: black-eyed peas, black beans, corn (I suggest frozen), bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, red wine vinegar, oregano, basil, honey, red pepper flakes