Good Things at Ballard Farmers Market

April 17, 2015 by

Glendale Shepherd Farmstead on Whidbey Island

Happy Swanson family, including newborn lambs photo 2015

Happy Swanson family, including newborn lambs photo 2015

Finally we can see the babies!  Born in February, they are just now getting the chance to explore outside of their barn.  Aren’t they beautiful?  And their mommas are getting back into production.  Pick up a jar of some of the best tasting Sheep Yogurt that you’ve ever tasted, and handcrafted farmstead Sheep’s cheese this Sunday at Ballard Farmers Market.

Glendale Shepherd's baby lambs born January and February 2015

Glendale Shepherd’s baby lambs born January and February 2015

An Easy Recipe for the Newest Spring Vegetables at Ballard Farmers Market

EARLY MUSTARD GREENS, PEA SHOOTS, AND GARLIC STIR FRY WITH CAYENNE

Pick up a bunch or two of Green Garlic at Growing Washington

Growing Washington Farm has some of the first green garlic.Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Growing Washington Farm has some of the first green garlic.Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm has lovely, mild-flavored and tender mustard greens Copyright Zachary D. Lyons

One Leaf Farm has lovely, mild-flavored and tender mustard greens Copyright Zachary D. Lyons

One Leaf Farm Mustard Greens

2 Bunches Mustard Greens and a handful of Pea Shoots for each person.  Wash and spin dry (or wrap in a clean towel for 15 minutes), pile leaves on top of each other and slice lengthwise, 2-3 times.

1 to 2 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 to 1 tsp. Crumble a dried Cayenne Pepper or use ground powder  (depending on your taste) available at Stoney Plains Farm and at Alvarez Farms

1 Red or Yellow Onion, cubed coarsely from Lyall Farms or Colinwood Farm

3-5 Stalks of Green Garlic, washed, with ends cut, peeled, if needed, and chopped into 1/2 inch slices all the way up the stems available from Growing Washington

Salt to Taste

Heat oil to medium high (the oil will start to shimmer) in wok or frypan.  Add onion and a dash of salt and let sizzle for 3 minutes or until they start to show some brown.  Add chopped greens, pepper and the rest of the salt.  Stir every minute or so until greens are bright and shiny, 3-6 minutes.

Serve with rice.

You can also add tofu ( I like to marinate the firm-type while I’m starting rice and chopping things).  Then I add it to the pan with the onions.  Beans are another great idea, and really quick if opening a can.  Of course, you can add some type of meat, like savory sausage, or stir fry cuts.

Pea Shoots from Kirsop Farm

Pea Shoots from Kirsop Farm Copyright Zachary D Lyons

Pea Shoots from Kirsop Farm Copyright Zachary D Lyons

A really Good Idea:  

Store left over produce properly to use later

An Example:  If you buy leafy greens at Ballard Farmers Market, they will stay fresh in your fridge for 5-8 days, a couple of days more than if you go to a grocery store for your greens.  But we all know sometimes it doesn’t work out to get to them by that time, and they can start looking a little limp.  Easy Fix: soak them in a bowl of very cold water for about 30-45 minutes.  They’ll perk right up for you.  Spin them dry & they’ll keep another 3-5 days in a clean plastic bag in your veg drawer.

But if you don’t plan to cook the 2nd half of the bunch of greens after a week, store the remaining bunch in your freezer.  It won’t take but a few minutes.  1) Wash and Cut off the largest part of the stems.  2) Blanch by plunging them into boiling water for 1-2 minutes.  3) Fill large bowl with cold water while leaves blanch.  4)  Use tongs, and remove leaves from boiling water & plunge them quickly into the bowl of cold water.  5)  Spin or pat with a towel  to remove excess moisture. 6) Place in airtight containers or freezer bags and freeze immediately. They will keep for 10-12 months.

Wonderful cookies from Pinckney Cookie Cafe

This is a great success story for one of our newer, local food businesses, Michael Pinckney, Owner.

Pinckney Cookie Café is a Seattle area gourmet cookie company with a delightfully unexpected offer…  cookies that are as moist, chewy, flavorful and as delicious as any that you can bake at home!  Containing top quality, dark Belgian chocolate (Callebaut), and many ingredients from local suppliers, you’ll find Wheat, Wheat-Free and Vegan & Wheat-Free choices in many different flavors.  And as if that isn’t good enough, you can find Frozen Cookie Dough (wheat only) in scoops that can go right into your preheated oven!

A measure of the quality and popularity of Pinckney Cookie Cafe products is that his cookies are now available at the Espresso Stands in Safeco Field.  So you can get a delicious cookie even when you’re watching a game.

Stop and talk to Michael to ask what he has for his Cookie of the Day.

Returning Farms, Great Albacore, Devine Tonics and Wine

April 10, 2015 by

 Alvarez Organic Farms Returns

Organic Asparagus at Ballard Farmers Market

Don Hilario Alvarez holding hot chile peppers at Alvarez Organic Farms last Summer. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Don Hilario Alvarez holding hot chile peppers at Alvarez Organic Farms last Summer. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

They’re Back!

The Alvarez Organic Farm crew will be at Ballard Farmers Market this Sunday with their asparagus, dried peppers, red onions, beans, and shallots.

F/V St. Jude at

Ballard Farmers Market April 12

F/V St Jude's Amazing Albacore

F/V St Jude’s Amazing Albacore

Joe and Joyce Malley, the owners of Fishing Vessel St. Jude are dedicated to bringing you the right albacore. And right is

  • low in mercury,
  • high in omega 3 oils, and
  • caught in a sustainable manner.

They base their business on troll caught albacore and constantly test their catch to assure the product they bring to you is the healthiest and best ecological choice for the finest you can eat.

This albacore tuna, whether flash frozen, smoked, or canned has received the stamps of approval by Seafood Watch, Dolphin Safe and New Pacific Albacore.

Market Master’s Recipe- for a Simple Dinner

Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Copyright by Zachary D, Lyons.

Organic asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms. Copyright by Zachary D, Lyons.

Roasted Tuna, Asparagus & Morel

1 large bunch of asparagus,washed and trimmed

2 ounces morel mushrooms, sliced in bite-sized pieces

1 small red onion, sliced

1 can of F/V St. Jude albacore, seasoned or use Natural in Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil,   ¾ tsp Salt, and pepper to taste

Now for preparation:  Set Oven to 425 degrees.  Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Use 2 if you need it.  In a large bowl, toss all ingredients until vegetables are coated with oil. Add EVOO if needed. Spread evenly on baking sheet and roast 20 to 25 minutes stirring once until vegetables are slightly charred and tender.  NOTE:  If you want a dinner fit for a grand banquet, use one of the albacore filets or steaks that Joyce brings frozen from the F/V St. Jude latest catch, instead of their canned products .  It thaws in a very short time, slices into 1/2 inch pieces easily, and should not be cooked very long.  So wait until after you stir the veggies then add the slices to the pan & sear until just before they turn from pink to white.  Serve with soy sauce and wasabi on the table, or not, as you please.

Servings are less than 150 calories per serving and HUGE in taste.

A dessert designed by Linda Harkness, the Firefly Kitchen manager, would be absolutely perfect for the end of a lovely albacore, asparagus and morel dinner.  Carrot Bars with Carrot Cream Frosting.

 Now for the Wines

Paul Beverage of Wilridge Winery.  The only winery in the City of Seattle.

Paul Beverage of Wilridge Winery. The only winery in the City of Seattle.

A Pioneer in Washington’s Wine Industry

Paul Beveridge, and his wife, Lysle Wilhelmi, are the owners of Wilridge Winery. (Yes, that is his name). They also own their own vineyard on Naches Heights, near Yakima, where the vines are tended organically and biodynamically.

Paul and Lysle opened a European-style bistro in the early 1990’s, in a house on 34th Ave, in the Madrona district. The restaurant was on the 2nd floor and their winery was in the cellar. It was the city of Seattle’s 1st winery. After the restaurant was closed because of laws that were established to prohibit ‘bathtub’ gin being sold in a retail outlet, including restaurants, the couple decided to close the Bistro. Paul and Lysle were pioneers again by working to get that law changed, with help from the Washington Wine Institute.

Paul also contributed significant time and efforts that led to the legislation that allows wine and beer from Washington producers to be sold at farmers markets.

And, if that isn’t enough pioneering, they have also been among the first wineries, let along retailers, to offer their fine wines in refillable bottles.

Stop by to talk to their representative, and have a taste to decide what vintage or blend you want.  You will be proud to be supporting ethically and sustainably grown fine wines from Washington State

Firefly Kitchens

Devine Tonics from Firefly Kitchens. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Devine Tonics from Firefly Kitchens. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Located in Ballard, Julie O’Brien is brewing up fermented produce, much of which is sourced directly from our local farms, and is available right here at the Ballard Farmers Market.

During this work, they develop a tonic they call Divine Brine. Bring your own jar and she’ll fill it up for you with some of this healthy probiotic tonic. This is not only a super-healthy food for your digestive system, it is a culinary treat for your whole body.

A winner of America’s Good Food Award for each of the past 4 years, stop by Firefly Kitchens to taste. They also encourage you to bring your own jar for a fill-up of their Devine Brine.

Firefly Kitchens owners Julie & Richard

Firefly Kitchens owners Julie & Richard

And try the recipe for Carrot Cake with Carrot Cream Icing (link is above).

Don’t Forget the Sweet Delights and Beverages

April 5, 2015 by

This weekend is famous for the Extreme Sport of Easter Egg Hunting.  It’s a good idea to have something on hand that will replenish energy and lift your spirits before the day is over.

Ballard Farmers Market has what you need.

Jonboy Caramels – A Perfect Sweet Treat 

But be careful, you can’t stop at just one.

Jonboy Caramels.  A taste of bliss.

Jonboy Caramels. A taste of bliss.

*****

We can’t forget the Pies.

Deborah, and her pies at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Deborah, and her pies at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Ask Deborah about the marathons she runs every year.

These pies have local farm-sourced ingredients and the best Crusts.

*****

Pete’s Perfect Toffee

The Pete behind Pete's Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The Pete behind Pete’s Perfect Toffee. Photo copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Share these toffee bark pieces with your loved ones. They will delight everyone.  All who savor this treat will smile as they whisper   “Yum” repeatedly. Or, you may want to take home a package of his signature “Perfect” toffee. A treasured heirloom recipe passed down by Pete’s grandmother, it can turn into a favorite for your family too. Pete will sample whatever you’d like to try.  When you taste Pete’s fudge, you’ll want to share it. And tell Pete a joke.  He loves them.

Pure bliss in a square called bark.  Pete's Perfect Toffee at Ballard Farmers Market.

Pure bliss in a square called bark. Pete’s Perfect Toffee at Ballard Farmers Market.

*****

Nuflours Gluten-free Bakery

Heavenly Brownies from Nuflours Bakery.

Heavenly Brownies from Nuflours Bakery at the Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nuflours Bakery is 100% gluten free.  They have creamy macaroons, cupcakes, lemon bars, multi-grain bread, rolls, and much more.  All of it moist & delicious.

 *****

Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm is Back

Stop at Valerie’s canopy to pick up a package or two of these wonderful berries.  Frozen fresh from last season, they are perfect little snacks for kids of all ages, and make nutrition fun.

Frozen blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Farm. copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Frozen blueberries from Whitehorse Meadows Farm. copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

*****

Truffles from Soulever Chocolates. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Truffles from Soulever Chocolates. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Handcrafted Vegan Truffles by Soulever Chocolates

*****

Remember the Liquid Refreshments

Soda Jerk Sodas 

Soda Jerk Sodas-Maker of handcrafteed sodas and mixed jellies

Soda Jerk Sodas-Maker of handcrafteed sodas and mixed jellies. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sodas are available in Growlers.  Cory makes pure Syrups and Fine Jellies too.  You can use these Syrups to create your own signature drinks.  Fun.  Delicious..

*****

Communi-Tea Kombucha

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Refreshing and nutritional.

 *****

Local Foods Provide the Best Choices for Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Desserts or Midnight Snacks

April 4, 2015 by

 SeaBreeze Farm has Spring Leg of Lamb and Beef Porterhouse and Rib Eye Steaks, Aged for 60 Days

Leg of Spring Lamb at Sea Breeze Farm

Leg of Spring Lamb at Sea Breeze Farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Lamb, is an iconic symbol of the arrival of Spring.  Olsen Farm and Stokesberry Sustainable Farm also offer choices in lamb cuts so you will be able to find what you want at Ballard Farmers Market.

Tall Grass Bakery has Special Breads and Goodies for Easter

Look for Hot Cross Buns, Kugelhopf and Challa loaves to love.

Easter kugelhopf from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Easter kugelhopf from Tall Grass Bakery. Copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

 Gluten Free Pastry also Available

We are proud to say that this bakery started first with Ballard Farmers Market.  Their fine products offer an important option for fabulous tasting pastries and breads that are just plain delicious.

Nuflours is a 100% gluten-free bakery.   We are proud to say Nuflours started out at Ballard Farmers Market.

Nuflours is a 100% gluten-free bakery.

Spring Recipe Suggestion:

Potato & Asparagus Salad for Easter Brunch

First of the year asparagus from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

First of the year asparagus at Lyall Farms. copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Olsen Farms Spud Nuts Mother Nature's Easter Eggs  copyright Zachary D. Lyons

Olsen Farms Spud Nuts Mother Nature’s Easter Eggs copyright Zachary D. Lyons

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch Asparagus, tough ends snapped off, spears cut in 1½ in. lengths
  • 1½# Fingerling or Colorful Spud Nuts Potatoes (if any are significantly larger than the other, cut them in half)
  • 1 Shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ c. Italian Parsley Leaves
  • For the Olive Vinaigrette:
  • ¼ c. minced Kalamata Olives
  • 3 Anchovy Fillets, minced into a fine paste (or substitute a squirt of anchovy paste)
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath in a medium bowl.
  2. Drop the asparagus into the boiling and cook until it becomes bright green and is crisp-tender, 1-2 minutes, depending on the thickness of your spears. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge into the ice water bath to stop the cooking. When the asparagus has thoroughly cooled, drain, and pat dry with a towel.
  3. Add the potatoes to the boiling water and boil until tender when poked with a knife, 10-15 minutes (again this will vary with the size of your potatoes). Drain.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together the all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette to make a thick, chunky purply-black dressing. Season with freshly ground black pepper (between the olives and the anchovies, there should already be plenty of salt).
  5. Put the warm potatoes in a large bowl and toss with half of the olive vinaigrette. Add the asparagus and sliced shallot and toss with the remaining vinaigrette. Finally, add the parsley leaves and gently toss, once more. The salad is best served immediately while the potatoes are still a little warm. If you prepare it ahead, be sure to let it come to room temperature before serving.

Want to try something a little different?   You could add a truly unique twist to the Asparagus and Potato Salad, by adding some blanched Ladyfern Fiddleheads to the above ingredients.   Right now is the only time you’ll be able to share this northwest treasure with your family & friends, and they are delectable.

Preparation:  Lightly rinse a cup of fiddleheads while you bring a pan of lightly salted water to a boil.  Toss in the rinsed heads to the boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute.  When they are bright green, using a slotted spoon, pull out of boiling water and put into a bowl of cold water, to stop the cooking process-you want them to maintain their crispness as well as their beautiful color.  Then add to the potatoes along with the other ingredients mentioned in step 5 in the recipe above.

Lady Fern Fiddleheads from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ladyfern Fiddleheads from Foraged & Found Edibles. copyright by Zachary D. Lyons.

Foraged & Found Edibles brings the first Ladyfern fiddleheads to your Ballard Farmers Market, an unofficial, but formal announcement that Spring is Here. Together with Stoney Plains Farm (see below for last weeks post  titled: “It’s Spring Tonic Time) you can quickly mix up another beautiful and unique Pacific Northwest salad: wash & cut Fiddleheads, Wood Sorrel or Garden Sorrel, Stinging Nettles, and Miners Lettuce into mouth-sized pieces.  Dress with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a splash of white wine or light Japanese vinegar, and a dash of salt.  That’s it.

The King Salmon are Here

Whole king and coho salmon from Wilson Fish. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole king salmon from Wilson Fish. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The run has just opened, and Wilson Fish caught some fresh, wild-caught King.

Thank you all for your patience during the past few weeks as substitutes have stepped in to keep you informed of the changes that are going on at Ballard Farmers Market each week.  Seattle Farmers Market Association is excited to let you know that we expect to have a new addition to our staff, taking over the blog postings.  Keep an eye out for that announcement.


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