Hundreds of varieties of apples grown here in Washington. But for some reason, I always get a kick out of when these Hawaiian apples from Tiny’s Organic arrive each fall. I mean, it’s fall! Not exactly Hawaiian weather around here. All those old English and New York varieties make more sense to me. But hey, if we’ve learned anything in this state, it is: if it grows, someone will grow it. So give them a try. They are crisp, firm and sweet… a good eating apple! (And don’t forget to check our Wednesday post for even more info about today’s Market.)
Celery root and celery from Boistfort Valley Farm. Yes, they are different beasts, though they are closely related and similarly flavored. Celery root, also known as celeriac, is not actually just the root of common celery. It is actually bred specifically for its root. See, while celery is rather fibrous and crunchy raw, and holds up in cooking, celery root will get nice and soft, making it great for soups, purees, mashes and broths. And you’ll need plenty of both for your favorite fall recipes.
The Ozette potato is the closest thing to a native potato that we have here in Washington. See, potatoes originated in South America, and all but a handful travelled to Europe before being brought to North America by European settlers. But a few varieties travelled up the West Coast with the Spanish in the 1790s, during their brief attempt at colonization here, long before Lewis and Clark ever arrived. The Spanish established one outpost at Neah Bay amidst the Makah Nation in 1791, and it only took two Northwest winters for them to give up and sail back down to California in 1793. They left this potato behind. So eat a bit of Washington history. These Ozettes from Alvarez Organic Farms are great steamed and mashed with a good butter, but I like to toss them with some camelina oil from Ole World Oils, and hit them with a nice, course sea salt and maybe some thyme, and then roast them in a 425 degree oven until they are nice and crunchy on the outside. Nummers.
Tom tells me that really, this honey from Golden Harvest Bee Ranch is mostly fireweed honey, with just a hint of blackberry, despite the label. (See, honey bees do not simply follow orders and only pollinate one flower species at a time.) So, if you like a nice, big local wildflower honey, stop by for some of this stuff today!
Meet Clara Frijs pears from Booth Canyon Orchard in the Methow Valley. Danish in origins, they date back to the 1850s, and they are an excellent dessert pear. They will keep for up to a month, are not messy eaters, have a great texture, and they are delicious!
Nash’s Organic Produce is rocking the rainbow chard right now, and few things are as comforting on a crisp fall night than some wilted chard tossed with garlic. And just look at how gorgeous it is right now! Seriously, this epic year for weather and produce has, in the case of rainbow chard, manifested itself in the most spectacular leaf color I’ve ever seen on chard.
Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms return today to your Ballard Farmers Market. Now, it’s really fall, am I right? I kinda like roasting them in a hot oven with parsnips. Yeah, baby.
Another pleasant anomaly in this spectacular year that is 2014 is the reemergence of peas this fall. We saw Boistfort Valley Farm return with snow peas recently, and now Growing Things Farm has a new crop of English shelling peas. And sure, the pods may not be the prettiest. But the peas they hold inside are some of the best shelling peas I have ever tasted!
We finish this installment with a lovely collection of winter squash and pie pumpkins from Carnation’s Summer Run Farm. Did you know that you can eat the skins of many winter squashes? Delicata, for instance, has edible skin when oven roasted, or when you pan roast thin slices of it. No need to cut the skin off or scoop it out. And don’t forget to roast those seeds!
There is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.