Posts Tagged ‘tamales’

Sunday, June 3rd: Strawberries, Sugar Snap Peas, Cherries, Broccoli, Morels & Big Honkin’ Heads of Lettuce!

June 3, 2012

Strawberries from Billy’s. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s been a tough week for our community. The entire city of Seattle could use a hug right about now. We at your Ballard Farmers Market will endeavor to do just that, in the form of our weekly local food, arts and music community happening on Old Ballard Avenue. We welcome you to come and mix and mingle, get some nourishment for your body and your soul, and share some love with each other here in the People’s Republic of Ballard. Let’s get the love started flowing with some spectabulous strawberries from Billy’s Gardens in Tonasket. Billy’s returned to your Ballard Farmers Market for the 2012 season just last week. They’ve also got some amazing wild arugulafresh cut herbs and other goodies.

Sugar snap peas from Magana Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s sugar snap peas season! Woohoo!!! Now, if that doesn’t put a smile on your face… These beauties are from Magana Farms from over in Sunnyside. They are crisp, sweet and delicious, and you will want to get twice as many as you think you’ll need. Why? Because you are going to eat so many of them before you even get home!

Burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Say what?!? Cherries? Yuppers! These are burlat cherries from Lyall Farms. Burlats are the first cherries to come into season each year, and where Lyall grows them in Prosser, they get a 10-14 day jump on the rest of the state with their harvest. That’s why  Lyall always has them first. And don’t think because they are early or an unusual variety that they aren’t good. Burlats rock!

Broccoli from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chopping broccoli… Oh, yeah, baby! Broccoli from Oxbow Farm. It’s like love in a vegetable! You know, I love Oxbow’s amazing tomato plants — few offer better — but I live for Oxbow’s veggies. And it’s not just broccoli they’ve got now. Their collard greens are also absurdly good. If you’ve never tried them, you must. They are sweet, delicious and tender, and they are loaded with nutrients. I love just sauteing them with a little green garlic, which they also have now, and some nice, smoky bacon from Sea Breeze, Olsen or Skagit River. Now, that’s living!

Wild morel mushrooms from Foraged & Found Edibles. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wild morel mushroom season finally arrived, about a month late, but hey, it’s here now, right? And Foraged & Found Edibles has ’em. Lots of ’em! There are endless ways to enjoy morels, but my favorite this time of year is to cut them into rings and toss them with asparagus, green sweet onions and green garlic from Alvarez Organic Farms, some olive oil, salt and pepper in a big baking dish and roast the lot in a 425 degree oven until the asparagus is just tender. You get the sweetness of the asparagus and the onions, the mild garlicky flavor of its immature form, and the earthiness of the morels. Serve it as a side to some fresh king salmon or halibut from Wilson Fish, and some fresh artisan bread from Tall Grass Bakery, and you’ve got a simple, serious meal!

Kids tamales from Patty Pan Grill. Photo courtesy Patty Pan Grill.

Did you know that our own Patty Pan Grill recently introduced tamales made especially for kids? They’re half the size of their adult counterparts, and one variety has just cheese, while the other has a very simple, mild bean filling. They are available hot and ready to eat at the Market and in convenient packs to take home. “Just the thing for those parents on the verge, desperate to come up with an easy meal that isn’t full of processed garbage,” says Devra. Oh, and they are also offering a free small serving of their market-fresh vegetables along with any kids’ menu item.

Purple kohlrabi from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Stoney Plains Organic Farm down in Tenino always seems to be the first with many crops each year, and they are now with this purple kohlrabi. It can be steamed, sautéed, eaten raw with some onion dip, or find the nearest Eastern European to give you some stellar recipes! Oh, and they’ve also got lamb’s quarterepazote and a late resurgence of miner’s lettuce right now, too. Try to find any of these on any other tables in the Market!

Jon from Summer Run Farm holds heads of red leaf lettuce bigger than his own head! Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

No, Jon from Summer Run Farm does not have a tiny head. It’s just that Summer Run grows ginormous heads of red leaf lettuce. Seriously. Just look at these suckers. They are easily twice the size of his head. Indeed, it is these magnificent specimens of leafy deliciousness for which Summer Run is famous. But you might need to bring a trailer with you today to get one of them home with you!

Split farro from Bluebird Grain Farms. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Bluebird Grain Farm’s cracked farro makes for some amazing porridge. Or use it as a polenta. Heck, all their heirloom grain products are fantastic and nutrient dense. They mill their flours, cereals and mixes fresh before each Market, so they are at their peak of flavor and goodness when you get them, unlike so many bags of denuded flours in the Big Box Store that have been sitting in warehouses for months and have turned rancid. Bluebird makes its monthly visit to your Ballard Farmers Market today, so stock up!

Cans of albacore tuna from Fishing Vessel St. Jude. Copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Also making its monthly visit to the Market today is Fishing Vessel St. Jude with its incomparable albacore tuna products. They catch their tuna off the coast of Washington as the adolescent albacore swim south from their spawning grounds in the cold waters of the North Pacific to enjoy a leisurely adulthood in warm tropical waters. Because of their youth, this tuna is very low in heavy metals. Because they’ve been living in cold water, this tuna is very high in beneficial omega-fatty acids. Oh, and it is the best tuna you’ll ever taste, too! They’ve got it cannedfrozen freshsmokedjerkiedloxed and a few other ways, just to mix it up.

Hey, there is plenty of 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 4th: Celery, Beef Tamales, Bartlett Pears, Local King Salmon & Red Hot Chili Peppers!

September 4, 2011

Celery from Growing Things Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Yes, I am leading with celery from Growing Things Farm. Why celery? I mean, it’s not exactly the sexiest vegetable. But it is a staple in most kitchens. It is a nutritional powerhouse. It is the ultimate vehicle for hummus and peanut butter. It is the base of most stews, roasts, soups, stocks… It is way better fresh from the farm, only hours, not days or weeks, since harvest. And it is celery season! So stop by Growing Things, at the top of the Market, for some awesome, farm-fresh celery today! Oh, they have plenty of eggs right now, too!

BTW, thank you to everyone who vote for your Ballard Farmers Market in this year’s America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest. We came in 8th this year nationally, and 1st on the entire West Coast. We didn’t reach the 4th nationally we achieved last year, but a last-minute surge in voting actually pushed us past three other markets, moving us from 11th with three days to go to a convincing 8th in the end. The winning market got just over 5,000 votes. We know that about 3,000 of you visit this blog every week, another 2,100+ follow us on Facebook, and another 1,600+ follow us on Twitter. So, for those of you who voted for us this year, again, thank you, and if you can get one other person to vote for us next year, we’ll finish in 4th again. And if the rest of you vote, we’ll win! So let’s celebrate a strong showing, especially considering we are the only market to repeat in the Top 10 this year, but let’s commit now to voting as soon as the polls open again next June!

Striped German tomatoes from Summer Run. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Striped German tomatoes from Summer Run Farm are one of those heirloom tomatoes that I’ve heard referred to as tie-dyed tomatoes. But hey, they’re not just another pretty face, you know. These are some spectabulous maters, folks. But you 2 p.m. Market stragglers will likely miss out on them, as they go quickly. Get here early!

Cauliflower from Nash's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I am absolutely loving this year’s cauliflower crop. It is so amazingly sweet roasted or grilled. This really is the best cauliflower crop in years, folks — a silver lining to our up-until-now weather woes of 2011. So swing by Nash’s Organic Produce and pick some up today!

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

Beef tamales! Get ’em while they’re hot! (You see what I did there? Hot tamales. Get it? Okay, now that you’ve stopped laughing hysterically…) Yes, Patty Pan Grill has beef tamales, made from beef from Growing Things Farm, no less! Of course, I can hear some of you asking right now, “Isn’t Patty Pan Grill vegetarian?” Well, not exactly. What it is, ultimately, is dedicated to using the freshest local ingredients direct from local farms to make great, affordable food. So, if local beef tamales fits those parameters, why the heck not, right? And if you need more convincing, see how owner Devra Gartenstein explained it to the Seattle Times recently.

Onions from Nature's Last Stand. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Onions can be beautiful, even if they render you blind with tears every time you cut them up, such that you cannot appreciate their beauty. But looking at them, in all different colors, adorning the tables at Nature’s Last Stand, you cannot help but admire them. Then again, I think those red ones would look best on a bagel from Grateful Bread Baking with some fromage blanc from Mt. Townsend Creamery and some salmon lox from Loki Fish.

Rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If this week’s weather forecast holds true, it is not quite fall yet. But some of our favorite fall crops are beginning to come into season anyway. Like these rutabagas from Boistfort Valley Farm. Oh, the mighty rutabaga, known to the Irish as “turnip”, and to many as “Swedes”, owing, I believe, to introduction to many cultures by Vikings, or something like that. Whatever the case, this mightiest of the turnip clan must be celebrated! Let the party begin!

Bartlett pears from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Here come the pears! Just in time to pack them in your kids’ lunch boxes. These gorgeous bartlett pears are from Collins Family Orchards, from over in Selah, next to Yakima. Enjoy!

Salad mix from Colinwood Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Being the slacker that I am, I appreciate the many salad mixes that our farmers bring to your Ballard Farmers Market. Add some maters, radishes, onions and carrots, and dress appropriately, and you’ve got a quick and delicious salad! This one, from Colinwood Farm, is loaded with edible flowers and lots of spicy greens, and it is as good a mix as any you’ll find.

Fresh, Washington coastal red king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s September, folks, and believe it or not, salmon season on the Washington Coast is almost over. So enjoy all the fresh, local king salmon you can from Wilson Fish right now, while you can, before it is gone until next May. I had an amazing piece grilled alongside a variety of Market veggies tonight. It never ceases to astound me how much it remains one of most incredible foods on earth.

Sweet corn from Stoney Plains Organic Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids. It’s westside sweet corn from Stoney Plains. These guys grow some wonderful corn, and it is so fresh. Hey, they also have late-season crops of fava beans and shelling peas right now, and the year’s first cranberry beans, too. Woohoo!

Fresno chili peppers from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And let’s finish this weeks epistle with an explosion of color, and fire! It’s the red hot chili peppers! Fresh from Alvarez Organic Farms at your Ballard Farmers Market. Yep, them’s Fresno chili peppers right there. They’ll kick up the heat a bit in your salsa, and you won’t have to wear a sock just to be decent in public, either. (If you don’t get that reference, look up the band of the same name.)

There is much more waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market today. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.