Posts Tagged ‘onions’

Sunday, January 17th: Storage Crops (Go Hawks!)

January 17, 2015
The 12th Potato from Olsen Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The 12th Potato from Olsen Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Another Sunday, another big game. That’s been our reality here at your Ballard Farmers Market during football season the last two years. And in order for us to get us localicious on, we all have to do a little adapting. This week, with a 12:15 PM start time, we recommend that you come to your Ballard Farmers Market between 10 AM and noon, or step out of one of the many bars and restaurants on Ballard Avenue featuring the game on their televisions during halftime, if you want to catch the game and get your grocery shopping done, too. And if you focus on these great storage crops featured in this week’s epistle, like these potatoes from Olsen Farms, you can easily leave them in your trunk while you enjoy the game somewhere here in Downtown Ballard. (Oh, and if you are not planning on watching the game, coming to Market during the game will be a pleasure for you!)

Dried grains, beans and seeds from Nash's Organic Produce at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Dried grains, beans and seeds from Nash’s Organic Produce at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Winter is a great time to utilize and enjoy dried beans, grains, seeds and milled products from Nash’s Organic Produce. From freshly milled cornmeal and gluten-free buckwheat flour, to whole grains like triticale and naked oats, from mustard seeds to dried fava beans, Nash’s has an amazing, diverse and versatile selection. I love adding the naked oats to chicken soup, and using their cornmeal to bread pan fried oysters from Hama Hama Oysters, or true cod from Wilson Fish.

Mixed roots from Growing Washington (Alm Hill Gardens) at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Mixed roots from Growing Washington (Alm Hill Gardens) at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for a quick and easy dinner idea? How about a root roast? This handy root mix from Growing Washington (a.k.a., Alm Hill Gardens) is just the ticket. The key to a successful, low maintenance root roast is to cut your roots into appropriate sizes based on their density, so that they all will be ready at the same time. Rutabagas are the densest, followed by carrots and beets, and then potatoes. Sunchokes and parsnips cook the fastest. The denser the root, the smaller the pieces. Follow this rule, and you will have great, simple, delicious root roasts. Just lather them up with your favorite oil, salt and pepper to taste, and slide them in a hot oven until tender. Give them a toss about midway through.

Frozen blueberries from Sidhu Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Frozen blueberries from Sidhu Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

I add a handful of these frozen blueberries to my hot cereal every morning. Sidhu Farms harvests them at their peak of ripeness, and quickly freezes them, so that we can enjoy them all winter long. If you do plan to shop the Market and then watch the Big Game in the neighborhood, we recommend that you bring a small cooler with some ice to keep your blueberries frozen.

Red storage onions from Colinwood Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Red storage onions from Colinwood Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

2014 was a great year for onions, and we will enjoy them all winter long. Just take a gander at these beautiful red storage onions from Colinwood Farm, for example. They are a great long storage onion, have a nice, intense oniony bite to them when raw that is great for salads and sandwiches, and they sweeten up beautifully when caramelized.

Dried beans from Kirsop Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Dried beans from Kirsop Farm at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Besides all of their great veggies, Kirsop Farm produces many different kinds of dried beans, including hurreritetiger, black & pinto, as well as hard red wheat. All are great for hearty fall soups, stews, salads and more, and they will keep for months!

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, don’t forget the wonderful Beauregard sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms. Great roasted on their own, steamed and mashed with garlic and chipotle peppers, roasted with parsnips, made into soup or pies, or however you enjoy them best, they are sure to warm your belly and your soul on a cool, damp Northwest night.

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.

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Thanksgiving Update For Thursday, November 20th: Let’s Tawk Stuffing!

November 20, 2014
Stuffing mix from Tall Grass Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Stuffing mix from Tall Grass Bakery at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Let’s talk stuffing. You’ll find most everything you’ll need for an Eat Local For Thanksgiving stuffing right here at your Ballard Farmers Market this Sunday! Let’s start with this amazing stuffing mix from Tall Grass Bakery. A mixture of dried, seasoned croutons of several of their best artisan breads, it is all ready for you to mix together with many of the other delicious items below to make a memorable holiday stuffing. But quantities are limited, and it is known to sell out early!

Schmaltz, a.k.a., chicken fat, from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Schmaltz, a.k.a., chicken fat, from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Before you add the stuffing mix to your pot, you will need to sauté your onions and celery. For a real treat, skip the butter and sauté them with some schmaltz, or chicken fat, from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm. This is the butter of Jewish mothers and grandmothers for centuries. It will impart amazing flavor into your stuffing while actually being less heavy than butter.

Yellow onions from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Yellow onions from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

You will need onions for a proper stuffing. Like these lovely yellow onions from Kirsop Farms, or even some of their red cipollini onions. They sweeten up as they cook, to add a nice, rich flavor. And for more flavor, and texture…

Celery from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Celery from Stoney Plains Organic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

… you’ll need some celery, like this celery from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Now, I’ll warn you. Celery took it hard during the recent freeze, so quantities will be extremely limited this Sunday. Most farmers harvested as much celery as they could in advance of the freeze, but they weren’t all successful. Now, don’t let the fact that it was harvested a week or so ago worry you. It’ll still be fresher and better tasting than most celery at the Big Box stores. And in the worst case scenario, your Ballard Farmers Market will have plenty of celeriac (a.k.a., celery root) available from multiple farms.

Chesnock red garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Chesnock red garlic from Jarvis Family Garlic Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

And garlic. You’ll need lots of garlic. Not just for your stuffing, but for just about everything else, especially your bird! Stop by Jarvis Family Garlic Farm and check out all the different varieties of heirloom garlics they have, including this classic Chesnock red garlic.

Stock from Sea Breeze Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Stock from Sea Breeze Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

A good stock makes for delicious stuffing. And while we never really know for sure what our buddies George & Rose from Sea Breeze Farm will show up with at your Ballard Farmers Market from week to week, hopefully this week will include some of their various meat stocks, which will moisten and richly flavor your stuffing.

Sno-Valley Mushrooms' Rowan and shiitake mushrooms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Sno-Valley Mushrooms’ Rowan and shiitake mushrooms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

If you like mushrooms in your stuffing, be sure to stop by Sno-Valley Mushrooms early to pick up some of their shiitake or oyster mushrooms. They grow them over in Duvall in a state-of-the-art facility, and the result is delicious and nutritious local mushrooms that will make your stuffing sing!

Smoked, pickled & shucked oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Smoked, pickled & shucked oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Finally, if you like oysters in your stuffing, Hama Hama Oysters has you covered with shucked oysters in various sizes. They are fresh and brinylicious, and will make for a truly luxurious stuffing. But again, get here early, as they will sell out.

Midweek Update For Wednesday, October 29th: Artichokes, Fall Flowers, Local Wine, Cippolini Onions, Kirsop Farm & More!

October 29, 2014
Artichokes from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Artichokes from Growing Things Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s time for your mid-week teaser! Here is some food for thought — literally — to fire you up for this weekend’s trip to your Ballard Farmers Market. These are some gorgeous artichokes from Growing Things Farm, don’t you think? And they are just waiting for you to use them in your favorite recipes. And though you cannot really tell from this photo, these babies are nice and large.

Red Delicious apples from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Delicious apples from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s gotten so many people disregard the humble red delicious apple in favor of exotic or classic heirlooms, or because they just seem mundane and boring. And while modern red delicious apples that are bred for storage and appearance — the ones you get at the Big Box store or with school lunches — have been accurately described as “akin to old potatoes when they come out of long storage” by a former Washington State Director of Agriculture, these red delicious apples from Martin Family Orchards are not those red delicious apples. These are, in fact, an older variety of them that hasn’t been bred black and flavorless, but instead is one of the finest eating apples you will ever encounter, because Martin brings them to Market fresh from harvest, when they’re at their peak of flavor and crispness. These are the red delicious apples that earned them their name in the first place!

Maggie and pup Lola inspecting the Madeleine Angevine grapes at LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards). Photo courtesy LIV.

Maggie and pup Lola inspecting the Madeleine Angevine grapes at LIV (Lopez Island Vineyards). Photo courtesy LIV.

The harvest and crush are in full swing at vineyards and wineries all over Washington right now, and that includes LIV (a.k.a., Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery). Here, Maggie and farm dog Lola are inspecting some of this year’s Madeleine Angevine grapes on their Lopez Island vineyards. These are the grapes responsible for their most award-winning wine. Stop by for a sample at your Ballard Farmers Market!

Fall dahlia bouquet at Mee Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fall dahlia bouquet at Mee Garden at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It seems our amazing, endless summer of 2014 has truly come to an end, though we continue to be blessed with lovely Sundays, as the weather gods love them so Ballard Farmers Market as much as you and I do. Still, we can continue to bring home summer sunshine in the form of these spectacular flowers from Mee Garden until they receive their first frost in the Lower Snoqualmie Valley. So stop by for a beautiful bouquet this week!

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

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

Cipollini onions from One Leaf Farm cook down and caramelize wonderfully, making them brilliant for adding deep, rich onion flavor to soups, sauces and sides, or just as a simple garnish. Try them with one of their winter squash! One Leaf also has other great storage onions now, as well as shallots.

Beets from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Beets from Kirsop Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This Sunday, we welcome a new farm to the vendor ranks here at your Ballard Farmers Market, but Kirsop Farm is by no means a new farm. In fact, they’ve been around for almost 20 years! We’ve enjoyed their stunning organic produce at both Wallingford and Madrona Farmers Markets for the last two years, and they’ve played a starring role at the Olympia Farmers Market going back to the 1990s. Based in Tumwater, Kirsop Farm is one of those farms, like Boistfort Valley Farm, to which many other farms in Washington look up. Their displays are magnificent, and their produce superb. And for an example of both, just take a gander at the beets in the photo above.

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.