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!







Springtime at the Market


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.


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.


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).


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!