Posts Tagged ‘cippolini onions’

Sunday, November 11th: Eating Local For Thanksgiving Begins With Your Ballard Farmers Market!

November 11, 2012

Chef Jason Stonerburner of Bastille at his 2011 Eat Local For Thanksgiving cooking demonstration at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thanksgiving, or “Thanks for the Land Day,” as I like to think of it sometimes, is less than two weeks away, or put more simply, there are only two Market days before it. Yes, it is very early this year — November 22nd! Time to get planning your menu and to stock up on local deliciousness from your Ballard Farmers Market. It is time again to Eat Local For Thanksgiving. And with all the amazing ingredients available from local farmers, fishers, ranchers and food artisans right here, not only have you no excuse to not build your holiday menu around local food, you’d be foolhardy not to. Besides, what better way to give thanks for our great local food producers than to serve their products for Thanksgiving dinner? But perhaps you are still a little nervous. To help you relax a bit, we have brought back our annual tradition of Eat Local For Thanksgiving Cooking Demonstrations for the next two weeks. This week, we feature Ballard’s own Chef Jason Stoneburner of Bastille from 12-1 p.m. Bastille was intentionally built next to, and around, Ballard Farmers Market. It has a garden on its roof. And Chef Jason not only builds his menu around what is available from Market vendors, but he actually used to be one of them! Who better to give you some tips on cooking simple deliciousness from local goodness. (Next week, look for Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table.)

Fresh, local cranberries from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is the year to stop talking about making fresh cranberry sauce and actually make fresh cranberry sauce! And Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm has fresh, local cranberries ready for you for just that purpose. Available for just a few weeks each year, they are hoping to have them through next week. But they are not sure. So if this is, in fact, your year, get those cranberries today!

Rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

My Thanksgiving dinner table wouldn’t be complete without some Boistfort Valley Farm rutabagas steamed and mashed with Golden Glen Creamery butter. Simple, delicious, and oh, so complimentary to everything else on the menu, and for me, it is a lovely reminder of my Irish roots. (Did you see what I did there?) Of course, Scandinavians here in the Peoples Republic of Ballard will feel kinship to them, as well.

Red Sunchokes from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This week, we celebrate the return of another perennial fall and winter favorite, sunchokes, a.k.a., Jerusalem artichokes. Neither from Jerusalem, nor an artichoke, sunchokes are a member of the sunflower family, and native to North America. They were cultivated and used by native peoples long before the first arrivals of Europeans. Sunchokes make for great soups, sauces, root roasts, home fries and much, much more. These tubers are delicious, nutritious, and will sustain you throughout the cold, dark, wet months. Stoney Plains Organic Farm just started harvesting these red sunchokes (above). In the spirit of the original Thanksgiving feast, when Indians kept the Pilgrims alive and made them feel welcome with the local bounty, why not add sunchokes to your Thanksgiving menu, much like them may have been 500 years ago.

Porcelain Doll Winter Squash from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm has an amazing variety of heirloom winter squash and pumpkins right now, like these really cool looking, and tasty, Porcelain Doll winter squash. Squash is a necessity for your holiday table, and how about making this year’s pumpkin pie from scratch, too, eh?

Brussels sprouts from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another must on my Thanksgiving menu is Brussels sprouts, like these beauties from One Leaf Farm. Normally, I like them sauteed with Sea Breeze bacon and some Alvarez shallots, and finished off with some white wine. But since my folks don’t eat pig these days, these still are plenty good without the bacon. And a good substitute for shallots is cippolini onions

Cippolini onions from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And your source for those aforementioned cippolini onions is Port Townsend’s own Colinwood Farms. Cippolinis caramelize beautifully, coming out sweet and silky, and making for a perfect accent to many meat and poultry dishes, and Brussels sprouts, of course. They also fry perfectly for shoestring onions to top a chicory salad.

Fresh, whole, Puget Sound Keta salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Today is the last day for fresh Puget Sound Keta salmon from Loki Fish, as the season has come to a close. Swing by Loki for fillets or whole fish. They also have fish trim, like bones, collars and wings, for making stocks or smoking, and even skeines, ready for curing into ikura. But fresh only this week! After that, it’ll still be available frozen, cured, smoked, etc. Enjoy!

Root Vegetable Crackers with Kim Chee from House of the Sun. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

House of the Sun raw and vegan foods has introduced another great cracker to its delicious lineup — Root Vegetable Crackers with Kim Chee. Loaded with beet goodness, they are packed full of flavor and nutrients. Try them with one of their great spreads!

Bread & Butter pickles from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Please welcome the newest vendor to your Ballard Farmers Market, Purdy Pickle. Purdy Pickle makes an amazing array of pickliciousness from great, local ingredients direct from our local farms, like these Bread & Butter pickles, above. Purdy Pickle is one of our mainstay vendors at our weekday markets in Wallingford and Madrona over the summer season. Now, they bring their goodness to Ballard. Woohoo!

A variety of truffles from Trevani Truffles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another recent addition to your Ballard Farmers Market is Trevani Truffles from Renton. Trevani’s confections are made using lots of local ingredients, too, and they will add elegance to many a holiday gathering, be it large or small. Or just treat yourself on your way through the Market!

Finally, another reminder to please 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.

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.

Sunday, September 18th: $30 Fish In A Bag, The World’s Most Beautiful Vegetable, The Most Commonly Eaten Meat On Earth, Tomatoes From Mt. Vesuvius & Washington’s Native Potatoes!

September 18, 2011

Whole coho salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The salmon fishing season along the Washington coast ended on Thursday, September 15th, and Wilson Fish has the last of their fresh Washington king and coho salmon today at your Ballard Farmers Market. In fact, Gene tells me theyhave 49 whole coho — their famous Fish In A Bag deal — today for just $30 each! But they will go fast. So get here early!

Dinosaur egg pluots from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kids love dinosaurs, right. So why not add some dinosaur egg pluots to their lunch box? They are sweet, juicy and delicious, and they look as cool as their name. Your kids will be the ones bragging about having fresh fruit in their lunch at school. And Tiny’s Organic Produce has plenty of them right now!

Chinese spinach from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For my money, Chinese spinach is the most beautiful vegetable on earth. And Children’s Garden expects to have it through the end of September. It’s a bit late coming into season this year, but then again, what hasn’t been? And don’t let this stuff intimidate you with its beauty. It’s simple to cook. Just sauté it quickly with some garlic!

Bee pollen from Golden Harvest. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For a limited time, Golden Harvest has local bee pollen. But they only have a small supply each year, which is available right now, so if you have been looking for local bee pollen, swing by today and get you some at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Goat meat from Quilceda Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Goat is the most commonly eaten meat on earth. It is just we Gringos that don’t eat it. Gee, could it be because we are uptight Americans? I mean, even the French and British eat goat. It is lean with a flavor a touch milder than lamb. I love the stuff. Quilceda Farms in Marysville produces delicious goat meat. They offer it in steaks, chops, roasts, shanks, sausages and more, and they conveniently provide a huge collection of recipes you can choose from to help break you in.

San Marzano tomatoes from Pipitone Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

San Marzano tomatoes are prized for their dense flesh and deep, rich flavor. These are the tomatoes of Naples, growing in the rich volcanic soil of Mt. Vecuvius. If you’ve ever been to a Neapolitan-style pizzeria, odds are the sauce on your pizza was made from these tomatoes. These San Marzano tomatoes are grown by Pipitone Farms in the rich volcanic soil of the Yakima River Valley.

Italian prunes from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Leave it to the spin doctors in California to try to change the name of prunes to plums, apparently because the name “prune” has negative connotations in their market research studies. Whatever! These are Italian prunes from ACMA Mission Orchards, and they are perhaps the finest stone fruit there is, for my money. They are deeply sweet and flavorful. Eat them fresh. Make jam, sauces and pies with them. Dry them. They are easy to work with as their flesh comes right off the pit. However you enjoy them, respect them with their proper name: prune!

Yellow cippolini onions from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cippolini onions, like these from Oxbow Farm, are those kinda flat onions, like someone sat on them. But they are amazing onions — the pride of Italy — and they caramelize incredibly well. Don’t know them? Ask about them at Oxbow today, and bring some home to play with.

Ozette potatoes from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ozette potatoes, like these from Olsen Farms, are the closest thing we’ve got to a native potato here in Washington, the potato producing capitol of the United States. See, all potatoes originated in South America. And almost all potatoes now in North America are descendants of potatoes that first traveled to Europe before coming here. But there are a very few exceptions. The Ozette, along with three other fingerling potatoes, were brought up the West Coast by the Spanish in 1791 and planted near their ports from Northern California to Vancouver Island. The Ozette was brought to the area inhabited by the Makah Nation out near Neah Bay. But the Spanish couldn’t hack our Northwest weather, so in 1793, they buggered off back down the coast, leaving behind these potatoes. So, pick up a little bit of local, and potato, history today. Oh, they taste pretty good, too!

Scrapple from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Scrapple is exactly what it sounds like it is: scraps. Well, usually, anyway. Scrapple originated in southeastern Pennsylvania in colonial times, and it is generally associated with the Amish. It traditionally is made from the leftover scraps of the pig after butchering, in order to use the entire animal without waste, which is then cooked down and combined with corn meal and seasoned, and then shaped into a loaf. It is then generally sliced and fried, as a side meat for breakfast. I loved the stuff when I went to school in the heart of it’s birthplace near Philly. But, of course, that whacky bunch at Sea Breeze Farm had to go gussy it up. Apparently snouts and ears just aren’t good enough for them (okay, it ends up in their head cheese), so they made theirs with pork belly. As if. But hey, I had to try it, for my youth, and for all of you, right? Well, it’s pretty darn good, if not a bit gourmet for a food called “scrapple”. Personally, I would add a bit more pepper, but I suppose I can forgive that. Wanna try scrapple made without the scraps? Stop by Sea Breeze today!

Snow peas from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s late September, and yes, we still have peas at your Ballard Farmers Market — snow peas, in fact. These beautiful snow peas are from Boistfort Valley Farm, and they are just ready for you to toss them into a stir-fry, where they will brighten and sweeten up wonderfully. Yeah, baby!

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.

Sunday, September 26th: Fish Tales & Fall Crops!

September 26, 2010

Smoked halibut from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy fall everyone! Your Ballard Farmers Market is abuzz with all sorts of newly arrived fall crops, and a few serious whoppers of some stories which, if I didn’t have the photos to prove it, you’d think I’d made up. My first fish tale is about, well, actual fish. Smoked halibut from Loki Fish, to be exact. Take a break from smoked salmon for a week and broaden your horizons, just for the halibut. (Sorry… had to go there.)

Monster beets from Prana Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now for some seriously suspect stories, but with the photos to prove them. Yes, those Detroit beets Eric, from Prana Farms, is holding are in fact as big as his head! Holy flippity flop. I think I am going to buy stock in their organic chicken poo compost division!

Humongous zucchini from Bolles Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

No, that is not a miniature peach. In fact, it is a large peach we borrowed from Tiny’s to illustrate just how enormous this crookneck squash is, to say nothing of that battle club-sized zucchini, from Bolles Organic Farm. You know, back in my days at the Olympia Farmers Market, many moons ago, we used to call zucchini that big “Norwegian trout.” I still think to call them that, though for the life of me, I cannot remember why we called them that in the first place. Anyone know the origins of this?

Wild porcini mushroons from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sure, lots of folks have wild chanterelle mushrooms right now, but only Foraged & Found Edibles has wild porcini, or king bolete, mushrooms. These big, meaty mushrooms are just plain awesome. Give ’em a try today.

Thai eggplant from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alvarez Organic Farms is known for the almost 200 varieties of peppers they grown, in every shape, size, color and heat level. But did you know they grow over 20 kinds of eggplant, too? Yup. Like this spectacular Thai eggplant, above.

Cippolini onions from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cippolini onions, like these from Oxbow Farm, are those kinda flat onions, like someone sat on them. But they are amazing onions — the pride of Italy — and they caramelize incredibly well. Don’t know them? Ask about them at Oxbow today, and bring some home to play with.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potatoes are back! Yessir. Lyall Farms was the first to bring sweet potatoes into Seattle’s farmers markets just last year, and they are back with a new crop now. Sweet potatoes are delicious and nutritious, and they are a good storage crop. And now, they are a local crop, too!

Hominy bread from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hominy bread, from Tall Grass Bakery, is made largely from hominy, a large-grained member of the corn family. It’s the stuff they make polenta and tortillas out of. It also makes for an incredibly moist, tender and even sweet bread. If you are in a bit of a bread rut, why not branch out with some hominy bread today?

Beef heart and kidneys from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Parts is parts… maybe in the used car business. But not in the meat business. Lucky for us, we’ve got Sea Breeze Farm bringing us cattle parts from animals that lived well and ate well. If you are looking for some delicious beef heart, kidneys, or occasionally the odd beef tongue, check in with George and the gang as the Sea Breeze refer cases. They don’t always have them, but perhaps you can arrange for them to save some for you when they have them next. And you might as well pickup some sausage and milk while you are there.

Fantacia Tart plums from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Making a plum tart? Then you”d better get some Fantacia Tart plums from ACMA Mission Orchards while you can. They have a short season — just a couple of weeks — so quit dilly dallying and get some now!

Wine from Lopez Island Vineyards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And welcome one of our newest vendors to your Ballard Farmers Market: Lopez Island Vineyards. This organic winery grows many of its own grapes, including some varieties that only grow in Puget Sound in Washington. And many of their wines are award winners. So give them a gander today, and bring home a bottle of vino straight from the winemaker.

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!

Sunday, September 5th: Awarding Winning Market & Vendors! Of Firsts, Seconds, Thirds & Fourths!!!

September 5, 2010

A busy Ballard Farmers Market basks in golden smoky sunlight on August 1, 2010. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

According to the USDA, there are 6,132 farmers markets at present in the United States. And in the American Farmland Trust’s national 2010 America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest, your Ballard Farmers Market finished #4 in the large market category. Not too shabby. Thank you, good folk of the People’s Republic of Ballard, Seattle and Washington state for voting for Ballard. And to those who didn’t vote for Ballard out of fear it would draw even more people to Ballard Avenue every Sunday, you can rest assured that those crowds are headed to Rochester, NY now. And if you believe that, I have some condos in Belltown I’d like to sell you!

Anthony Estrella of Estrella Family Creamery holds three ribbons from 2010 Amercian Cheese Society competition. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of contests, the 2010 American Cheese Society Convention & Competition was held here in Seattle just last week, and three Washington cheese makers that sell right here at your Ballard Farmers Market won awards. Estrella Family Creamery, out of Montesano, won three ribbons, including First in Class (smoked Italian styles category) for their Weebles cheese, First in Class (sheep or mixed milks category) for their Caldwell Crick Chevrette, and a Second Place Award was given to their Jalapeño Buttery in the Flavored, Peppers category.

Roger Wechsler of Samish Bay Cheese. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Samish Bay Cheese, out of Bow, won four ribbons, including: First in Class for their Ladysmith cheese in Fresh Unripened Cow’s Milk Cheeses category; Second Place for their Aged Ladysmith in the Farmstead Cheeses up to 60 days category; Third Place fro their Ladysmith with Chives in Farmstead Cheeses with Flavoring category; and Third Place for their Yogurt Cheese (Labneh) in Cultured Products from Cow’s Milk category.

Cheese maker Matthew Day from Mt. Townsend Creamery in one of his four cheese caves in Port Townsend. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And Mt Townsend Creamery, from Port Townsend, won First in Class for their Seastack cheese in the Soft Ripened category. Congratulations to all the great cheese makers of Washington, who have so impressed the rest of the world over the last 5-10 years that they drew this major national cheese event to Seattle this year. And don’t forget that three more of those great Washington cheese makers — Golden Glen Creamery, Port Madison and Sea Breeze — also sell great cheese at your Ballard Farmers Market. Blessed are the cheese makers, indeed!

Fresh Frasier River Sockeye from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The boats of Loki Fish have returned to Washington waters from Alaska after a long summer fishing up north. Now, they are harvesting Frasier River sockeye salmon just south of the Canadian border, and you can get some of this amazing fish fresh today.

Wild lobster mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Though we may be bemoaning the summer that never completely arrived this year, as we rapidly descend into fall, one thing we can celebrate is an early and vibrant fall wild mushroom season. Just look at these spectacular lobster mushrooms Foraged & Found Edibles has right now. And if you still don’t know why they are called lobster mushrooms after seeing this photo, you need to either adjust the color on your monitor, or you need to look up what a lobster looks like after it’s been steamed.

Cippolini onions from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cippolini onions are another of those wonderful heirloom Italian crops that so many farmers around here enjoy growing. Cippolini onions, like these from Oxbow Farm, are kinda squat in appearance, more disc-like than bulbous. They caramelize magnificently. Just imagine them on some crostini, or over a nice steak.

San Marzano tomatoes from Pipitone Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another great Italian crop is San Marzano tomatoes, like these from Pipitone Farms. These are the tomatoes of Naples, growing in the rich volcanic soil of Mt. Vecuvius. They are prized for their rich, thick, meaty flesh that produces what many consider the finest tomato sauce on earth.

Colorful spices from Seattle Spice. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for spices and rubs? Check out Seattle Spice. They offer a huge selection of spices, blends and rubs to accent the Market fresh goodness you’ll take home tonight. Stop by and just enjoy the aroma of the sample tins.

Caroline raspberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sidhu has a fresh wave of raspberries coming on from their fields in Orting. Above are their big, juicy and tangy Caroline raspberries. They also have ever-bearing raspberries now. And they still have plenty of blueberries and blackberries, too.

Many beans from Growing Things. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just look at all these beans from Growing Things Farm! Green beans. Dragon Tongue beans. Yellow wax beans. Purple beans. I’m thinking pickles. Or casseroles. Maybe sauteed with bacon and pearl onions. How about a nice stir fry with pork or shrimp. Or perhaps a bean salad. Ah, beans!

Ailsa Craig onions from Prana Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ailsa Craig onions are not only one of my favorite onions to eat, they are also one of my favorites to say — Ailsa Craig! (Say it with your inner Scot.) These beautiful heirloom onions hail from Scotland originally. These are a sweet onion with a wonderful flavor, great sauteed, caramelized, roasted, grilled and raw. Prana Farms grows them for us here, along with many other heirloom crops.

Hot chilis in every color from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alvarez Organic Farms grows more than 150 varieties of peppers, some of which are varieties they have developed themselves. Above is just a small sampling of the many hot chili peppers they grow, in all their colorful glory. Peppers vary widely in flavor and heat, so experiment with them to find which ones you like the best.

And 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!