Thursday, August 22, 2013

Three Bean salad

This is a modification of a recipe from the “Favorite Recipes of California Winemakers”. The salad is simply equal amounts of three beans, together with onions and peppers. The veggies are marinaded in a herb flavored vinaigrette dressing. It is very simple to make and enjoy.

1 qt (as purchased) fresh green beans.
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans or about 2 cups of cooked dried garbanzo beans
1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans or about 2 cups of cooked dry beans
1 large red onion, quartered and sliced
red, yellow, green, poblano, jalapeno, or other peppers, to taste

Tip and cut the green beans into 1 inch segments. Steam or blanch them for about 3 minutes or to the degree of tenderness you prefer. This will yield about 2 cups of cut green beans.

Drain the red kidney beans and the garbanzo beans. Seed and dice the peppers. I like poblanos, but you should select the pepper, or combination of peppers for your preferred taste. Combine all vegetables in a large bowl.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup red wine
¼ cup sugar, more if you like a sweeter dressing
¼ teaspoon dried basil or mixed herbs (use 1 tsp to 1 tbsp if the herbs are fresh)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Combine the marinade ingredients, whisk and pour over the veggies. The bean salad improves as it marinates in the refrigerator for a few days.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Vendor at the Market

There is a new vendor at the Market selling Asian and traditional vegetables.

This is the type of vendor that the Market needs for the future. A true grower that brings a product that is a bit different. I have purchased several items from them and have been happy with all. I encourage you to visit their stall and experiment with a few different vegetables.

I will post what I have purchased and how I prepared it in future posts. Until then, just ask them. They have more experience preparing Asian veggies than I do.

Monday, July 8, 2013

New Potatoes at the Market

The new potatoes for this season have appeared at the Market. I really like these in potato salad.

Here is a link to a good recipe for potato salad and some theory behind the recipe. The only change I made was substituting new red potatoes, unpeeled, for the recommended peeled russet potatoes. I also think substituting a small amount of pickled jalapeno peppers for some of the cornichons would be interesting.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

More Strawberries

Here is an image of a strawberry tart made with eggs and strawberries from the Market.  All other components, flour, butter etc are available in the Market area at Sparrow's Market or the Peoples Food Co-op.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Strawberries are now at the Market.  They just appeared and the supply is limited but more will appear in the next few weeks.

These were from DeVulder's farms.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Early Summer at the Market

It is early summer at the Market.  Dwight Carpenter (Carpenter Organic Produce) brought the first tomatoes from his greenhouse today.

Sparrow Meat Market in Kerrytown had ground bison, elk and boar.   This meat mixture, together with the fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and onions from the Market will make fantastic introduction to the 2013 grilled burger season. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

April 27, 2013

It has been a long winter and a late spring, but the season has finally changed.  

Dwight carpenter was at the market with a great lettuce display (shown)

Shannon Brines had arugula and other greens.  In general,  I like lettuce better than arugula, but  some arugula mixed with the milder greens makes a very nice  salad.  With a simple vinaigrette dressing it is my favorite salad.

Other vendors had spinach, kale and other greens.

Many bedding plants, both flowers and vegetables are now at the market.  (shown)

Early produce is also available. I purchased green onions and radishes.

Donahee and Sons also still had a few onions from last season.

Dave Barkman was there with his roses.  (shown)

Many other many other plant and flower vendors are now at the market.  Dennis Sparr always has a great display in season.

The Wednesday market starts next week. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Spring Pizza

Here is a pizza you can do entirely, except the crust, from the Market this Saturday.  It is a pizza blanco; that is, a pizza without tomato sauce.  

Make a pizza crust using your favorite recipe.  I like to pre-bake the crusts 5 to 10  minutes and then freeze them for future use.  That way I can make a batch of small diameter crusts at one time.

This pizza started with frying some slices of sausage.  The sausages were from Sparrow Market in Kerrytown, but there are meat vendors at the market.  Bacon could also be used.  Ernst Farms, a vendor at the Market, has very good bacon. 

There are now several different greens available at the Market; spinach, kale, Swiss chard and probably others.   Since it will be cooked I think one of the sturdier greens is the best choice.  I used Swiss Chard from Our Family Farm.  I washed the Swiss chard, removed the center rib and then cut it into 1 to 2 inch pieces.   I deglazed the pan I used to cook the meat with some wine and tossed the greens with the wine and the oil from the meat.

I lightly brushed the crust with olive oil and then spread a thin layer of the greens on the crust.  I also made a thicker layer in a pattern for presentation.  Next, put I a layer of cheese over the greens except where you wanted the greens to show.  The cheese was queso blanco from Sparrow Market but I think one cheese vendor was back at the Market last Saturday.  

I added the sausage as a topping over the cheese but you could use another topping of your choice.  If you want a vegetarian pizza consider sliced olives or pickled jalapenos.  Finally, bake the pizza in a hot, pre-heated, oven for about 10 minutes until the cheese melts.

I garnished with a bit of rosemary from my window sill, but oregano or basil from the Market would have been even better. Serve with some ground chile flakes from the Peoples Food Co-op for those that like a spicy pizza.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Early Spring at the MArket

Early Spring produce is now at the market. Carpenter Organic Produce has fresh lettuce. Several venders have fresh local spinach. This is so good compared to what you are likely to get at a supermarket. Asparagus will soon be there.

Farmer John has some broccoli  making a return in his hoop house.   Again I find this much better than supermarket broccoli that  has been in transit or storage for a week or more.

Dennis Sparr and several other flower vendors are now bringing their spring flowers.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

First Michigan Flowers

Pussy Willows, the earliest native outdoor Michigan flower are at the MarketThese are from Wasem Orchards.  Platt Road Greenhouses also brought daffodils from their greenhouse last Saturday.

There is also an increase in the fresh greens.  The asparagus will soon be there.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Happy Ground Hog's Day

I think Ground Hog's day is an under rated holiday.   This is really the beginning of Spring.  The days are noticeably longer.  The nights may still be cold but there is almost always melting during the day.  In Michigan I would question the meteorological credentials of any ground hog that did not predict six more weeks of winter, but that is still an end to winter.

A slow steady spring is best for maple syrup.  While we are waiting for the flowers visit Snow's Sugar Bush at the Market for Maple syrup and maple sugar.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Coleman Jewett

On a sad note, a long time market vendor Coleman Jewett died last week. He was best known for his Adirondack style chairs which he sold from a booth near the entrance to the Kerrytown shops.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

January 19, 2013

You know it has been a mild winter when Dennis Sparr is at the Market with flowers in mid-January.   This is my usual post to announce Spring has arrived.

In this mild winter the hoop houses have performed very well.  Multiple vendors had cold hardy leafy green vegetables, like the kale of the previous post for sale.  Tantre farms had a very nice display of root veggies and squash.  Garden Works was there with many sprouts.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kale, Carrot, and Mushroom Soup

It is winter again.  I was feeling like some hot soup for lunch or dinner.  The vegetables that caught my attention at the Market were kale and carrots.  I decided to do a simple vegetable soup.

First let's consider a basic clear broth soup.  It just requires a liquid base and some solids.  Here is a ratio that I like for vegetable soups; 1 quart liquid, 2 to 4 cups assorted veggies. The liquid can be chicken broth, vegetable broth, or other base. Noodles or tofu can be substituted for some or all of the vegetables. 

In this particular soup I chose the kale and carrots because both are available at the Market, I like both, and the color contrast makes for a very nice presentation.  The approximate recipe for this particular batch was:
1 qt liquid stock
1 cup carrots cut into 1/4 inch slices (available at the market)
1 cup mushrooms, sliced (seasonally available at the Market)
1 cup kale, chopped and with the center stem removed (from Our Family Farm)
It is basically equal liquids and solids allowing for some boil off of the liquid.  The preparation is to heat the liquid to boiling, reduce to simmering and add the vegetables. Add the ones with the longest cooking times first and then the others.  Carrots take about 5 minutes, so I added them first, I added the mushrooms after about 3 minutes and then added the kale last and just left it long enough to turn a bright green.

For the soup in the picture, I used green tea, ginger and miso for the liquid.  I added the miso and a pinch of crushed dried chilies just before serving.   Those familiar with Japanese cooking will recognize the miso as a common Japanese soup base somewhat similar to bouillon cubes in western cooking.   For those that are not familiar with miso I will do a post on it soon.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Glazed Carrots and Parsnips

The Saturday Market is active in winter but there are fewer vendors.  Also the produce does not change as much since it is things that store well or are grown in greenhouses or hoop houses.  So rather than the usual photographs and comments on new items coming into season I am going to do a few posts on the preparation of items from the Market and the nearby shops.

In this series I am going to present the reasons for doing something in addition to the process of preparing the item.  Hopefully this will be helpful to others in deciding to prepare Market items.  For the first in this series let's discuss the glazed carrots and parsnips that I prepared for our Christmas dinner.

I selected the carrots and parsnips because I wanted vegetables from the Market for a traditional family dinner.  I wanted a dish that my parents or grandparents might have served.  Carrots and parsnips store well, even in a simple root cellar.  The dish had to be prepared on the stove top since the oven would be in use, first for the roast beef and then for the Yorkshire pudding.  Here is a vegetable dish and a method of preparation that meets those conditions.

First steam the carrots and parsnips.  I steamed the carrots for only about 4 minutes and the parsnips for about 2 min.  I chose to possibly error on the undercooked side because I prefer veggies that are still a little hard to those cooked to mush.  The steaming step is not required but serves several purposes.   It allows refrigeration of the vegetables after peeling and cutting without concern they might change color.  I did it the day before so that there was one less thing to do on the day of the dinner. Also, since carrots take longer to cook than parsnips it allows the final step of glazing two vegetables simultaneously that have different cooking times.  

So how do you do the final glazing?  You need some butter or oil, some form of sugar and a bit of acid for a sweet/sour balance.  Here is the approximate ratios I used:
2 cups carrots, sliced into small sticks
2 cups parsnips sliced into small sticks
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons honey (from the Market)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Just heat the butter, honey and lemon juice in a pan until hot.  Add the steamed carrots and parsnips and cook over medium heat with stiring until the sugar in the honey begins to caramelize, about 10 minutes.  Note the color change in the pan and on the parsnips in the photo.