- Author: Jim Muck
Spring is here and the farmers markets are starting to fill up with all sorts of great produce. If you are like me, you can't wait for the return of the sun and the warm weather after all those months of cold wet weather. I admit that I do love kale, cabbage, and citrus but enough is enough already! I need something new and exciting - something that vibrates with the message that says winter is over and summer is coming! Good news - the sun is out and the weather is warming up and that means good things are coming out of the ground and the fruit is starting to ripen on the trees and vines. To get inspired and to find out what our great local farmers have to offer, I took a stroll through the Roseville Fountains farmers' market last Tuesday.
The market itself has more vendors than just two weeks ago and the farmers' tables are really starting to fill up with wonderful stuff. Here is a brief list of what I found:
- Radishes in a rainbow of colors
- Chard enough to sink a battle ship
- Spring onions just begging to be sliced into salads
- Lots and lots of bagged baby lettuce, kale, and arugula
- Cherries! Yes, cherries - only a few baskets and they went fast
- Sugar cane! Folks were lining up for this!
- Raspberries in gold and red
- Strawberries that were so fragrant I could smell them across the parking lot
- Lettuces of all kinds, butter , romaine, and leaf in gorgeous reds and greens
- Carrots and beets in enormous piles of vibrant orange and red
- Green garlic ready for roasting
- Fava Beans - no list of spring veggies is complete without favas
The cooking and eating possibilities are endless. What is a dedicated farmer's market shopper to do? Get out there and do some shopping followed by some cooking. Say good bye to the cold and the wet by cooking up something that makes spring sing in your heart. I might suggest strawberry shortcake or perhaps a wonderful fresh pasta with fava beans and green garlic. Okay, enough with the writing, when do I get to eat?
Click on the links below to get information about farmers markets that are open now in Placer and Nevada counties:
Try this recipe to use some of the great stuff grown by our local farmers:
Spring Salad with Fresh Fruit and Nuts
6 cups mixed greens or lettuces
½ cup seasonal berries and or sliced peaches or other seasonal fruit
3 radishes thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped, toasted walnuts or almonds
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or other vinegar, or lemon juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
Whisk oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Toss greens in a large bowl with 2/3 of the dressing. Divide the salad among six plates and top with berries/fruit, radishes and nuts. Drizzle the remaining dressing over each salad.
If you would like more fresh produce cooking ideas click on the link below where you will find a bunch of great recipes: