Posts Tagged ‘peanuts’

Sunday, September 7th: Return of Booth Canyon & Camelina Gold, Westside Sweet Corn, Table Grapes, Fresh Peanuts, Nectarplums, A Guy Who Loves Making Soup & Nearing The End Of Washington’s 2014 King Salmon Season!

September 6, 2014
Fresh Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy cow! It is September already! The kiddies are back in school, the nights are getting longer and a little cooler. And the crops in your Ballard Farmers Market are beginning to trend toward fall. And yet today, Seattle will break the 80 degree mark for the 43rd time this year. Summer is not over! If it were, after all, you wouldn’t be able to get this amazing fresh, wild Washington king salmon from our buddies at Wilson Fish. That’s because the salmon fishing season on the Washington coast ends in mid-September. So enjoy it now, while it is still here. Cuz in a couple of weeks, it won’t be!

Gravenstein apples from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gravenstein apples from Booth Canyon Orchard at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Booth Canyon Orchard returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market for the 2014 season. Says owner, Stina Booth, “This weekend, look for Gravenstein apples (the BEST pies in the world), Suncrest peaches (as close to a mango as you can get in Washington), Morretini pears (if champagne were a pear…..), and weird and wonderful Green Gage plums.”

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

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

Westside sweet corn has finally arrived at your Ballard Farmers Market, and this year’s crop is amazing! While we’ve been enjoying the blessings of Eastern Washington’s hot weather and earlier corn crops for almost two months now, the corn fields in Western Washington have slowly been growing to maturity. You’ll find big, beautiful, sweet ears of corn from several Westside farms today, including this beautiful specimen from Stoney Plains Organic Farms in Tenino.

Here is a tip for chosing corn: instead of pulling open the top to see if it is filled out, simply run your thumb over the outside of the husk. You can easily feel the mature kernels inside. See, when you actually tear the corn open, you are actually ruining it either for yourself or the next person, because the minute you do that, all the delicious sugars in it that make it so sweet begin to turn to starch. So please, never tear open the husk to examine it before you buy it. If you need help choosing the best ears, just ask. Our farmers are more than happy to lend you a hand.

Eric displays huge heads of romaine lettuce from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Eric displays huge heads of romaine lettuce from Boistfort Valley Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Over the past few years, we’ve all gotten quite familiar with our pal, Eric, working behind the tables of Boistfort Valley Farm, slinging ginormous heads of organic lettuce, or hooking us up with amazing fresh herbs or artichokes or any manner of colorful beetsturnips and radishes. But time’s come for Eric to finally hunker down and finish off a college degree he’s be slow-walking for a while now, and that makes today his last day selling for Boistfort Valley at your Ballard Farmers Market. Stop by today, wish him well, and grab some deliciousness while you’re there!

Seedless Thompson table grapes from Magana Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Seedless Thompson table grapes from Magana Farms at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

These sweet seedless Thompson table grapes from Magana Farms make for great white raisins. Just pluck them off of the vine, give them a good rinse, and put them in your dehydrator until raisinesqueness ensues. That is, of course, as long as you don’t eat them all fresh, right off of the vine, first. On second thought. you’d better buy twice as many as you think you’ll need!

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Camelina oil from Ole World Oils at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Your local cooking oil returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market, after its summer hiatus. This is camelina oil, made from the seeds of the camelina plant, an old member of the mustard family. It is grown and pressed by Ole World Oils in Ritzville, Washington. It is non-GMO, has a higher smoke point than grapeseed oil (475 degrees!), and is high in natural vitamin E, making it shelf stable. It is also high in beneficial omega-fatty acids, with a perfect 2:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. It has a great, nutty flavor that makes it a good finishing and cooking oil. It is great for cooking white fish, chicken and pork, for roasting cauliflower, broccoli, roots and potatoes, for blistering padron peppers and more. It is competitively priced, and best of all, it is local!

Hilario Alvarez of Alvarez Organic Farms harvesting fresh peanuts on his Mabton farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Hilario Alvarez of Alvarez Organic Farms harvesting fresh peanuts on his Mabton farm. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

It is fresh peanut season at your Ballard Farmers Market again! Yes, our good friends at Alvarez Organic Farms are harvesting peanuts right now from their fields in Mabton, Washington. Still don’t believe peanuts grow here? Then look at this photo I took of Don Hilario Alvarez on the farm two weeks ago! Those are two freshly-harvested peanut bushes in his hands, and behind him is acre after acre of peanuts. Peanuts are not nuts at all, but legumes, and you can see that in the pea-like leaves they have. Love boiled peanuts, or you want to roast your own? Now’s the time!

Fresh cannellini shelling beans from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh cannellini shelling beans from One Leaf Farm at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Ooh, baby. Fresh cannellini beans from One Leaf Farm! These lovely little shelling beans are white when dried, but are green when fresh. And when fresh, their flavor and texture are quite different. I love fresh shelling beans in general. They make for great salads, sides, additions to pastas, spreads… but I especially love them in succotash. Just shuck and boil the fresh beans for 15-20 minutes in well-salted water, until just slightly fork tender. Then toss them into a pan with some rendered bacon or some smoked salmon, add corn freshly cut off the cob, some chopped parsley, some green onion, a bit of crushed garlic and some salt and pepper and give it all a good toss until just warmed through. Don’t overcook it. And enjoy! Remember, too, that you can buy, shuck and freeze fresh shelling beans now, and enjoy them all winter.

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Nectarplums from Collins Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

The last of the season’s funny-named hybrid stone fruit has arrived: nectarplums. Yes, you guessed it. They are a cross betwixt nectarines and plums. They are large, juicy, sweet and delicious, and they’re pretty cool looking, too, eh? Grab some today from Collins Family Orchards.

Olsen Farms pork belly bacon (left) and jowl bacon (right) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Olsen Farms pork belly bacon (left) and jowl bacon (right) at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

This gorgeous bacon is from Olsen Farms. On the left is traditional pork belly bacon, and on the right is pork jowl bacon. And while both are great, the jowl bacon has its own unique, somewhat sweeter, flavor to it that I love for adding to vegetable dishes and pastas.

Gorgeous chard from Alm Hill Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Gorgeous chard from Alm Hill Gardens at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

As the days are getting shorter and (a little) cooler, now’s a great time to enjoy some fabulous late-summer greens. This stunning chard from Alm Hill Gardens is wonderful simply sautéed with a little garlic until just wilted, or added to grain salads or soup.

Jerry Baxter of Got Soup? presiding in his kitchen over some of the many local ingredients he uses. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Jerry Baxter of Got Soup? presiding in his kitchen over some of the many local ingredients he uses. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

Why is this guy smiling? Truth is, Got Soup‘s Jerry Baxter always seems to be smiling. Maybe it is the amazing soups he makes for us, in an extraordinary variety of flavors. Maybe it is the great, local ingredients he uses to make his soups, like these from Alvarez Organic Farms, Martin Family Orchards, Nash’s Organic Produce, Olsen Farms, and so many other great local farms, seen at his kitchen recently. Maybe it is because he has figured out how to spend his days either making soup or hanging out at farmers markets, and getting paid for it. Whatever the case, his soups will definitely make you smile, too!

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons..

Local albacore tuna loins from Fishing Vessel St. Jude at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons..

It is the first Sunday of the month, and that means we enjoy a visit today from Fishing Vessel St. Jude! They have the finest local albacore tuna you will find anywhere. It is available in sashimi-grade frozen loinsdriedsmoked, and canned. In fact, the canned tuna is great to send home with your visiting relatives! Just make sure they understand not to drain off the liquid inside the can. That is the tuna’s natural juices, not added water, and as such, it is full of flavor!

J.H. Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

J.H. Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchards at Ballard Farmers Market. Copyright Zachary D. Lyons.

J.H. Hale peaches from Martin Family Orchards are big, beautiful, sweet and juicy. They are the quintessential peach — the peach’s peach. They are the legendary peach for which Washington is famous. When you look up “peach” in the dictionary, you’ll see these guys. They are a freestone peach, making them easy for canning or making cobblers. And they are in season now!

Kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

It is fine pasta weather again, since you can count on your house cooling off overnight, in spite of daytime still being warm. These kale-spinach tortelloni from Pasteria Lucchese will certainly hit the spot for a lovely blast of flavor and quick prep time on a busy weekday evening.

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 8th: Wine Tastings, Cannellini Beans, Kimchi, Grapes, Fresh Peanuts & More!

September 7, 2013
Red and berry wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red and berry wines from Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We’re tasting wine this week at your Ballard Farmers Market. See, while we are able to let our vendors sample their wines and ciders to you now, we can only allow three of them at one time. So, last week, it was the cideries. This week, it is the wineries. Lopez Island Vineyards & Winery has a rare, certified organic vineyard from which they produce their Puget Sound Appellation estate wines, like their Siegerrebe and Madeleine Angevine. Their award-winning wines also include a beautiful big, red Malbec, too. Stop by and taste it before you buy it!

Cabernet Franc from Kitzke Cellars. Photo courtesy Kitzke Cellars.

Cabernet Franc from Kitzke Cellars. Photo courtesy Kitzke Cellars.

Kitzke Cellars is located where the Yakima River empties into the Columbia River in Richland. They are known for their big red wines, as well as a lovely rosé. They are still relatively new to us here at your Ballard Farmers Market, so stop by for a taste of their wines today and find one you like!

Thompson seedless grapes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thompson seedless grapes from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

While we are on a grape theme, I should let you know that Magana Farms has table grapes now, too. They have these Thompson seedless grapes as well as red table grapes. They are great fresh, juiced, and they make awesome raisins!

Fresh cannellini beans from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh cannellini beans from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cannellini beans are one of the great shelling beans. They are prized in Italy and France, and dried, they are the classic white bean. They have a lovely flavor and texture for use in soups, stews and salads, and when they are fresh, like these from One Leaf Farm, I love shucking them and building a lovely succotash around them. They are a great substitute for traditional lima beans. And as sweet corn is the other most common component in succotash, lucky us, they’ve got that now, too!

Banana cantaloupe from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Banana cantaloupe from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Lyall Farms grows lots of melons, like this unusual banana cantaloupe. It is weird looking, sure, but it is super sweet and juicy, and it’ll confuse the heck out of your backyard barbecue guests! Of course, Lyall still has plenty of watermelons, too, though they tend to sell out early. Consider yourself warned, sleepy heads!

Fresh peanuts from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh peanuts from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Are you one of those people that can’t wrap your head around whether a peanut is a nut or a legume? Do you love the roasted and salted peanuts from Alvarez Organic Farms, but wish you could get some fresh peanuts to boil or cook with? Or maybe you just want a conversation starter. Well, here it is — fresh peanuts on the bush, available right now, for a very short time, at your Ballard Farmers Market! Do you see those leaves? Yup, thems are peas alright!

The lineup from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The lineup from Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It has been several weeks since we’ve had a visit from our friends at Firefly Kitchens. Today, we get a quick visit from them, so if you have been missing their amazing, naturally fermented kimchisauerkraut and salsa, stock up today, as it may be a few more weeks before we can squeeze them back in again!

Red kabocha winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red kabocha winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you had any doubt as to whether or not we have turned a corner in the seasons, now that Labor Day has passed, this red kabocha winter squash from Stoney Plains Organic Farm should clear things right up for you. Sure, we’ve got more amazing summer weather in the forecast, but the shadows are getting longer, and the days are getting shorter, and we’ve been reminded in this past week that it does still rain around here on occasion. So, why not enjoy this sweet, earthy fall treat a little early, eh?

Carrot from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Carrot from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I finish this week’s installment of the news of the localiciousness with these gorgeous red and yellow carrots from Growing Things Farm. Sweet and crunchy, and great roasted, sautéed, in salads or just munched on whole, in a season in which all other crops have come in early and abundantly, carrots have been on the sparse side. That makes these beauties that much more worthy of celebration!

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, October 3rd: Winter Squash, Heirloom Apples, Shelling Beans, Fresh Peanuts,

October 2, 2010

Winter squash from Nature's Last Stand. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you noticed that the sunny days we do get are just a little crisper these days, and once the sun goes down — a lot earlier, mind you — the evening air chills much faster? It is definitely fall, no matter what our screwy 2010 weather is telling us. Let’s enjoy it! Let’s cook like it’s fall. Winter squash, like these beauties from Nature’s Last Stand, are truly one of the joys of the return of fall each year. Think of the soups, the roasts, the sautes, the salads, the pies! Imagine it roasting in your oven while the whole house warms up. Summer is wonderful for play… most years, but fall is just plain homey. It’s like a big cosmic hug.

Pink pearl apples from Jerzy Boyz. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The leaves on the huge black walnut tree in my back yard are starting to turn gold. In days, the tree will look like its ablaze, and then it will dramatically dump all its leaves at once — just sorta push them all off. I heard a scientist once say fall should really be called “push” or “shove” because leaves don’t usually just fall off of trees. The trees actually go through a process of pushing them off. How cool is that? I love looking out my big picture frame window in my kitchen at that big black walnut as it lights up the neighborhood in gold every October. I can just picture making some applesauce with these pink pearl apples from Jerzy Boyz, cutting the apples, stirring the pot, and running them through my mill, while watching the torrent of leaves cascading down from that tree. You know, pink pearl apples may be the most commonly eaten apples in the U.S. you’ve likely never heard of. That’s because most of them make their way in applesauce. They are sweet-tart, and you have to admit, they’re pretty darned cool looking, too.

Cannellini, pinto & cranberry beans from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ah, shelling beans — fresh ones — already shelled from Alm Hill Gardens. You know, once shelling beans fully dry, they are not the same as when they are fresh like this. The cooking and the taste both change a bit. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I particularly like the flavor, and the ease, of fresh shelling beans.

Celery roots, a.k.a., celeriac, from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I bet a lot of your fall recipes call for celery root, a.k.a., celeriac. Boistfort Valley Farm has some for you right now, so you can enjoy those fall recipes without delay!

Fresh peanuts from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh peanuts. They’re only available for a few weeks each fall from Alvarez Organic Farms. And yes, they do grow them. I’ve seen the plants. Do you love boiled peanuts and miss them from the South? Grab some fresh peanuts, get your stock pot filled with good, salty water — maybe some chili peppers for spice — and boil those peanuts. You can also roast them in your oven, before boiling, or after, if you want them salty as well.

Celery from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

More and more farms around here are growing celery, finally. I mean, it must be the most underrepresented staple crop at farmers markets, don’t you think? Then again, it is a bit dicey to grow. But Stoney Plains is growing it.

Red-leafed beets from Nash's. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Aren’t these red-leafed beets from Nash’s cool looking? I know, you are thinking, “aren’t most beets red?” Well, yes, the beets are. But not so much the stems and leaves, which tend toward green. And if you aren’t eating your beet greens, shame on you. I mean, heck, you are getting a 2-for-1 deal on those beets, what with the roots and the greens, and you are throwing one meal away! Beet greens are delicious, nutritious, and quick and easy to cook. Treat them like chard, which is a cousin of theirs. Me, I like them simply sauteed in olive oil and fresh garlic. Yummers!

Goat meat from Quilceda Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s roasting season! Time to stock up on some delicious goat roasts from Quliceda Farm. You know, goat meat is the most commonly eaten meat on earth. Really. Personally, I love the stuff. It is a bit milder than lamb, very lean, and just plain satisfying. And Quilceda helps us out by supplying a huge selection of recipes, too. Try some. You’ll thank me later.

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!

Morels, Asparagus & Saffron, Oh, My!

April 22, 2009

 

Washington's first morel mushrooms for 2009, picked by Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Washington's first morel mushrooms for 2009, picked by Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What?!? You missed the market on April 19th? What were you thinking? There was no holiday, no rain, no wind, no cold… and there was asparagus!

 

First of the season asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms in Mabton. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

First of the season asparagus from Alvarez Organic Farms in Mabton. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, both Alvarez Organic Farms and Ayala are back for 2009, bringing their first-of-the-season Yakima Valley asparagus with them. And what goes perfectly with asparagus? Wild morel mushrooms, harvested in Washington’s forests by Foraged & Found Edibles. Heck, they even had a morel look-alike (though not taste alike) mushroom called verpa on Sunday.

 

This morel look-alike is actually the verpa mushroom, which taste quite different. Foraged & Found Edibles has them for a very short time. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This morel look-alike is actually the verpa mushroom, which tastes quite different. Foraged & Found Edibles has them for a very short time. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You also missed… wait for it… saffron! “Saffron?” you ask? Yep. Washington-grown saffron from Phocas Farms in Port Angeles. Talk about shrinking your carbon footprint — most saffron comes from Iran. But Phocas Farms is one of a growing number of small-scale saffron producers on the North Olympic Peninsula, which is also the U.S. capitol of lavender production, growing saffron for us to enjoy with our Taylor mussels or Stokesberry chicken.

 

Washington-grown saffron from Phocas Farms in Port Angeles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Washington-grown saffron from Phocas Farms in Port Angeles. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You know what else you missed this past Sunday? Lettuce. Not itty-bitty little lettuce leaves as part of a salad mix, but whole heads of lettuce, straight from those wonderful guys with the greenhouses in the Port Townsend Banana Belt, Colinwood Farms.

 

Colinwood Farms in Port Townsend has the first head lettuce of the season. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Colinwood Farms in Port Townsend has the first head lettuce of the season. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

So I ask you, are you going to brave missing the market this coming Sunday? I think not. Oh, and did I mention the peanuts? You’ll find them at Alvarez, too.