Martha+Tom

Midtown Farmers’ Market: Week 8—Growing Abundance

During a busy but fun weekend I didn’t have time to blog, but I did have time to get  to the Midtown Farmers’ Market:

The Bounty of the Midtown Farmers' Market in Mid-June

Obviously, this picture was taken at home rather than at the market, but my purchasing was comprehensive enough that I feel it’s a fair representation of what was to be had from the farms around Minneapolis on June 20. Starting at the bottom left and proceeding clockwise I got:

Strawberries. There were a few strawberries last week (which I stupidly didn’t buy immediately and so ultimately was denied their joy) but this week several farmers had quite a few quarts. We kept these out for a couple of days for snacking—fresh, in-season strawberries are really a whole different fruit from whatever gets shipped from California to the supermarket, and certainly one to be savored during their fleeting time. After these strawberries started to get a little too ripe we pureed the whole bunch and made the reddest sorbet ever.

New potatoes. I have seen the sundry potato here and there this year, but this weekend was the first time that there were a lot of tiny ones that I believe were actually recently grown. I love boiling small potatoes in salt water (jackets on!) and eating them dipped in aïoli, and that’s exactly what I did as soon as I got home.

Tiny zucchini with blossoms. The real selling point here was the flowers, which rapidly became fiori di zucca fritte. The squash themselves were cute but not all that flavorful; roasting seemed to help. Doesn’t it always?

Baby Beets. Although I bought beets in Michigan at least three weeks ago, this was the first time I saw them at the market in Minneapolis. I guess things get started a bit more slowly around here.

Kale. Last week’s kale went in a Tuscan bean stew so I bought it again this week to make the much-hyped kale chips. Since it was over 90°F out today I had no desire to fire up the oven, but hopefully reasonable temperatures will return soon so I can dispatch this kale.

Kohlrabi. I actually had no plans to buy kohlrabi, but when the person in line in front of me raved about last week’s not lasting a day in their house and proceeded to buy two bunches (six kohlrabi!) I had to try it. Upon returning home, I discovered that one can eats the little bulb part on the bottom (after peeling it). I also discovered, to my dismay after having just cleaned pounds of lettuce, kale and beet greens, you can use the kohlrabi greens as you would any other cooking green. So the salad spinner came out again. The kohlrabi bulb itself was really good; cutting into it it smelled just like broccoli, but its flavor was very mild and sweet. The greens are destined for a saag-like curry.

Daikon. While there are plenty of radishes everywhere, I only found one vendor with daikon, and they just had a couple of bunches. I actually approached thinking it was a strangely early parsnip or some kind of white carrot, but I was quickly disabused of that notion by another farmers’ market denizen who swooped in and grabbed the prime bunch. Not to be left behind, I took the other. I’ve been using this like I would use any radish: eating it raw and pickling it.

Onions. Small onions are all over, and I managed to snatch a few bigger ones.

Salad Greens. Leaves continue to be in their prime; it is a good time for salads in our house.

Sugar Snap Peas. I actually had my choice of sugar snap peas or english shell peas, but since I am both lazy and economically-minded, I went with the sugar snaps (no need to shell and you can eat the shell!). These are so sweet and tender that they make perfect crudités, and I think they’ll be good in a stir-fry.

Broccoli. I had read in the paper that broccoli was coming into season, so I was not surprised to see it. As far as I remember broccoli will be around for a while, but it’s always exciting to get the first crop of the season.

I’m definitely reaching the point where I worry about using up all of the produce in my fridge before it goes bad or I go to buy more. There are worse problems in life.

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One comment on “Midtown Farmers’ Market: Week 8—Growing Abundance”

  1. Martha 23 June, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Sliced kohlrabi? Basically what-you-might-call guiltless potato chips. Yum. This should clearly be more popular. Maybe it’s the name?

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