Posts Tagged ‘purslane’

Sunday, July 1st: BYOB = Bring Your Own Bag! Celebrate Independence In Seattle From Plastic Handle Bags!!!

July 1, 2012

Canvas holiday Ballard Farmers Market shopping bags at Venue and the Market info desk. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Happy Canada Day, eh? And to celebrate the myth of Canadian independence from Great Britain, Seattle is instituting its new ban on single-use plastic bags today. That means those pesky plastic handle bags, often called “t-shirt bags” (though most folks think they look more like a tank top, frankly), are no longer legal in Seattle. So please bring your own bag with you today to your Ballard Farmers Market. Yes, you may continue to see some of those plastic bags around for a little while longer as folks use up their inventories, but don’t count on them. And hey, while you are at it, please practice at the Market what you do at home — separate your waste. That’s right. Your Ballard Farmers Market now has three kinds of waste receptacles: blue for recyclable, green for compostable, and brown for “heading to a landfill in Oregon.” Please pay attention to what you are throwing into which container, because when you are lazy and put stuff in the wrong container, it can cause the whole lot to be landfilled instead of recycled or composted, and that costs extra money and is bad for the environment. Your thoughtful cooperation is greatly appreciated. And if you don’t know what goes where, please ask for assistance.

An explosion of carrots from Gaia’s Natural Goods. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

In honor of Independence Day, coming up this Wednesday, we give you this explosion of baby carrots from Gaia’s Natural Goods. It really does kinda look like a big firework bursting high above Lake Union, doesn’t it? You know, with the 4th just a few days away, today is a great day to stock up on local deliciousness for you holiday, whether you plan to stay home, grill and watch fireworks, go sailing or go camping. Farmers market produce is so fresh, it’ll hold up at least a week longer than stuff from the Big Box stores.

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

Martin Family Orchards has the first of their fresh early bing cherries today from their orchards in Orondo, north of Wenatchee. One of the most northern of our cherry farms, they tend to come in latest in the season, but when they do, they come in strong! And they may even have a last few of their lovely d’anjou pears from last fall, too!

Jerry Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm holding one of their fresh chickens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Meet Jerry Stokesberry of Stokesberry Sustainable Farm in Olympia. Jerry raises soem of the most delicious chickens and ducks you will find anywhere, and they’ve actually got them fresh in their little black fridge for you right at the Market. I’m thinking one of these birds would be great on the barbecue with a can of beer up its bum on the 4th, don’t you?

Alice holding huge heads of Jericho romaine lettuce from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey kids, it’s two faces in a row! How often does that happen on this blog? Today, the lovely Alice is modeling some of Oxbow Farm’s ginormous heads of Jericho romaine lettuce. These suckers are bigger than Alice’s head! And the big leaves are perfect for lettuce wraps, or chop it up for an awesome caesar salad, and you can even toss it in a little olive oil and grill it. Yummers!

Red, white and blue potatoes from Nature’s Last Stand. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nature’s Last Stand returns today to your Ballard Farmers Market for the 2012 season. Of course, since John’s got us all on pins and needles about just what he’s bringing to Market today, I get to play, “guess what the farmer will have today.” Okay, I know a lot of you are thinking, “isn’t that what you do every week?” Well, sorta, but in this case it is hard to even make an educated guess. That said, I have chosen this photo of red, white and blue potatoes from 2010. Why? Because John has always liked to have red, white and blue potatoes for July 4th. And even if he doesn’t this year, the idea is a good one, don’t you think?

Salad mix from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Is this not some lovely salad mix from Growing Things Farm? I think so! It has taken a while for things to dry out over in the Snoqualmie River Valley at Growing Things, but now Michaele and her posse of interns are starting to crank out some serious veggies for us to enjoy. Of course, they’ve still got plenty of their famous eggs and chickens, too.

Fresh porchetta roast from Sea Breeze Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hopefully, Sea Breeze Farm will have more of these fresh porchetta roasts for us today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Sure, the ones they have already roasted that they will slice off a chunk of for you are plenty delish, but one of these puppies fresh out of the oven or off of the barbecue is simply to die for. Oh, the herbaceousness. Oh, the pork bellyliciouosness. However, if they were just teasing us with these last week, the good news is, they’ll still have plenty of other tasty hunks of dead animals today, ready for the grilling this coming week!

Paglia e Fieno fettuccine from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Paglia e Fieno fettuccine from Pasteria Lucchese is as much fun to eat and it is to pronounce! This best of both worlds pasta just begs for being tossed with summer’s bounty, fresh from the Market. And Sam can’t wait to give you any number of delicious, simple recipe ideas for working with it. Even if you already know what you are going to do with it, ask Sam for ideas, if only to listen to his charming Italian accent and watch him gesture his description of a “tear drop of cream.”

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

Summer Run Farm grows some of the most beautiful, perfect cauliflower you will find anywhere, and the good news is that you will find it here, at your Ballard Farmers Market, fresh out of the field and ready for munching. Roast it. Grill it. Make gorgeous salads with it. Or just dip it in freshly made cocktail sauce, like my mom loves to do!

Purslane from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What up?! It’s purslane (not to be confused with Lois Lane) from Alm Hill Gardens. This crunchy, tangy green is the stuff of legendary salads and gorgeous garnishes. And it is pretty darned good for you, too! But it isn’t around for very long, so grab some today and enjoy! You can thank me later.

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

Apriums from Collins Family Orchards are sweet and juicy right now. Apriums are a hybrid between apricots and plums, favoring apricots in appearance and flavor. They are the earliest of the larger stone fruits with a limited season, so enjoy them while you can!

Patty pan summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yay! Summer squash is in the house! Yup, Alvarez Organic Farms has kicked summer into high gear with eight different kinds of summer squash already, and even more to come. This patty pan squash is awesome on the grill alongside your favorite hunk of meat or fish, and it is so simple to prepare, though you are perfectly welcome to take a more difficult route, if you so choose. Oh, hey, BTW, it is the first Sunday of the month, and that also means we get our monthly visits from Fishing Vessel St. Jude with local albacore tuna and Bluebird Grain Farms with emmer and emmer floursmixes, etc.

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 30th: Happy Birthday Mom! (Oh, Strawberries, Cherries, Pork, Porcinis, Biscotti, Rye Flour, Honey Butter & A Bunch Of Other Stuff, Too.)

May 30, 2010

More strawberries, these from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When I was a little kid, I always thought it was so cool that the Town of New Paltz, New York would have a parade in honor of my mother’s birthday every year. See, back then (I say, dating myself), Memorial Day was held on May 30th, not that last Monday in May. And May 30th is my mom’s birthday. So I figured that the annual Memorial Day parade was being held for my mom. Heck, everyone’s mom should get a parade, really. I mean, why the heck don’t we have parades on Mother’s Day? Hmm, maybe next year, we should! Anyway, happy birthday, mom! And it’s a good thing you didn’t come out to Seattle for it, because it is cold and grey. The good news, though, is that we finally have strawberries at Ballard Farmers Market. The ones above are from Stoney Plains. Tiny’s has some, too. So for those of you who have stayed in town this first big weekend of the, um, summer (?) season, fear not. You can enjoy strawberry shortcake with your barbecue. And guess what else you can enjoy?

Early Marlat cherries from ACMA Mission Orchards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Cherries! Oh, long, endless winter called spring of our discontent, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it may not, after all, be the headlamp of an oncoming train. Green things are wonderful, but brightly colored fruits and berries will warm our hearts, if not our neighborhoods. Thank you, ACMA Mission Orchards, for bringing to us these first cherries of 2010 — Early Marlats. Who cares if they are not those sexy Rainiers and Bings we’ll enjoy in July? These are still plenty sweet and enjoyable, and any hint of a summer to come, someday, somehow, is truly welcome at this point.

A delectable selection of pigrific pork products from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We will need delicious hunks of pig to throw on the barbie this weekend, if we intend to take full advantage of our long weekend, and Olsen Farms has that covered. Now, I know you are looking at this photo thinking, “well, the chops, ribs and sausage will be great on the grill, but bacon?” Oh, ye of such limited creativity. Have you ever heard of bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin, or bacon-wrapped prawns, or bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, or bacon-wrapped… um… bacon?!? I mean, it’s bacon, for the love of Mike! If you can’t figure out how to work it into the menu, there simply is no hope for you. (Oh, and by the way, Olsen has the tenderloins, too, but they can’t help you with the prawns. However, Taylor Shellfish can certainly help you with some bacon-wrapped oyster action. And we miss you, Bill. Get well, soon!)

Baby summer squash and squash blossoms from Colinwood Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yet another sure sign that July 5th is just around the corner is this beautiful, tender, young zucchini, complete with blossoms, from Colinwood Farms. Agriculture gods be praised! Those crazy kids over in Port Townsend have put their greenhouses to good use, and we are the beneficiaries. Amen!

Baby fennel from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beautiful baby fennel is waiting for you today on the tables of Full Circle Farm. Roast a few of these lovelies, or maybe toss ’em on the grill for a few minutes. They are sweet, with a hint of anise, and they will simply make you smile.

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

Hey, asparagus would be great on the grill, too, and maybe some baby sweet onions, both of which you can get from Magana today. Actually, this all sounds great alongside some mighty king salmon from Wilson Fish, does it not?

Wild porcini, or king bolete, mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These wild porcini mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles would be lovely cooked up in a little foil pouch on the grill, too, if you can get to the Market early enough to get them. Actually, they’d be awesome sauteed and tossed with one of Pasteria Lucchese’s fantastic pastas, too.

Biscotti di Prato from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pasteria Lucchese also just introduced these new Biscotti di Prato. Sam tells me that Sara worked her way through many different recipe variations before she got to this one. We thank her for her due diligence. The result is perfection… again. I am not sure how many of these the Market staff put away at the Madrona Farmers Market on Friday, and with the weather cold enough to justify plenty of hot coffee, we dipped away with them. These beauties are not jawbreakers. They are delicate, and they are delicious — a little something to cap off that holiday barbecue.

Fresh rye flour from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Nash’s has come out with yet another flour produced from their gorgeous grains they grow in Dungeness: rye flour. Just think of all the deliciousness you can bake up with this stuff, eh? And ain’t it cool that you can get freshly milled flour right at your Ballard Farmers Market? I mean, that stuff in the bags at the Big Box grocery store… do you have any idea how old that is? See, whole grains will keep for years, but mill them into flour, and they only have about two months before they lose their nutritional value and begin to go rancid. Blech. So think about that the next time you are in the flour aisle at the Big Box store. Then think about the fact that the grain growers at Ballard Farmers Market a bringing you flour that was milled within two weeks of your purchase of it. Nuff said, eh?

New honey butter from Golden Glen Creamery. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hot, steaming bread made from local flour, fresh out of the oven, filling the whole house with its magnificent aroma. Last year, the thought of heating up the house about now seemed absurd, but this year, it sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? And just imagine that warm slice of fresh bread with some of this honey butter from Golden Glen Creamery slathered all over it. Oh, baby, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. So, when life gives you a cold Memorial Day weekend, make bread, I say!

Devra, owner of Patty Pan Grill, slinging fine veggies quesadillas at Ballard Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Did you know that Patty Pan Grill, one of Ballard Farmers Market’s oldest vendors, sources all of those veggies for their veggie quesadillas from the many farmers at Ballard Farmers Market? Yep, they sure do. So when you support Patty Pan Grill, you actually are supporting the whole Market. Kinda warms your heart, while it fills your belly.

Purslane from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here’s something I just love about spring… even this spring… purslane. Not a lot of folks grow this stuff, but Alm Hill Gardens does. It has a delicate flavor with slight tartness to it, and a nice crunch. I like eating it as a salad, myself, tossed with a little olive oil, lemon juice and some pine nuts. How do you like it?

Lovely little Cherokee lettuces from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm has some of its wonderful heirloom lettuces for you already, like these beautiful little Cherokee lettuces. Think salads, sandwiches, even roasted. Lettuce. It’s what’s for dinner. (The Beef Board can… sorry… it’s a family show.)

Mint and dill from Children's Garden. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Dress up that salad, that cocktail, that piece of salmon or halibut, that whatever it is with some fresh mint or dill from Children’s Garden. They have a bunch of fresh herbs for you now, plus plenty of lettuce, greens, garlic, choys and, of course, flowers. Lots of spectacular flowers.

Napa cabbage from Summer Run. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ooh, this would actually be pretty good on the grill, or for you non-carnivores, great tossed with some tofu, soy sauce and sesame oil. Isn’t this napa cabbage from Summer Run fabulous? Hmm. Maybe a fresh kimchi in lieu of cole slaw for the picnic, eh? Just pick up some cayenne powder from Pipitone Farms or some paprika from Some Like It Hott so your kimchi will have that proper kick.

A beautiful bouquet for my mom on her birthday, from The Old Farmer. (No, dad. You are not The Old Farmer. You are simply an old farmer.) Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I finish this rather lengthy epistle this week with one more happy birthday wish to the bestest mom in the whole wide world… mine. Oh, you can argue this point with me all you want, but you will lose. And if all else fails, I have inherited her sharp elbows, so if you persist in arguing the point, I may have to jab you with one of them. Anywho, mom, since I cannot be with you by the lake in Northern New York today, these flowers from The Old Farmer are for you — virtually. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Oh, and remember, your Ballard Farmers Market is chock full of all sorts of goodness for  your kitchen, from meat, seafood, poultry, cheese, to all sorts of fruits and veggies, baked goods, sauces, confections, fresh-cut flowers and fresh milled flours, plants for the garden, wild mushrooms, and on and on. For a fuller accounting of what you’ll find at the Market today, go to “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.

Fresh Loki Salmon, Grapeseed Oil, Fractalicious Romanesco & Red, White & Blue Potatoes

July 4, 2009
Fresh whole keta salmon from Loki Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Fresh whole keta salmon from Loki Fish. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Loki Fish had fresh Alaskan king, sockeye and keta salmon at the Ballard Farmers Market on Sunday, June 28th, but if you weren’t there, you missed it.

Apres Vin made is Ballard Farmers Market debut on June 28th with its artisan Washington grapeseed oils. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Apres Vin made is Ballard Farmers Market debut on June 28th with its artisan Washington grapeseed oils. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Apres Vin debuted at the Market this week with its lucious Washington grapeseed oils. These oils are made from the seeds of wine grapes after they are pressed for wine. As such, they have the flavors of those grapes. They are also high in antioxidants, and they have a very high smoke point, so they are great for cooking. Apres Vin has pure varietal oils and infused oils, including Cabernet Poivre, which is infused with pepper, and Chardonnay Fume, which no one can sample without saying, “Wow!”

Colinwood Farm red, white & blue potatoes. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Colinwood Farm red, white & blue potatoes. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Just in time for Independence Day and some patriotic potato salad were these red, white and blue new potatoes from Colinwood Farm. It is always a bit of a sport to see which farm can manage to get these in before July 4th. Congrats, Colinwood!

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

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

Why is Oxbow Luke smiling? Because he holds in his hands some of the best carrots on earth. The orange ones in his right hand are so sweet, they are like candy. The purple ones in his left hand, called Purple Haze, are beautiful roasted or eaten raw, with a much earthier flavor, and they are really cool, too. And speaking of really cool vegetables, how about this Romanesco from Boistfort Valley Farm.

Boistfort Valley Farm Romanesco. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Boistfort Valley Farm Romanesco. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This stuff is not only delicious, it is the only vegetable that grows in fractals. Just look at the infinite spiral patterns in it. This is a truly magnificent crop, no matter how you look at it. Of course, on the more familiar score, Red Barn Farm has some pretty spectacular lettuces available, too.

Red Barn has five gorgeous varieties of lettuce. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Barn has five gorgeous varieties of lettuce. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

But let’s talk fruit. Apricots, in fact. They are raging right now, resulting in another “proud papa” photo, in this case of Bill — the “Bill” in Bill’s Fruit.

You would have this expression on your face, too, if you had just eaten an apricot from Bill's Fruit. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You would have this expression on your face, too, if you had just eaten an apricot from Bill's Fruit. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about these lovely squash blossoms from Growing Things Farm.

Delicate squash blossoms from Growing Things are great stuffed and fried. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Delicate squash blossoms from Growing Things are great stuffed and fried. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Okay, one last shot of the less familiar — fennel bulb and purslane. These both make for great salad ingredients, and the fennel is nice in a sauté or veggie roast, or even grilled. Stop by Alm Hill to check both out.

Alm Hill fennel (left) and purslane. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alm Hill fennel (left) and purslane. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

So I hope you didn’t miss all this on June 28th. And whatever the case, you have better make it next time, as you never know what may show up unannounced for your dining pleasure.

Oh, and don’t let those “journalists” at the Seattle Weekly discourage you from trying stuff you’ve never seen in the big box stores. No matter how much some writers try to make their own careers last longer by pronouncing things we like to be “trendy,” we all know what tastes good. Besides, many of these “trendy” varieties of produce have been around for centuries. So feel free to stick your tongue out at the Weekly and enjoy whatever you like.