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Farmer’s Market

I don’t usually like grape juice. But this weekend while at the Farmer’s Market, one of my daughter’s classmates was handing out grape juice samples. She was working so hard (she is in 5th grade) and helping her grandparents, how could I not buy a $5 jar of fresh Galena Grape Juice?

When I arrived home, I poured some over ice and took a sip. Delicious….so much so, that I can NOT WAIT to get more this weekend at the market.

My suggestion to you…run, don’t walk, to your local farmer’s market or local vineyard and see if you can get some fresh grape juice of your own!

And, now that I have a new passion (I don’t use the term “nectar of the gods” often), here are a few things I may try this weekend with grapes:

1) Sausages with Grape Sauce, which is a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks “Intercourses, An Aphrodisiac Cookbook”. I highly recommend this cookbook….and NOT for THAT reason, hee,hee…though THAT is a good reason, of course. Every recipe I’ve made from the cookbook turns out great and is relatively simple. Here is a similar recipe I found online at Lidia’s Italy.

2) Click here to learn how to make your own homemade grape juice (sounds a little messy, but could be fun)

3) And, I did an online search for “Galena Grape Cocktail” and read about one that had only two ingredients: Galena Grape Juice and Vodka!

Cheers!

Our first Sunday Supper was fantastic! Nine families, 30 friends ranging in age from six to 70, and glorious early-summer weather. The pictures and menu tell it all.

Big thanks to our friend Robin, owner of B&B Photography, for taking the awesome pictures!

Farmer’s Market Sunday Supper Menu

Appetizers (clockwise from top): baskets of sliced bread, warm chevre, radishes, olives, warm chevre, frittata, tapenade

Wedge of Petite Basque cheese and red wine

Spring salad, leek and beet green frittata, and sliced beef roast with morel-sherry cream sauce

Cranberry-stuffed olives with orange zest

The hostesses serving dinner

Linguine with pesto

Take one of each: cupcakes of dark cocoa or lemon with candied lemon peel

Fragrant peonies

Before shopping we warmed up with a free yoga class at Capitol Park, which is two blocks from the downtown Boise farmer's market. Thank you Lululemon!

Pretty cool concept -- fresh lettuce sold by the handful for any size donation. We bought enough for three large salads.

Radishes for a simple appetizer, and leeks (not shown) for the frittata.

Our favorite vendor for beets and asparagus. Except, we lost the asparagus in Susan's car, so we replaced it with steamed beet greens in the frittata.

Two baguettes, please, for the warm goat cheese appetizer.

Fragrant tabletop accents.

W e need a thick wedge of Petite Basque aged sheep's milk cheese to shave over a simple green salad with roasted beets and a shallot vinaigrette.

Handmade chevre for the warm goat cheese spread.

Green olives hand-stuffed with cranberries and marinated in orange zest. A delightful surprise for the tastebuds!

Tri tip roasts from cows fed on homegrown sunflowers, fresh wheat and corn.

This is where we bought sirloin roasts for the main course and free range eggs for the frittata.

Fetching fresh feta for the frittata.

I knew there was something stranger looking than Kohlrabi–Fiddlehead Ferns! According to Wikipedia, fiddlehead ferns are the furled fronds of a young fern and are harvested for use as a vegetable. Left on the plant, each fiddlehead would unroll into a new frond (a leaf).

Check out the article where I found this image. Good info on Fiddleheads, and a nice blog.

And, according to the farmer at the Farmer’s Market, they can only be picked for 2 weeks….a short season, and not easy work.

I woke up at 2am thinking about this post and what I would do with my fiddlehead ferns:

Option 1: Heat a little butter and garlic in a pan, then sauté the fiddleheads for 30-45 seconds. This was a suggested preparation from the folks at the Farmer’s Market.

Option 2: Do something fancier, à la Emeril Lagasse: Fiddlehead Ferns and Angel Hair Pasta

Option 3: Since it’s now 3am, decide that something as crazy sounding as a fiddlehead fern deserves its own tongue twister

Fiona forages for flavorful forest fiddlehead ferns

Fiona forages for flavorful forest fiddlehead ferns

Fiona forages for flavorful forest fiddlehead ferns

Luckily,  I really liked option 3 because this evening, when I went to experiment with my fiddleheads, they were shoved to the back of my refrigerator and had iced over.

On the bright side, I went to my garden and was able to harvest an entire salad bowl of fresh greens. My first success of the gardening season!

First salad!

And, I’m hoping the fiddlehead ferns are still around this coming Saturday at the Farmer’s Market…I’m dying to try them WHILE reciting my Fiona forages for fiddlehead ferns tongue twister.

First planted

 

Salad Garden June 7

The Farmer’s Market usually inspires me to try new recipes or spend a little extra time in the kitchen. But some nights, I need a meal that is fast, easy, healthy and inexpensive. It’s nice to know that I can find the ingredients for those types of meals at the Farmer’s Market.

I added 2 Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon fillets (from Costco’s 3lb bag) and one lemon to my “market basket” and ended up with all the ingredients needed for a quick meal. The meal took 35 minutes to prepare, cost $4.25 per serving  for 4 nice size dinner portions, and resulted in very few dirty dishes. Now that’s a perfect quick meal.

Weeknight Pasta

2 Salmon fillets

1 lemon

1 lb fresh pasta

4 large handfuls spinach

8oz delicious sauce

+ salt, pepper, and olive oil

1) Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a few spinach leaves on a large piece of aluminum foil, then top with salmon fillets in a single layer. Generously season with salt and pepper, add thin slices of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil . Fully enclose salmon in foil and bake 18-20 minutes in oven, until cooked through. This technique  is “en papillote”. To read more about en papillotte, and to get really hungry, read this article from the NY Times. The nice thing about en papillote is that it keeps the fish moist and flavorful AND there is no messy pan. What more could a busy gal want?

2) Heat pasta  water to a boil

3) Cut the spinach in to long shreds

4) When the salmon is just out of the oven, add the pasta to the boiling water. Fresh pasta cooks in 2-3 minutes. 

5) Drain pasta and immediately return to the pot. Add sauce and spinach. The sauce and spinach will warm and wilt slightly from the heat of the pasta.

6) Divide pasta in to 4 bowls, flake salmon on top. Serve.

  • Kohlrabi (copyright tatiana.mirlin/dreamstime.com)

So, I bought a Kohlrabi …simply because it looked weird.

When I asked what to do with this strange-looking vegetable, the woman next to me said she slices it and adds it to salads; the farmer behind the table tells me it tastes great in slaw; some claim it tastes like brocoli stalks, others say a potato or an artichoke.

Now I’m intrigued.

I experiment with my kohlrabi bulb on Sunday, a rainy and windy day. And although the salad and slaw options were interesting, I was jonesing for something warm and comforting. A quick online recipe search surfaced the ideal rainy day recipe.

Baked Kohlrabi with Parmesan

Modified from Allrecipes.com Roasted Kohlrabi

Ingredients:

1 Kohlrabi bulb

2 tsp olive oil

salt and pepper

Handful of shredded parmesan (good quality)

  • Peel the bulb (apparently the greens are also edible..mine didn’t come with greens)
  • Slice bulb in 1/4″ thick slices
  • Mix the olive oil, salt and pepper in a small oven-proof dish; add the kohlrabi slices and toss
  • Bake in a 400 degree oven for apx. 25 minutes
  • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, bake 5 minutes

Serves 2 as a side dish

So, what did we think? Delicious…nice change of pace, tasted like brocoli stems with a slightly different texture.

If you are looking for a new vegetable to add to your basket, Kohlrabi is certainly worth a try (and, it’s high in Vitamin C and dietary fiber, and low in calories!)