Posts Tagged ‘frisee’

Sunday, May 26th: Strawberries, Cherries, Cucumbers, Pea Vines, Frisee, Green Garlic, Halibut & Sticky Buns, for Starters!

May 25, 2013
First-of-the-season organic strawberries from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

First-of-the-season organic strawberries from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, Ballard faithful, and that signals the traditional start to summer ’round these parts, if not the actual start, which does not arrive until July 5th. But as we already realize, this year just doesn’t seem to want to be as dreary, cold and wet as the past three, so let’s get this party started right now! To that end, we present the earliest arrival of organic strawberries in recent memory! Yep, Tiny’s Organic Produce began harvesting these beauties this past week, a couple of weeks ahead of schedule. Woohoodillydoo!!! And just to assure you I ain’t pullin’ yer leg, I took the above photo on Friday at our Madrona Farmers Market. I also made sure to do a little quality control, and these are about as sweet and delicious as strawberries should be allowed to be by law. Seriously. Go figure. So as long as no bridges between here and East Wenatchee collapse in the next few weeks, we are in the strawberries, baby!

Cucumbers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cucumbers from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, we’re just getting started, people! Yes, these are organic cucumbers, and yes, I did just take this photo in the last week. These cucumbers are from Colinwood Farms over in Port Townsend. Using their location in the Banana Belt — that area shielded from rain and clouds by the Olympic Mountains — and their greenhouses, Colinwood harnesses their bonus sun very effectively, and one of the results is cucumbers in May. (Yes, it is still May!)

First-of-the-season Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

First-of-the-season Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Strawberries, check. Cucumbers, check. Cherries?!? Check! These are first-of-the-season Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. See, they have this orchard over in Prosser in an area that gets earlier and more heat units in the year than anywhere else in the state. Plus, that orchard is loaded with some varieties of cherries that ripen much earlier than most. The result is that Lyall gets a two to three week jump on everyone else in the cherry department. Add to that our milder weather than in recent years, and it’s go time! And again, I took this photo on Friday, and I did quality control, too. These are the real deal, folks! Oh, and it is last call for Lyall’s cured onions and sweet potatoes until fall, so grab the last of them while you can!

Green garlic from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Green garlic from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oh, don’t give me that sad puppy dog face that says you were expecting to see a photo of tomatoes now instead of this green garlic from Magana Farms. This stuff is pure gold this time of year. With a Market full of tender young greens, asparagus, mushrooms and other deliciousness that pairs well with garlic, green garlic is a magical treat! When farmers thin their garlic fields in the spring, this is what we get. Use the entire thing, from ball to the tips of the stalks. Toss it in where you would garlic, and what you get is not only your garlic flavor, but a sweet, grassy taste of spring unique to green garlic. The only people who know not of what I speak are those who have not tried it. The rest of us are the ones breezing past you to grab a bunch, so we can add it to everything we cook!

Fresh halibut from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh halibut from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And what’s this? It’s fresh halibut caught off the coast of Washington by Wilson Fish… just for the halibut. This is the freshest, most delicious halibut you will ever eat. These fish aren’t as big as those caught in Alaska, and the result is a superior flesh. Plus, it comes with no frequent flyer miles, freezer burn or having been trucked “live” in a tanker down the Alaska Highway for four days. (Really. They do that!) Grill a piece tonight, along with some asparagus, green garlic and green onions on the barby, and you will be a very happy camper.

Pea vines from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pea vines from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Another spring treat is pea vines, These are from Gaia’s Harmony Farm from up in Snohomish. These are great quickly sauteed with some of that green garlic in olive oil. Gaia’s is also making fresh vegetable juice using their produce, and that of other farms at the market, to make a drink that please your palate and your body!

Ground beef from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ground beef from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of Memorial Day barbecues, don’t forget to pick up some burger patties or a package of ground beef from Skagit River Ranch today. Or maybe you’d prefer some of their great sausages, steaks or chops on the grill. Grab it today, thaw it in the fridge overnight, and grill it up nicely tomorrow!

Frisee from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Frisee from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Some lovely, wilted frisee from One Leaf Farm tossed with some of Skagit’s bacon and some of Twin Oak’s feta sounds pretty good right now. Bitter plus salty equals divine. One Leaf also has their first harvest of beautiful, tendor collard greens and kale today, too, plus Japanese wax turnips so tasty, you might finish off the bunch before you get home, so please get two!

Last-of-the-season fresh apple cider from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Last-of-the-season fresh apple cider from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just a few weeks left of fresh cider from Martin Family Orchards. Their 2012 apple harvest is running out, and they won’t have cider again until fall. Grab a jug for your Memorial Day picnic, and enjoy one last sweet taste of fall before summer begins in ernest.

A veritable cornucopia of pickliciousness from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A veritable cornucopia of pickliciousness from Purdy Pickle. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickles. No, I am not using a term of endearment here, though I suppose I could be, since the humungous variety of pickles made from local ingredients by Purdy Pickle is rather endearing! And you will need a few jars for your Memorial Day picnics — dilly chips for your burgers, asparagus for the fun of it, and carrots to use as swizzle sticks in your cocktail! You can thank me later.

Sticky buns from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sticky buns from Tall Grass Bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Get your day started right tomorrow, or finish off dinner tonight, with one or six of these sticky buns, or maybe a cinnamon roll, from Tall Grass Bakery. Of course, Tall Grass has a spectacular selection of fresh artisan breads to round out your barbecues and picnics this weekend, too. Just get here early enough that your favorites aren’t sold out already!

Asparagus from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Asparagus from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We finish off this week’s Memorial Day Weekend installment with some gorgeous asparagus from Collins Family Orchards in Selah. You will obviously need asparagus for every meal in your immediate future, so grab a bunch of bunches, eh?

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, June 17th: Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

June 17, 2012

The first raspberries of 2012 from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I must admit to a bit of excitement today, as I get to spend Father’s Day with my dad for the first time in many years. Living on opposite coasts for a long time, I appreciate being able to hang with him for dinner this Father’s Day. So, what are you making for your dad for dinner tonight? Whatever it is, we’ve got it fresh and local for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today! In fact, as a special treat just for dads everywhere, we’ve got the first raspberries of the 2012 season from Sidhu Farms today. Woohoo! But get here early, before they sell out, because they will sell out!

Broccoli from Summer Run Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, I know this is the third week in a row I’ve featured broccoli, but it’s just that it is soooo good this time of year! This gorgeous broccoli is from Summer Run Farm, one of the finest growers and purveyors of broccoli this side of the Rockies, for my money. I enjoyed some for dinner last night, lightly steamed and then sautéed with some Sea Breeze bacon, some Colinwood green garlic, and a little Pipitone crushed red pepper flakes for good measure. Yeah, baby! And hey, broccoli grills nicely, too — perfect for Dad’s Day dinner.

Sausage from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of grilling for dad, how’s about some delicious sausages from Skagit River Ranch? I mean, what dad wouldn’t be happy being treated to fresh, hot sausages right off the grill? Simple, delicious, and because it’s Father’s Day, doctors be damned! Being an ex-pat New Yorker myself, I am particularly fond of their sweet Italian sausages. They are as close to what I grew up with back East as any I’ve found here. But truth be told, I have yet to have any sausage from Skagit River Ranch I haven’t enjoyed.

Red Russian kale from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know, you can take kale, like this red Russian kale from Growing Things Farm, toss it with olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill it, too. It gives it a nice smoky flavor, and it makes cooking and cleanup easy. It’s been pretty gosh-darned wet over at Growing Things this spring, so their first crop harvest has been a while in coming, but here it is — dino kalecollard greenscurly kale and more!

Apriums from Tiny’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Say what?!? Apriums? Already? Cereal. I mean, how crazy a spring is this that the Westside greens are slow in coming, but the Eastside cherries and apriums are early? Go figure. But why spend a lot of time pondering this. Instead, let’s just enjoy an early start to what by all accounts is going to be a record year for stone fruit in Washington. Oh, and apriums are one more thing you can grill for dad! Just cut ’em in half and on the grill they go! These apriums from Tiny’s Organic Produce are genetically about 70% apricot and 30% plum, thus favoring apricots in flavor and appearance. Enjoy!

Green garlic from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I love the fact that our farmers have figured out how to have each of their green garlic harvests come in at different times this spring. The result is that we get to enjoy this true spring treat for many more weeks. I forego cured garlic cloves this time of year for  green garlic, like this from Children’s Garden. I use the whole thing, including the greens. It is milder than mature garlic, and sweeter, with a bit of grassiness, and it cooks up tender and full of wonderful garlic flavor. Just cut it up like you would a scallion and toss it in with your greens, asparagus, broccoli, what have you!

Strawberries from Jessie’s Berries. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jessie’s Berries in the house! Yes, today marks the triumphant return for the 2012 berry season of Jessie’s Berries from Fir Island. They will have a healthy supply of their famous strawberries for your enjoyment. Time to load up on shortcake and cream and eat strawberries until you pop, yo!

Deer tongue lettuce from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, that lettuce is sticking its tongue out at you! And that’s because it is deer tongue lettuce from Full Circle Farm. We missed Full Circle for several weeks as they shifted from their winter to their spring crop rotations, but they are back with a vengeance now, with heirloom lettucesJapanese wax turnipsmizunaradishes and more!

Rainier cherries from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s cherry season at Collins Family Orchards in Selah. They’ve got lots of these beautiful Rainier cherries, as well as some nice Chelan cherries, available right now, as well as the last of their 2011 harvest of pink lady apples. Won’t be long until they’ve got every kind of stone fruit imaginable, and a few you’ve never even dreamt of!

English shelling peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alvarez Organic Farms is rocking the peas right now. They’ve got sugar snap peassnow peas and these first-of-the-season English shelling peas. Grab a bag for dad to shell and eat on the deck this afternoon while he watches you mow the lawn and cook him dinner!

Frisee from Stoney Plains Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s end this week’s epistle on a slightly bitter note with some lovely frisee from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Want a nice, simple, elegant salad? Put some frisee in a bowl and toss it with some fresh crumbled bleu cheese. Chunk up some thick bacon and render it out in a hot skillet. Pour the bacon and some of its fat while still hot over the frisee and bleu cheese and toss to coat. The frisee will wilt and the cheese will break down into a nice, pungent dressing with the bacon grease. You can thank me later!

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.