Posts Tagged ‘leeks’

2nd Addition: March is National Soup Month: Now Use Fish for a Healthy and Sumptuous Basis for Great Chowders

March 21, 2015
When he's not clowning around at Wilson Fish, Tim Davidson is an international disaster relief volunteer for the Red Cross. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When he’s not clowning around at Wilson Fish, Tim Davidson is an international disaster relief volunteer for the Red Cross. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

SO WHY NOT TRY A CHOWDER FOR SUNDAY DINNER?

Any variety of smoked salmon you chose will make a fine main ingredient in a chowder that will become one of your favorites with this recipe from bbcgoodfood.com.  We recommend it for the simple ingredients and fabulous flavor. You can click this link to see what you think. It may inspire you to try it.  You might even want to send us a photo or video of you cooking, or eating the soup, or clowning around.  We think it would be fun to see how you do and what you think.

Now, let’s talk Potatoes and Leeks.  Absolutely required, they can be found in abundance from most of our farmers.

First, Leeks:  Try Mee Garden, The Old Farmer, Colinwood Farm, Nash’s Organic Farm, Pa Garden, Ia’s Gardne, Growing Washington, Growing Things, and Stoney Plains.

OneLeafBabyLeeks

Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These shining and delicate flavored vegetables provide just the right touch.  But they always need to be washed thoroughly-they have a reputation for surprising people with globs of mud stuck between their layers of the top 2/3rds of the stalk.

HELPFUL TIP FOR CLEANING LEEKS:  Cut stalks into 2-3 inch pieces and remove the root end; place in a large bowl with cold water; and stir vigorously enough to see the beginnings of separation of the layers.  Allow to sit in the water long enough to begin to see the dirt come free from the layers, and give a good final rinse until you get the pieces clean.  Plan on using the bottom white portion up to the paler green pieces in your soup.  The greenest top parts can be placed in a bag & frozen to add terrific flavor to a clear vegetable broth made later, or you can compost them.

Now, the beloved Potato:  They too are available from your favorite farmer with little exception.  Pick the colors and textures you want.

AlmHillRussetPotatoes

Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

KirsopPotatoes

Kirsop Potatoes are still looking good. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The great news is Potatoes are so good for you.  Even without the skin, 1 medium potato will provide 70% of the Vitamin C you need in a day, 25% of the Potassium, 9% Iron and 8% Protein.  Add to that such nutrients as 30% of your daily need for Vitamin B-6, 18% of dietary fiber and 12% of Magnesium.  And I could go on, but out of courtesy to you, I’ll stop here.

Finally, this recipe calls for heavy cream (BBC calls it double cream), but if you substitute yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese, or sheep yogurt from Glendale Shepherd, you won’t regret it.

Sheep's milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Sheep’s milk yogurt from Glendale Shepherd. Photo courtesy Glendale Shepherd.

Jersey cow yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Jersey cow yogurt from Samish Bay Cheese. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We’d love to see your innovations and how you do.  We are always interested in your experience.

Until then Bon Appetite!

Sunday, March 23rd: Fresh Flowers, Greens, Herbs, Eggs, Garden Starts & More! Yes, Spring Has Indeed Sprung!

March 22, 2014
Arugula from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Arugula from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Spring has sprung,
The grass is riz.
Does anyone know
Where the flowers is?

Right here at your Ballard Farmers Market, of course. Plus, greens have returned! Yes, that’s right! Not only have our calendars changed over to spring, but so have our farm tables. And now, our friends from Colinwood Farm have this wonderful arugula we have all been missing for what seems like forever, along with spicy salad mixspinach and more. After the longest draught of greens in memory, they are back, baby!

KaYing, The Old Farmer, arranging one of her beautiful bouquets of flowers. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

KaYing, The Old Farmer, arranging one of her beautiful bouquets of flowers. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

All of our flower growers are now back at your Ballard Farmers Market! Yup, besides Alm Hill Gardens and Children’s Garden, who were able to stick it out all winter long, we now celebrate the return of Ia’s Garden, Mee Gardens, Pa Garden and The Old Farmer (above). And we celebrate the return of their spectabulous fresh cut flowers, and the stunning bouquets they make with them. Welcome back, spring, and welcome back, farmers!

Farm-fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Farm-fresh eggs from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And as if a statement about spring and all its fertility, we have plenty of farm fresh eggs right now at your Ballard Farmers Market! This is not always the case, so if you haven’t tried eggs fresh from the farm, or you haven’t been able to get any in a while, now’s the time. Growing Things Farm brings theirs in these colorful cartons, which kinda look like they are dyed like Easter eggs, don’t you think? Enjoy the best eggs you’ve ever tasted!

Microgreens from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Microgreens from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alm Hill Gardens is experimenting with these radish microgreens, and I think they are a success! Nutrient dense, they are spicy and delicious, and they will gussy up your salad or sandwich, or make a great garnish for your soup. Alm Hill also is now offering hard red wheat berries from their Whatcom County fields, so get your local grains on!

Rhubarb roots from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rhubarb roots from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you always wanted to have your own rhubarb plant growing in your yard? Well, now’s the time to plant it, and our buddies at Stoney Plains Organic Farm have these rhubarb roots ready for you to stick in the ground and enjoy harvesting for years to come. Oh, and you can even grow rhubarb in a large pot on your deck!

Kale mix from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Kale mix from Gaia’s Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I never thought I’d be so happy to see kale in March, but this winter saw the least kale in memory on our farmers’ tables. With a big freeze in December, and another in early February, winter greens kinda took it hard. So now, we celebrate not only the return of spring, but the return of kale! This young kale from Gaia’s Harmony Farm comes in a nice mix, simple to toss in the pan with some garlic for quick sautéed green. Nummers!

Over-wintered leeks from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Over-wintered leeks from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These hearty leeks from Nash’s Organic Produce battled their way through our winter, and now, they are big, beautiful, and delicious! It’s a great time of year for some potato-leek soup, or anything else leeky. They are so sweet right now!

Organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The fresh organic cranberry juice from Starvation Alley Farms is so concentrated with cranberry flavor that a little goes a long way. For most folks, that means using it as a mixer or diluting it with a little water. Of course, that just makes this local juice have that much more value. And perhaps you are just about finished with that bottle you got two weeks ago. I’d say it’s time for a refill!

Daffodils from Ia's Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Daffodils from Ia’s Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s finish off this week’s welcome to spring with some gorgeous daffodils from Ia’s Garden. Bring some of today’s spring sunshine indoors with you in the form of these lovely flowers!

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, January 19th: Cooking Oil, Cranberries, Leeks, Chickweed & Refillable Wine Bottles!

January 18, 2014
Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Sunday! This is the first Sunday since December that your Ballard Farmers Market has had to share with the Seahawks, but fortunately, kickoff in the NFC Championship Game does not happen until 3:30 p.m., half an hour after we close. So you’ve got plenty of time to get down here, get your localiciousness on for the coming week, zip home to drop it off, and get back down here again to watch the Game with us and the gang in one of Ballard Ave’s 13,478 watering holes. And for the 13% of you who still don’t care about the Seahawks, we’re here for you, too!

Oh, hey. Ole World Oils returns today with their camelina oil. This cooking and finishing oil is made from cold-pressed camelina seeds (a mustard cousin) that are grown and processed by Ole World Oils on their farm just outside of Ritzville in Eastern Washington. This oil is fresh, delicious, high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, is great drizzled over salads and as a finishing oil, and has a very high 475 degree smoke point, making it perfect for any cooking application. And it is priced to easily replace all of your imported oils, be they from Italy, Canada or California.

Fresh Washington true cod from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Washington true cod from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wilson Fish may be best known for its fresh, frozen and smoked Washington salmon and its halibut, but this time of year, if you want fresh fish from them, this true cod and ling cod are what you are likely to find. I love pan-frying their true cod. I make a breading of grits, whole grain flour, rice flour, corn starch, salt, pepper, chile powder, garlic granules and some dried oregano, mixing it altogether in a bowl with a fork, to ensure everything is carefully blended. Then, I like to cut the fish into “nugget” sized pieces, which I give a quick dip in egg, then roll in the breading until fully coated. Then, I toss it in a hot BluSkillet iron pan that I’ve put a healthy amount of camelina oil into, and I fry it on each side until crispy. It doesn’t take long, and you can make up the breading in advance and save any leftover breading in the freezer. This breading works great with Hama Hama Oyster Company shucked oysters, too!

Chickweed from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chickweed from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hmm. Maybe a nice side of chickweed salad would be good with that pan-fried true cod. Stoney Plains Organic Farm has chickweed already, just for this purpose. Farms like Stoney Plains grow chickweed over the winter as a nitrogen-fixing crop that helps build nutrients back into their soil naturally. Smart farms like Stoney Plains choose varieties of chickweed at are good for human consumption, so they get an addition crop out of it, and we get an additional winter and early spring green. Make a simple chickweed salad by tossing it with some salt, pepper, some sheep feta from Glendale Shepherd, some sunflower seeds or pine nuts, a little lemon juice or local verjus, if you’ve got some, and some camelina oil.

Frozen organic cranberries from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Frozen organic cranberries from Starvation Alley Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids! Starvation Alley Farms has frozen organic cranberries for you! Woohoo!!! Make pies, jams, sauces, muffins, cookies, whatever you love to do with cranberries. Make a nice dressing with them for that chickweed salad. Cranberries: they’re not just for Thanksgiving anymore!

Refillable bottles (left) from Wilridge Winery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Refillable bottles (left) from Wilridge Winery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Those big bottles on the left above? They are refillable! Seriously. Wilridge Winery, based in Madrona, worked it out with the Liquor Control Board so that they can reuse these magnum-size (1.5 liter) bottles. Why, you ask? Lots of reasons. First off, whether a new bottle is made from virgin or recycled glass, it still requires a lot of energy to make them. Not these. Next, when they reuse bottles, they do not have to buy new bottles for each new bottling, a cost they would normally pass onto you. And because the bottles are larger, you get twice the wine for the price of one bottle, not to mention that it cuts the cost of labor to fill that bottle in half, too! The result is that for $20 plus an $8 bottle deposit, you get an excellent, everyday, local table wine. Wilridge will be sampling their  wines today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Give them a try, and then grab one of these refillables for your Hawks party, or for the party you having not watching the Game.

Wool from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wool from Glendale Shepherd. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Glendale Shepherd makes great sheep’s milk cheeses. But something else their sheep produce is wool! This wool, in fact. Mind you, the wool usually isn’t this color of green whilst on the sheep, unless the sheep is acting out against its parents.

Leeks from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Leeks from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Mmm. Leekliciousness. Think sauces, soups, sautés, tortes… tarts for that matter. Winter leeks are wonderfully sweet for whatever application you have, and Alm Hill Gardens has these lovely young leeks for you now.

Many butter flavors from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Many butter flavors from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

A little butter with them thar leeks sounds pretty good, too. Or for cooking your eggs… which come to think of it, might make for a nice scramble with some leeks, eh? Or buttered toast with one of Golden Glen Creamery’s many sweet or savory flavored butters. Golden Glen’s farmstead butters are made up on their farm in Bow, and if you haven’t tried them, you likely don’t really know what truly fresh butter tastes like. Trust me.

Certified organic beef chuck roasts from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Certified organic beef chuck roasts from Skagit River Ranch. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When it is cold, dark and damp this time of year, it is the perfect time to warm up your whole home with a nice roast, don’t you think? Skagit River Ranch has these gorgeous, delicious, grass-fed and finished, certifed organic beef chuck roasts from their farm up in Sedro-Woolley, in the Skagit River Valley. Grab yourself some roots, and get roasting!

Curly leaf kale from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Curly leaf kale from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is also serious kale season, and Children’s Garden has lots of this green curly leaf kale right now for you. They’ve also got some nice collard greens now, too, as well as fresh herbs, and, of course, their beautiful flower bouquets, even this time of year.

Organic Pink Lady apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Organic Pink Lady apples from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

ACMA Mission Orchards still has plenty of their certified-organic apples and pears from their fall harvest for you. Like these Pink Lady apples — sweet, crunchy and satisfying, they will help you keep the doctor away all winter long.

Whole grains, flour and dried legumes from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Whole grains, flour and dried legumes from Nash’s Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nashs’ Organic Produce produces lots of grains and legumes in addition to the produce for which they are both named and loved. Right now, you can get lots of dried beans from them, from fava beans to kidney beans to black beans to field peas, as well as several types of grains, from hulless oats to triticale to rye to wheat. They even have several kinds of flours milled right on the farm and delivered fresh to you at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Sunflower sprouts from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sunflower sprouts from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, let’s get our sunflower sprouts on for winter, eh? Packed with nutrients and flavor, they make a great addition to salads and sandwiches, and a great garnish, too. Jarvis Family Garlic Farm has these fresh sprouts now, as well as wheatgrass, great for juicing.

Go Hawks!

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 7th: Asparagus, Local Tuna, Lettuce, Fresh Salmon, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Cheddar & The Patty Pan Tamale Of The Month!

April 6, 2013
Leeks from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Leeks from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

All those teasers in the headline, and I start with leeks, you wonder? Yup! That’s because we celebrate the return today of One Leaf Farm to your Ballard Farmers Market, and these are their leeks! They will also have some rapiniarugula and other deliciousness. So come welcome them back, and celebrate the fact that here in King County, we’re adding new farms (One Leaf in 2011), while much of the country is still losing them.

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is also the first Sunday of the month, and that means local albacore tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude! They visit us once a month, so it is a great time to stock up on their incredible albacore, sold frozen in loinscanneddried and more! This is the best tuna you will ever taste. It is high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, and low in heavy metals, as they catch only young tuna from cold northern waters. And the frozen tuna is sashimi grade, great served just barely seared, sliced and over a salad, as sushi, or whatever meets your pleasure.

Asparagus from Lyall Farms.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Asparagus from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

April also means the first asparagus of the year, and this year, with our mild winter and early spring, it is earlier than ever! And again this year, the first farm to have asparagus is Lyall Farms. They grow asparagus on their acreage in Sunnywide, in an area that’s just a bit warmer than the rest of the state. And we get to enjoy early asparagus because of it. Woohoo!

Fresh red king salmon from Wilson Fish.Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What goes better with asparagus than fresh, local King salmon from Wilson Fish? That’s right! Salmon season has opened early this year, too, and today, Wilson Fish will have the first fresh salmon of 2013 at your Ballard Farmers Market. But odds are, it will sell out very fast, so get here early!!!

Delicious purple sprouting broccoli from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Delicious purple sprouting broccoli from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And the hits just keep on coming! Today, we also celebrate the return of Oxbow Farm! Wow. What a day! They will this amazing purple sprouted broccoli, as well as Rapini, Collard Greens, Arugula, Red Cabbage, Braising Mix, Parsley and Rhubarb. You know, I am just about beside myself with giddiness right now!

Cheese maker Heather Howell of Twin Oaks Creamery holds up a wheel of her flavored cheddar. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cheese maker Heather Howell of Twin Oaks Creamery holds up a wheel of her curry cheddar. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I took this photo of cheese maker Heather Howell during our visit to Twin Oaks Creamery last month. She is standing in her aging cave, holding a wheel of one of her raw cows milk flavored cheddars, which they just began bringing to market last week, along with their Romano and plain cheddar. They are all great, and while the cheddar is still a bit young, it is fabulous and very creamy. I imagine, as some of it ages longer, it will just get better and better. As for their cave, what I love about it is that it is built into the back of an old coffee shop and greasy spoon that was sitting vacant in historic downtown Chehalis until they took it over late last year. They do much of their cheese making there, and, of course, the aging, while at the same time they are helping to revitalize one of the most economically depressed cities in the state. And when you buy their cheese, you are helping, too!

Red leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wait. Now, I must be pulling your leg, right? I mean, lettuce? Yes, this is red leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. And they’re not tiny baby lettuces, either. This is actual head lettuce with full-sized leaves, perfect for salads, topping sandwiches, or making lettuce wraps. You’ve been pining for local lettuce since last fall, haven’t you? Well, it’s back, baby!

April's Tamale-of-the-Month from Patty Pan Grill. Photo courtesy Patty Pan Grill.

April’s Tamale-of-the-Month from Patty Pan Grill. Photo courtesy Patty Pan Grill.

We finish this week’s epistle with the Tamale of the Month from Patty Pan GrillChorizo & Kale Raab. They are made with pork from Olsen Farms and kale raab from Nash’s Organic Produce. Get you some to warm up and fill your belly at the Market, and then get some frozen to take home with you to enjoy later! Oh, how I love April!

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.

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.