Posts Tagged ‘mint’

Wednesday, October 1st Midweek Teaser: Local Tuna, Black Currants, Artisan Cheese, Wild Mushrooms & More!

October 1, 2014
Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Canned local albacore tuna in a variety of flavors from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

As we enter October, we’ve decided to mix it up a little bit here at the blog for your Ballard Farmers Market. Instead of doing one epic post each Saturday evening, with a gagillion photos, we’re going to start splitting it up a bit, and to that end, we introduce a new midweek installment. It’s just a little something to stir your culinary imagination in the middle of the work week.

This coming Sunday is the first Sunday of the month, and that means a visit from Fishing Vessel St. Jude, with the finest canned and frozen albacore tuna you will find anywhere. It is sashimi grade and prized by top chefs all over Seattle. St. Jude catches younger albacore as they swim south toward tropical waters from the cold waters of the North Pacific, where they were born. Because of their youth, they are very low in accumulated heavy metals. Because they’ve been in cold water, they are very high in beneficial omega-fatty acids. And they are delicious!

Black currants from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Black currants from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

We get asked a lot if anyone here at your Ballard Farmers Market grows currants. Finally, we can say, “yes!” Booth Canyon Orchard has these gorgeous black currants right now, but just for another week or two. So for your sauces, jams, pies, or whatever you like to do with them, stop by Booth Canyon this Sunday and get you some!

Cipollini onions from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cipollini onions from Colinwood Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Cipollini onions from Port Townsend’s Colinwood Farm are the perfect compliment to many fall dishes. They cook down and caramelize into a sweet garnish to meats. They make wonderful pickled onions. They’re great in soups. They just plain have a beautiful flavor that is prized by chefs and Italians alike! (And in some cases, even by Italian chefs!)

Seastack cheese from Mt Townsend Creamery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Seastack cheese from Mt Townsend Creamery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of Port Townsend, it is also the home of Mt. Townsend Creamery, one of Washington’s many great artisan cheese makers. They are partnered with a family-owned dairy farm in Sequim, just to their west, that produces all of the milk for their cheeses. Their Seastack cheese (above) has won multiple awards nationally, and it is a lovely, soft-ripened cheese perfect with a fresh baguette from Tall Grass Bakery and a little dollop of ikura from Loki Fish.

Wild matsutake mushrooms from Foraged & Food Edibles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild matsutake mushrooms from Foraged & Food Edibles at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Matsutake mushrooms grow wild on the slopes of our local volcanos. And Foraged & Found Edibles harvests them there and brings them to us. They are highly prized for Japanese and Chinese cuisine, but they certainly are not limited to it. And they are nutrient dense, perhaps more so than many other mushrooms.

Fresh spearmint from Children's Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh spearmint from Children’s Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

With the return of fall rains, the spearmint crop at Children’s Garden in Fall City has made a strong comeback. It is superb right now, waiting to perk up your water or tea, or to lay the foundation for amazing mojitos and juleps. It also opens up your senses, and is even said to help you breathe better at night. What’s not to love?

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, June 22nd: Happy Summer Solstice! We Bring You Alaskan Salmon, Blueberries, Shunkyo Radishes, 8 Kinds of Summer Squash, A New Bakery & So Much More!

June 21, 2014
Fresh pink salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh pink salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Solstice everyone! Yes, today is the first full day of summer! Woohoo! The sun will be up for 16 hours today, with an additional hour of daylight tacked on either side. It’s these spectacular long days that keep us going all winter long, so let’s celebrate. And to get summer started, Loki Fish began catching wild Alaskan salmon this past week, and they will have lots of fresh salmon today at your Ballard Farmers Market! We expect them to have SockeyeCohoPink and Keta today, and possibly even some King. They’ll have fillets and whole fish for you, ready for the grill or smoker.

Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries & strawberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries & strawberries from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy Berry Cobbler, Batman! Sidhu Farms has raspberriesblueberriesblackberries and strawberries already, and it is still June! All I can say is, wow. This year continues to amaze. So while we begin our slow, steady, six-month long descent into darkness today, let us remember to enjoy all that these long, sunny, warm days have to offer. And heck… start freezing these berries today! You and yours will enjoy them all winter long!

Collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Take a gander at these gorgeous collard greens from Growing Things Farm. Do you eat collard greens? No? Why not? Do you associate them with the kind that is cooked to death with ham hocks in the South? Mind you, I enjoy those as much as the next person, but that ain’t how we roll here in the Northwet. Our collards are so sweet and tender, they are best simply sautéed with some garlic, bacon and a little salt and pepper until just wilted. Toss the stems in first, so they get tender. They make a great side dish to a nice grilled steak, or they can be the centerpiece of your meal. And collard greens are one of the most nutrient dense vegetables you’ll find around here!

Pomodoro bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo courtesy Snohomish Bakery.

Pomodoro bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo courtesy Snohomish Bakery.

As you may have noticed, we’ve been one bakery down since the end of May. Well, not anymore! Please welcome Snohomish Bakery, from — you guessed it — Snohomish. They offer a large variety of great artisan breads, including this Pomodoro loaf, which they describe thusly: “A finishing salt takes the flavor of this already-packed savory bread to a whole other level. Ideal for sun-dried tomato and  rosemary lovers!” They also offer a number of other fun savory baked goods and croissants. We are excited to add them to our vendor lineup!

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

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

Stoney Plains Organic Farm has great organic strawberries for you this week. And that’s especially good to know, since we’re experiencing a little bit of a dip in our strawberry supply this week. They also have lots and lots of greens available right now.

Fresh spearmint from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh spearmint from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summertime means that you need mint! Lots of mint. For desserts, cocktails, salads, proteins… pretty much everything, really. Children’s Gardens grows some beautiful mint, including chocolate mint, and this spearmint. Me? I just like crunching up some of the leaves and putting it in my water glass.

Saskatoon berries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Saskatoon berries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids! Even the wild berries are early this year! These are wild Saskatoon berries from Foraged & Found Edibles. Native to the Pacific Northwest, Western Canada, the Rockies and the North Central U.S., they are nutrient-dense and mighty tasty. Oh, and Foraged & Found has lots of grey morel mushrooms today, too!

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

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

Fennel has arrived at Alm Hill Gardens. This sweet, licorice-y, bulbous weed is so versatile. Use the leafy fronds in salads or on fish. Grill the bulbs, sauté them or pickle them… even eat them raw. Use it to add flavor to other things, or let it be the star. I hear people telling me, “oh, but I’ve got that growing wild in my backyard.” No, what you have in your backyard is a wild cousin. The cultivated form has been bred for its tender bulbs and its sweet flavor. Enjoy!

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

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

We are full-on into the grilling season now, folks. The kiddies are out of school, the evenings are long and warm, and so much summer produce is great grilled. Plus, you keep your kitchen cool and your cleanup minimal. And with Independence Day just around the corner, you’ll want to stock up on some of these beef steaks from Skagit River Ranch. Their beef is grass-fed and finished on gorgeous pasture up in Sedro-Woolley, and it is tender and delicious. And can’t you just imagine the smell of them wafting through your house as they sizzle over those hot coals?

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

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

These are Shunkyo radishes, a Japanese variety that is my favorite radish. They are long, bright pinkish-red, and right now, they carry a good, spicy kick, which, for my money, every radish should. Stop by One Leaf Farm today, pick some up, and punch up your salad tonight, or simply dip it in some nice butter and maybe some truffle salt for a great pre-dinner snack.

Beef-porcini cappelletti from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Beef-porcini cappelletti from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Look! It’s a bunch of little hats! No, seriously, this is beef-porcini cappelletti from Pasteria Lucchese, and cappelletti means “little hat” in Italian. So these are a bunch of little hats. Delicious little hats. I am just imagining eating some in a nice broth right now. Mmm. Ask them for ideas for preparing them, or any of his many other awesome handmade artisan pastas, today!

Summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Say what? Yes, this is summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. In fact, they already are harvesting at least eight varieties of summer squash over in Mabton… and summer just started! I like to slice them in half, lengthwise, and oil them up, then grill them. How you do like to prepare them? Post your ideas on our Facebook page, or click the comment button, below.

Early bing cherries from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Early bing cherries from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Martin Family Orchards is the most northern of all of the orchardists here at your Ballard Farmers Market. That means they are usually the last to start harvesting cherries. Well, folks. This is the week! They’ll have these lovely Bing cherries, as well as some nice Rainier cherries today. Now, we get to wait on pins and needles for apricots and peaches!

Salad mix from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Salad mix from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Colinwood Farm blesses us with their wonderful salad mix all year round. But this time of year is when it truly shines. Loaded with many kinds of lettuces, hearty and spicy greens and edible flowers, it is a summer delight!

Patty Pan Grill's market-fresh veggie quesadillas were never sexier. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Patty Pan Grill’s market-fresh veggie quesadillas were never sexier. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Da Boyz of Summer are ready to sling you up some serious deliciousness at Patty Pan Grill. Patty Pan embodies farmers market prepared food, being the first to build their menu around what is fresh and local at the market. Their veggies for their quesadillas are all sourced every week from our market farmers, and their tamales are filled with veggies, meats and cheeses from them, as well. And Patty Pan is even a worker-owned cooperative. How cool is that? Enjoy!

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, March 10th: Did You Set Your Clocks Forward?!? And Other Delicious News!

March 9, 2013
Did you set your clocks forward an hour for Daylight Savings Time? Image courtesy LeeHansen.com.

Did you set your clocks forward an hour for Daylight Savings Time? Image courtesy LeeHansen.com.

Hey kids! It’s Daylight Savings Time again, that archaic process by which we are somehow saving daylight by simply reprogramming our clocks. And yet, we still seem to have the same amount of daylight in the day. There are many stories as to the purpose of this process, but it seems to me that the farmers we work with are out in their fields while it’s light, and the time on the clock is irrelevant. And it’s not like the cows that need milking are going to look at the changed clock on the wall and suddenly think to themselves, “Moo. My udders are full, but the clock says…” But hey, at least I won’t need a flashlight tonight to see the keyhole on my backdoor when I get home from the Market.

ChildrensSpearmint

Spearmint from Children’s Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

With seemingly the mildest winter in years here in the Pacific Northwet, lotsa green things are already returning to your Ballard Farmers Market. In fact, it is a great time to enjoy fresh-cut herbs again, like this spearmint from Children’s Garden. They also have cilantro, rosemary, parsley and other herbs now, plus a ton of greens, and daffodils

Survival Pouch from Umchu Bar. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Survival Pouch from Umchu Bar. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Remember Cave Man Bars? Well, Steve is back with his delicious snack and energy bars, but under a new name: Umchu Bar. And he has incorporated more local ingredients in his recipes, as well as developed a few new recipes, too! Like his new Survival Pouch, which he calls a “primitive PB&J.” Made with roasted peanuts from CB Nuts in Kingston, and Washington cherries, this is the perfect thing to keep a case of around for when the zombie apocalypse finally arrives.

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

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

Speaking of yummy, tender, spring greens, look at these tasty baby chard greens from Colinwood Farms. After months of kale, some chard sounds pretty good right about now. A quick sauté with some garlic and olive oil… mmm. Or just eat ’em raw as a salad. Hey, why not get some triticale from Nash’s Organic Produce and make a nice chard and grain salad. Now, we’re talking.

Seasoned cheese curds from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seasoned cheese curds from Twin Oaks Creamery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Gil & I had a lovely visit to Twin Oaks Creamery in Chehalis on Friday, and we got to meet the cows and goats and see the milking parlor, cheese making facilities and aging cave. One of the things we got to see is how they season their cheese curds. They use fresh-cut herbs and fresh spices. And the result is deliciousness. Simple curds turned into culinary works of art that will please any palate.

Braising mix from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Braising mix from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Braising greens from Alm Hill Gardens are back in force these days, fully recovered from the early January deep freeze they got up in Whatcom County. See, they get that cold wind out of the Fraser River Valley that comes way down out of Northern Canada. Fortunately, though, winter veggies in the fields sprang back to life quickly, and now, we get to enjoy this tasty mix of kales, chards and collards.

Chicken (top) and duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chicken (top) and duck eggs from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We also visited Stokesberrry Sustainable Farm in Olympia during our Friday trip. We first got to visit their pastures where their cattle and Icelandic sheep graze on lush greens. Then, we headed to the main farm to see all the ducks and chickens quacking and clucking and wandering about freely. Lots of space. Lots of free air. Lots of mud… well, for the pigs, anyway. The egg-laying ducks (yes, there are different breeds of ducks and chickens — some lay eggs, some are used for meat) where rather comical, marching around their enclosure, quacking in unison. After all, they are flocking birds. Well, they lay these beautiful white eggs (above), that are wonderful, with rich, deeply yellow yolks. Yes, they do taste different than chicken eggs. Haven’t tried them before? Grab a dozen today!

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.

Sunday, May 1st: May Day! May Day! (Don’t Panic. It Is May Day, After All! Time To Celebrate Spring!!!)

May 1, 2011

Oxbow Farm's Luke Woodward proudly showing off his prized carrots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Now, I am certain it is spring! Oxbow Farm returns today. Welcome back Luke and the gang for another great year of deliciousness. Luke tells me they’ll have parsnips, russets, wild nettles, spinach, various raabs and a bunch of plants, including their famous tomato starts and a variety of brassicas.

Hey, as much as I talk about it being spring, and today it will really feel like it, the Pagan calendar considers May 1st to be the beginning of summer, and they mark it with the holiday of Beltane. So celebrate looking forward to a great harvest, and celebrate fertility! Set a bonfire! Color some eggs and hang them from trees! (Oh, by the way, those colored eggs eventually led to the Easter egg hunt, after early Christians stole the Pagans’ eggs and buried them.) Today is also the international day of workers, so thank yourself, and someone working for or near you, for keeping things moving, in spite of Congress, the banking industry, oil companies and the lot. Oh, and today a bunch of anarchists will likely march around the streets of Olympia and do a dance with local authorities.

Asparagus from Magana. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Magana Farms also returns today for the 2011 market season with lots of Yakima Valley asparagus. Yup, it’s time to get your asparagus on, folks. In fact, not only Magana, but also Lyall Farms and Alm Hill Gardens will have asparagus today. Woohoo!!!

Squash blossoms & baby squash from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

No, this isn’t a file photo. These are squash blossoms photographed by yours truly just last Sunday. Colinwood Farm grows them in their greenhouse every spring, just to please us and confuse the heck out of us. But hey, stop questioning. Instead, grab some of these beauties, and then get some chevre or fromage from one of our various cheese makers and stuff these bad boys and fry ’em up! You can thank me later. Oh! They have adorable little baby squash ripe for the sauteing, too!

Canned smoked salmon bellies from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I’ve never understood why some people trim the belly fat off of their salmon. I mean, when are people gonna get it through their thick skulls that not all fat is bad? In fact, fat is a necessary part of our diets, and without it, our brains literally cease to function. That’s why fish is good brain food. And cold water fish is even better brain food. It’s got all those omega fatty acids that make our brains and our hearts so happy. And those salmon bellies so many of you are eschewing are full of them. Not to mention the fact that they are friggin’ delicious! Honestly, I was at this fish market in Florida — a place I already established two weeks ago with you as devoid of real farmers markets — and in addition to the great local seafood they had in their cases, they had wild Alaskan salmon… with the belly fat all trimmed away. In horror, I asked, “Why?!?” They said most people wanted it that way — more evidence that that state is just fundamentally twisted. So then I asked, “Do you at least save the bellies for yourself?” And they said, “Of course. That’s the best part of the fish!” Yes, a voice a reason in an unreasonable place. Blessed are the fishers and fishmongers! Well, salmon bellies are something many of us understand around here, and Loki Fish decided it was high time they canned some of them just for us. (I can only assume that Dylan and Pete simply had more salmon bellies than they could possible eat by themselves!) So come pick up a can of Loki’s smoked salmon bellies today. Okay, get three, and tell your family you got two, and then eat the third of them in your car in the driveway.

Easter eggs & French breakfast radishes from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Radishes are absolutely rocking right now. Just look at these lovely specimens of radiliciousness from Alm Hill Gardens! Slice them over some spicy salad mix, for which Alm Hill also has you covered, dip them in some butter and truffle salt, or just eat them straight. Yeah, baby!

Mothers' Day gift bags from Woodinville Lavender. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I had a chance to visit Woodinville Lavender Farm amongst the wineries and distilleries of Woodinville on Thursday afternoon. It is rather extraordinary what can be produced on just a 1-acre lavender farm. They are infusing their lavender into soaps, bath salts, candles, neck & eye pillows, mists, and all sorts of things. In fact, just in time for Mothers’ Day, they’ve put together a little gift bag that’ll make any mom giddy.

Green leaf lettuce from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

“Lettuce entertain you.” Sorry. But every spring, the first lettuce of the year gets me singing that Queen song in my head. This green leaf lettuce is one of several varieties of the leafy wonderfulness offered up by Stoney Plains already this spring. Oh, happy day!

Whole emmer in husk from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 201o by Zachary D. Lyons.

Emmer is just simply a beautiful grain in so many ways. This is it still in the husk last fall from Bluebird Grain Farms. They then husk it to extract the whole grain, which they sell as is, or milled as flour or cracked emmer. Bluebird returns to your Ballard Farmers Market today with all manner of emmer and other grain products.

Berry wines from Rockridge Orchards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of Mothers’ Day, it is just next Sunday. No time like the present to grab some wine or cider from Rochridge Orchards in preparation. Then drink it this week, and come back next week, with mom, and buy some more to share with her!

Peppermint & chocolate mint from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Don’t you just love fresh mint? Of course you do! And the Kentucky Derby is next Saturday, you know. You will need plenty of mint to make proper mint juleps or iced tea for the occasion. So stop by Children’s Garden today and pick some up!

Chocolate milk from Silver Springs Creamery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chocolate milk, oh, how I love thee. And thank you, Silver Springs Creamery, for blessing us this day with delicious chocolate milk made with your wonderful Jersey cow’s milk. Okay, everyone, I’ll race you to Silver Springs’ tent for the last bottle!

Three different strudels from Little Prague European Bakery. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And for those of you who simply are not yet sweet enough, stop by Little Prague European Bakery for some of their famous strudel, and sweeten yourself up a bit. Believe me, we will all be the better for it!

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.