Posts Tagged ‘cabbage raab’

Sunday, March 30th: Chards Returns, Holiday Hams, Lots of Raab, More Flowers & Plants For Your Garden!

March 29, 2014
Baby chard from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Baby chard from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring rolls on, good people of Ballard, even if those showers are a bit torrential at times. Still, the days are longer, the temps are warmer, and the farm tables are greener. Case in point: this lovely baby chard from Colinwood Farm. It has been at least two months since we’ve seen chard grace any of the tables here are your Ballard Farmers Market, so let us rejoice in these sweet, tender jewels of a new season!

Smoked hams for Easter from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked hams for Easter from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s time to order those holiday hams from Skagit River Ranch. Yes, the calendar continues to move along at its steady pace, regardless of when our heads think it is. And that means Easter is upon us in just a few short weeks. Why not celebrate this year with one of these fabulous local hams from happy pigs raised by good people you have actually met?

Cabbage raab from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cabbage raab from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raab is in the house! Yes, friends. It is that wonderful time of year when over-wintered brassicas, like cabbagekalecollards and mustards, begin to bolt for the heavens, bloom and pollinate in that perpetual spring explosion of fertility and rebirth. And when they bolt, their tender, green shoots are so tender and sweet. They are an exception treat we only get to enjoy for a few short weeks every spring. After missing greens for so long this winter, how glorious is it that we should end that drought with such deliciousness! Don’t miss out. Grab your raab all over the Market today from farms like Nash’s Organic Produce!

Mt. Fuji apples from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mt. Fuji apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And even as spring surges ever forward, we can still enjoy some vestiges of fall in the form of these Mt. Fuji apples from Tiny’s Organic Produce. A long-keeping variety of apples to begin with, Tiny’s stores them in what the industry calls “controlled atmosphere” buildings for months, until they are ready to bring them to Market. These special storage facilities are vacuum-sealed, filled with inert gases, and maintained at a constant temperature to keep the apples from aging. For us, that means we get to enjoy our local appliciousness from last fall well into this spring!

Strawberry plants from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Strawberry plants from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And speaking of spring, it is time to get that garden started, folks! To that end, our buddies at Stoney Plains Organic Farm are now bringing their terrific selection of beautiful garden starts and bedding plants for you. Check out these lovely strawberry plants, for instance. Put them in the ground now, and you will be eating berries from them in June!

Spectacular tulips from Ia's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spectacular tulips from Ia’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And for an absolute explosion of spring, stop by Ia’s Garden for some of these stunning tulips! Freshly cut just for you, from their farm in East King County, they are fresher than anything you’ll find at the Big Box stores, and with less frequent flyer miles, too. So, who cares if it is still a bit gray and gloomy outside. You’ll have this floral sunshine indoors to make you smile!

Nira (garlic-onion chive) from Gaia's Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nira (garlic-onion chive) from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This nira, from Gaia’s Harmony Farm, is a type of Asian chive that has a flavor profile of a cross between garlic and onion. It is great in salads and sautés, as a garnish for meats and soups, and in whatever else needs a robust spring bunch of flavor!

Blueberry plants from Cascadian Edible Landscapes. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Blueberry plants from Cascadian Edible Landscapes. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cascadian Edible Landscapes has returned to your Ballard Farmers Market with its spring run of edible plants to brighten up your yard and fill your garden. From garden starts to these blueberry bushes, they have everything you need, in hearty Northwest varieties, to help you be able to eat your yard for years to come!

Cherry blossoms from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherry blossoms from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off this week’s epistle with this gorgeous image of cherry blossoms from Children’s Garden. As an accent to a bouquet of daffodils or tulips, or on their own in your tallest, grandest vase, they will be a spectabulous addition to your home. Bring a little spring indoors with you today, because you deserve it!

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.

Please remember bring your own bags every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

Sunday, April 8th: Easter Breads & Pastries, Flowers For Your Tables & Many Spring Greens!

April 8, 2012

Hot Cross Buns for Easter from Grateful Bread Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Passover and Easter, fine people of Ballard! I’m getting a late start with this week’s epistle, as I found myself absorbed, as I do every year at this time, by that Hollywood classic, The Ten Commandments, starring a cast of thousands, in which Charlton Heston frees the Hebrew slaves from bondage under the cruel rule of  Egyptian pharaoh Telly Savalas. You know, I pick up something new each year during ABC’s four-and-a-half hour presentation of this film. For instance, I had no idea that the Occupy Movement took its signature means of communicating through large crowds without an amplifier from Moses, who was the first to say, “Hear, O Israel, Repeat After Me…” But I regress. Something else that happens only once a year is that Grateful Bread Bakery makes hot cross buns and brings them to your Ballard Farmers Market. Luckily, I captured some in pixels (above) last year on Easter. I can almost smell them now. Mmm. Grab some for a true taste of the season.

Fresh flowers from Pa Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll find plenty of fresh, local flowers throughout the Market today, like these from Pa Gardens. Grab a bouquet to brighten up your table for Easter supper, or to bring with you to grandma’s house. It is finally spring. Let it show with fresh daffodils and tulips!

Award winning wines from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pick up a bottle of Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery’s award-winning wines to accompany your meal to celebrate ancient beliefs. After all, wine is one of the oldest forms of food preservation. Back in biblical times, they had no refrigerators or freezers to preserve fruit harvests year-round, but juice it and ferment it, and it kept for months and years! Few things truly make we humans feel like the really smart monkeys we are like wine.

Fresh chevre from Port Madison. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of ancient forms of food preservation, blessed are the cheese makers! And one such cheese maker returns after their winter hiatus today: Port Madison Farms. The kidding season has passed, and all the little baby goats are now bouncing around the farm over on Bainbridge Island, and their moms are now producing some amazing milk that Port Madison turns into some delicious goat cheese. Another example of ancient human ingenuity, and another great addition to your feast!

Miners lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s tawk spring greens, eh? After a very long, cold, dark winter — and aren’t they all — it pleases me no end to now be adding stuff back into the “vegetables” page under “What’s Fresh Now!” every week. Like this wonderful miners lettuce from Stoney Plains, for instance. It gets its name from the fact that miners used to live off the stuff. It grows wild all over the place here, but it is also cultivated. It is like watercress, crunchy yet tender, full of nutrients, with a slightly lemony flavor to it. And it makes for the most amazing spring salads, simply dressed with a few radishes, some pine nuts, some seasoning, olive oil and lemon juice.

Mixed kale raabs from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This time of year, as the days grow longer, all the over-winter crops want to bolt. Yup, it’s mating season for them, too, and the kales, chards, Brussels sprouts, collard greens and cabbages all just want to flower and spread their seed. But before they do, they have this wondering in-between period when their tender, budding tops, called raab, are just plain delicious and sweet as can be. Given the cold winter we’ve had, all the raabs, like this mixed kale raab from Colinwood Farms, are especially sweet. See, cold weather elicits a kind of defensive response in these leafy greens of sweetness — nature’s anti-freeze! Enjoy!

New lettuce from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Your eyes do not deceive you, and neither do I. This really is lettuce! That’s right. Children’s Garden wins the award this spring for being the first farm to bring lettuce to your Ballard Farmers Market. In this photo, you see butterhead and green leaf lettuce. I’ve been enjoying some of the butterhead lettuce with lettuce wraps this past week. So step away from that Arizona lettuce from the Big Box store and start eating it local again!

Cabbage raab from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, for today anyway, some more raab — red cabbage raab to be precise, from Nash’s Organic Produce. Besides the fact that I just love the light in this photo, you should know that this is perhaps the sweetest form of cabbage you can eat. It truly is a completely different way to enjoy it. In the immortal words of John Lennon, give raab a chance!

Hey, there is plenty of 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.

Raab (a.k.a., “rabe”), as in Broccoli Raab

April 11, 2009
Nash's Napa Cabbage Raab, delicious simply sauteed in olive oil with garlic. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash's Napa Cabbage Raab, delicious simply sauteed in olive oil with garlic. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

 

Raab is only available in the spring, when over-wintered plants in the brassica family start to flower and send out their seed shoots. Raab is most tender before its florets burst into yellow or white flowers, and are a fantastic spring treat in stirfrys, raw in salads, added to soups, or on the grill. Some farmers plant specific varieties of broccoli raab, for example, that have been breed specifically for floret production. Most producers, however, take advantage of the natural life cycle of the plant by harvesting cabbage, collard and kale raab only in the spring.

(Thank you, Kia Armstrong of Nash’s Organic Produce, for providing this description of raab. Nash’s offers three kinds of cabbage raab, 2 kinds of kale raab and collard raab. As different varieties come on at different speeds, Kia explains, not all the raab are available at once, so look for a progressive wave of raabs in the first half of spring.)

Nash's Bok Choy Raab, nice stir-fried with your favorite mushrooms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash's Bok Choy Raab, nice stir-fried with your favorite mushrooms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.