One of my favorite things about shopping at farmers markets is that you come across produce you would likely never find at the grocery store.
Just walk around a bustling market and you’ll be amazed at the unique choices. Not sure what it is? Ask questions. The farmers love to talk about their passion and what they grow. If you don’t know how to prepare some of these less familiar fruits or vegetables, ask for tips on what to do with them. It’s a great way to get to know the farmers and develop a fruitful relationship with them.
Here’s a sampling of the produce I have been seeing (and eating a lot of) at the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market.
|Lemon cucumbers from 9-1 Farm|
|Suyo cucumbers from Wholesome Harvest Farm
(These are amazing!!)
|Salt and pepper cucumbers from Engel’s|
|Broccoli from Markley Family Farm
(So gorgeous and waiting in my fridge right now!)
|Broccoli from Engel Farms
(I made an amazing broccoli-cheese soup!)
|Watermelon radishes from 9-1 Farm
(These are sweeter than regular radishes and beautiful to boot!)
|Napa cabbage from Wholesome Harvest Farm
(I think cole slaw is in my future!)
|Bok choy from Wholesome Harvest Farm
(Can you say stir fry?)
|Red Chinese beans form Engel’s|
|Organic Asian salad greens and radishes
from My Father’s Farm
|Sugar pie pumpkins from Engel Farms
(I am thinking about making a pumpkin creme brulee.)
|Sunflower sprouts from Wholesome Harvest Farm|
I love spinach and so does David. When it is in season, we could (and do) eat it several times a week. Though we are always up for something a little different, so when I saw these young and tender baby beet greens grown by Rhonda and Bryan Bickham of Springfield Farm, I knew they were going to be mine.
|Baby beet greens from Springfield Farm|
We generally throw away the greens from our produce–such as radishes and beets–but this is where the nutrition is. Beet greens are very low in saturated fats and cholesterol. They are also a good source of protein, folate, phospherus, zinc and a great source of dietary fiber, Vitamin A, C, E, K, thiamin, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese.
Unlike the beet greens you find on beets, these baby beet greens are grown as greens, rather than as a part of the beet. They are harvested when they are young and tender and you eat them just as you would spinach. Just wash, saute in olive oil until wilted and you have a new dish to enjoy.
Sauteed Beet Greens with Bacon, Onions and Garlic
- 1 lb beet greens from perhaps 2 bunches of beets
- 2 slices thick-cut nitrate-free, uncured bacon, chopped
- 1/4 cup onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup water
- Kosher or sea salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, place chopped bacon and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped onions and garlic and stir to combine, allowing the fat of the bacon to coat the vegetables. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the bacon is cooked and the onion softened.
Pour in 1/2 cup of water and stir the bottom of the pan so any fond combines with the water, bacon, onions and garlic. Add the beet greens, cover and cook for 5-15 minutes, depending on the density of the beet greens--baby beet greens will take 5 minutes while beet greens cut from beets will take longer.
Taste for seasoning and add kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed.