Farmer's Market Recipes!

579
10
Joined May 6, 2001
Tomorrow is the opening day of our downtown farmer's market. I look forward to the great local produce that I'll have access to thru out the summer and early fall. I would love any recipes you all have to share, so that I can make the best of my ingredients. Keep in mind that these are products grown in Central/Southern Illinois. TIA. :D
 
221
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Joined Apr 24, 2001
I am very interested to know what grows in south central Illinois. I've never really seen or experienced much of the American heartland. Layovers in St. Louis and Cincinnatti don't count for much. It would be great if you can give us a quick season by season overview. Much obliged. :)
 
9,209
69
Joined Aug 29, 2000
In the Midwest, monpetitchoux, there is winter and road repair season. Oh, you mean growing seasons! In late spring you can harvest lettuce and herbs, if you aren't too far north. Where I am in southern Wisconsin, some people can take in such crops by early June. Mid-June is when strawberries are ripe. In summer the bounty really rolls in: tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squashes, peppers, eggplant, green onions, string beans, melons, raspberries... the list goes on. In late summer, sweet corn is king! In early fall, winter squash, onions and other root vegetables like parsnips and turnips come in. And those are traditional crops; I'm not sure what adventurous gardners are growing. If you drive through the countryside after a frost and some rain, you'll smell the farty odor of a harvested cabbage field. But my late September, frost starts to nip and in my area, the season is pretty much over. Exceptions are kale and other crops that are actually improved by frost. Those who live in central Illinois get several more weeks out of the season than those of use who live in the Great White North.
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Arugula,spinach, gooseberries, strawberries (now for us), japanese white turnips, french breakfast radishes, Easter radishes, lettuces, baby squash with blossoms attached, beets...babies with greens, green garlic, asparagus is finishing up, hmmmm, eggs, grains, sorghum, honey, pork, beef, chicken, lamb (mild straight hair sheep), napa type cabbage, braising greens, some swiss chard, some kale...that's what we had last week.
The cooking demo was from the Crossing, Cary McDowell made saute of ground lamb with tomatoes, oregano, onions, green garlic, calamatas topped with feta.
Would be good in pita shell with a tsziki... or cucumber yogurt sauce.
 
386
11
Joined May 11, 2001
Just came back from our little farmer's market. It's just in front of my office building! Not too many vendors today. Not sure if that's because it's the first day,it's raining, it's a weekday or all of the above. I got some great looking oyster mushrooms plus cucumbers and strawberries. So nice buying strawberries that taste like strawberries.. I couldn't resist and I ate some while walking back inside.
 
579
10
Joined May 6, 2001
I went to the Farmer's market shortly after it opened. Most of the people I saw were from the offices downtown. I purchased cucumbers, spinach(she gave me two pounds for the price of one), onions, asparagus, and the most glorious looking red potatoes. :D I hope the turnout is better as the weeks go by. I think Risa is correct, the weather and the fact that it's a weekday probably kept people away.
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
It's still early guys...a couple of weeks will bring in the volumes...If your market is not pulling in farmers, think of ways to make it advantagous for them to sell...the pork I bought at market this week was simply wonderful. My kids are wolfing through the lamb patties (hahahahaha) really....
 
221
11
Joined Apr 24, 2001
Mezzaluna, Hah! LOL. The seasons for me here are mudslide, drought, fire and rain. Currently, it's drought

But I am fortunate enough to live in an area with a lot of adventurous growers and abundant food. Sounds like we eat pretty much the same stuff, though. When the summer starts to rols in and produce is at their peak, I bearly cook much at all. I eat them as is if I can. Winter is when the cooking happens. I found out that I could save money on heating if I just stayed in the kitchen and cooked instead. Its a bigger bang for the buck that I have to dole out for gas.

But I will share a recipe for sauteed cucumbers. In my mother's home it was blasphemy to eat anything raw. Saute minced garlic in oil in hot pan. Add cucumbers that have been peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2" thick x 2" long batons. Season with a little salt. Sautee a few minutes until some juices begins to exude. add about 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cover and steam over medium high heat 2 minutes. Mix in some sliced green onions (green part only) until onions wilt. Readjust for salt if necessary. Serve and eat. It goes great with simple salmon dishes. Once I made this dish with fresh dill. It tasted very good, but remember a little dill goes a long way.

There is a common belief in my community that if you slice the nubby ends of the cucumber and rub the cut sides together until they foam, it prevents the cucumber from bitterness after cooking. Once in a while, I will come across some bitterness whether I do this or not. :D

Anyone got any good recipes for fresh fava beans? There in season here now.
 
579
10
Joined May 6, 2001
Shroom,
I agree, there were only about 5 vendors there. All produce. The weather here can be kind of iffy at times. Also this is the first market in a couple of years due to the lack of interest. The plaza in front of the old capitol building was recently revamped and the city is pushing to gain interest in this area. The local papers and news programs had coverage of the first day. I think with the warmer weather we will be seeing more farmers out there. Also, in the coming years the Lincoln Library will be finished and bring even more interest to the downtown area.
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Hurray! the most direct sale is the best way for a farmer to make $$$. OK guys...this week I made scapes (green garlic tops) for the first time, wonderful asparagus texture and sorta kinda taste....just sauteed in olive oil.

THE LIST THIS WEEK: cucumbers, lettuce mix, pac choy, black raspberries, baby turnips, beets, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, baby squash with blossoms, fennel, scallions, blueberries....that is from one farmer!!!
Now we have napa cabbage, radishes, bibb, tempeh, etc....
That is from St. Louis area farmers
 
579
10
Joined May 6, 2001
The weather should be even better this week for the market. I plan on being out there early tomorrow. I'm going to take my daughter along with me. She loves shopping for "vegables" :D
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Ok guys, chef Kirk Warner from King Louie's made green garlic top, mushroom and green lentil fritata....wonderful.
saute shallots, shrooms, green garlic add cooked green lentils and a bit of good basalmic add eggs, parmesan.....
serve with basalmic dressing adn baby salad greens.

Hmmm... Home Cooks from NYC are coming in Friday. What a treat for us St. Louisians! We love outsiders seeing our town.
 
7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
cchiu~ wow!!! thanks.

I was asked this weekend if we wanted to print a book with the recipes from the market......that will come but not now.

This week....black raspberries, squash with blossoms, baby fennel, mustard, kales, lettuce, carrots, onions, baby leeks, cilantro, garlic, shiitake, pom poms, bibb lettuce, gooseberries, green garlic tops, radishes, hmmmmmmm herbs, many potatoes....first of the fingerlings.
 
9,209
69
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Okay, so it's not so far north here- but tell that to my snow blower! ;) Monpetitchoux, I read your cucumber recipe with interest. I had a Malaysian roommate in college who taught me to saute cucumbers, too:

Peel a large cucumber, halve lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Slice into 1/4" thick half moons (mezzalunas :D ). Saute a little minced garlic in vegetable oil, and when it's soft, add the cucumber. Stir to coat with the oil and garlic, then cover and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with some sesame oil, a few dashes of light soy sauce, and mix well. Serve with toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top. It's great cold, too. Great way to use up some of those monster cucumbers that grow in your garden when you're not looking!
 

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