Sunday, October 17th: Beautiful Broccoli, Stunning Sunchokes, Tantalizing Turnips, Sexy Squash, Dashing Daikon & Perky Pluots! (And Some Oysters, Too, But How Do I Make Them Seductive?!?)



Beautiful broccoli from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.


Broccoli is back at Alm Hill Gardens. And with the crisp, cool, fall nights we’ve been having lately, it is really reaching its peak of flavor. Indeed, this time of year is best for all sorts of crops that benefit from cold nights and sunny days to sweeten them up and deepen their flavors, so enjoy the bounty that is October, especially in a year in which so many crops were so late that many of them are still around, as well.


Red sunchokes from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.


And how about this for a clear sign that we are deep into fall: sunchokes, a.k.a., Jerusalem artichokes are back. Full Circle Farm just started harvesting both white and red sunchokes. This North American native crop is a member of the sunflower family. Roast them. Fry them. Mash them. Gratin them. Enjoy a bit of American culinary history!


Japanese wax turnips from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.


It is always a pleasure to listen to Oxbow Farm’s Luke Woodward wax poetic about his Japanese wax turnips. And who can blame him? They are one of life’s great vegetables. I can eat them like candy. I understand that there are actual recipes in which one can cook them, but I never get around to that. I either eat them on their own, raw, or I slice them into salads like radishes. They are sweet with a hint of spice. And the greens are great in sautés and salads, too.


Winter squash from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.


Winter squash is at its peak now, in all its colorful, sweet glory. Just look at these beauties from Colinwood Farms. With all these wonderful varieties, you’re sure to find one, if not all, to please your palate.


Some serious daikon radishes from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.


Woohoo! Daikon radishes from Nash’s! Get ’em while you can. Slaw them. Kimchi them. Just plain experiment with them. You know you love them when you go out for Japanese food. See what you can do with them at home. And if you have a great recipe for them you’d like to share, please post it to the comment field below and we’ll put it up in the recipe section of the blog.


Flavor Rich pluots from Tiny's Organic. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.


Sweet and juicy, you will love these Flavor Rich pluots from Tiny’s. They are truly the fall pluot, as they are good keepers, and they are a bit more plumy than other pluots. Enjoy!


Shucked oysters from Taylor Shellfish make it easy to add fresh, local oysters to any recipe. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.


Doesn’t a nice plate of pan-fried oysters or some hearty oyster stew sound pretty good right about now? Well, Oyster Bill of Taylor Shellfish makes it easy for you with these jars of shucked oysters. No frustrating shucking and intimidating shucking knives to deal with. Just grab the oysters right out of the jar and drop them into your stew or stuffing, or bread them and lay them into the fry pan. I don’t know about you, but I have just convinced myself to get a jar this week!

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check the What’s Fresh Now! listings in the upper right-hand corner of this page for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now!

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