Friday, June 21, 2013

Timing is Everything - June

Finally, the summer farmers markets are beginning to open!  This first fruit that you will be able to find at the markets now are strawberries.  On Saturday, I bought some strawberries at the Natick Farmers Market.   And be sure to buy lots of them because strawberry season always seems to go by so fast.  Strawberries are best eaten right out of hand!  Nothing beats a fresh strawberry!  You can also use strawberries in salads, jams, and desserts.  The best way to preserve strawberries is to freeze them.  Hull the strawberries and lay them on a baking sheet and put in the freezer overnight.  Then pop them into a freezer bag and freeze up to six months.  Its a great way to enjoy strawberries beyond the month of June.

The Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets  has the strawberry dessert festival going on now through July 7.  Local restaurants will be preparing a special strawberry dessert and part of the proceeds will go to support Massachusetts farmers markets.  Check out the website for participating restaurants.

Other in season fruits and veggies that you will find at the farmers market now include beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, corn, lettuce, and kale.  I have also seen radishes, lots of greens, and even some early tomatoes.  Things are starting to look up!

Farmers Market Update:

Allston/Harvard Farmers Market - opens Friday
Arlington Farmers Market - opens Wednesday
Belmont Farmers Market - opens Thursday
Brookline Farmers Market - opens Thursday
Waltham Farmers Market  - opens Saturday

Opening day at the Waltham Farmers Market

Finally, the opening day of the Waltham Farmers Market!  The Waltham Farmers Market was the first farmers market that I have ever been to and has definitely changed my eating habits.  I couldn't believe the difference in the quality of food I was eating on a poor grad students budget.  And you can't beat this place, the location is great and it's on a Saturday morning.  I quickly got into a habit of yoga, coffee, farmers market every Saturday. It is located right in the center of town and there are tons of restaurants and shops to check out.  Here I am six years later still going to this market almost every Saturday.  I check out other markets as well, but this one will always be special to me.

I made sure to clear my morning to get there early.  The market was busy and full of nice strawberries and veggies to buy.  I love Dicks Market Garden because they always have tons of good stuff.  I got some juicy strawberries, cucumbers, lettuce, and a tomato.  And because I bought the cucumbers and lettuce, I got to choose another green for only a dollar.  I tried a nice leafy green called tot soi, which is similar to spinach.  It was really delicious and I have been sauteing it with some onion and putting it in my eggs each morning.  I also checked out a new vendor from Littleton MA called Spring Brook Farm.  They were a bit pricey for me, but I bought some garlic scapes and asparagus.    Another vendor that I love is Roma's Bakery.  They make these pies, not only with fruit, but veggies too.  They are 2/$10, so I bought spinach and mozzarella and roasted cauliflower and parmesan.  They freeze well too!  I stocked up before the winter to keep in my freezer for a quick bite.  While I was there I overheard a costumer saying that he still had some of his "stash" from the fall.  I guess I am not the only one that stocks up!

Another new vendor that I am super excited about is Soluna Garden Farm, which carries herbs and spices.  They will be coming every week starting June 22.  I have bought their rubs and spices and have been very happy with what I bought.  I have tried the rubs on steak, chicken, and salmon and it has given my meals a nice tang.  They have a one acre farm in Winchester MA and do not use any chemical, pesticides, or preservatives.

At lastly, there is a new food truck that I am looking forward to trying called Kefi's Kitchen.  They use local ingredients when possible and make items from scratch.  I can't wait to try to grilled cheese throw down!

Check out the Waltham Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9:30-2 on the corner of Main and Moody Street!  I hope you like it as much as I do!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Natick Farmers Market

Last spring, I made strawberry rhubarb jam and strawberry rhubarb pie (using Cindy Crawfords recipe).  Both came out delicious and I have been dying to make them again.  I was also going through some recipes in Animal Vegetable Miracle and found a recipe for strawberry rhubarb crisp.  Well this is going on my baking list.  I know the rhubarb is available at the farmers markets, but its still a bit early for strawberries.  So Saturday morning I was on a mission to get some strawberries.  I woke up early to go to the Natick Farmers Market on a beautiful morning.  The Natick Farmers Market is a large, busy market on the Natick Common.  There is everything from homemade soaps to baby clothes to an abundance of vegetables.  Although I didn't get my strawberries, I got asparagus, radishes, grapes tomatoes, cucumbers, and rhubarb.  Rhubarb freezes well so when I find the strawberries I will be ready to make strawberry rhubarb crisp and some jam.

Natick has some good vendors too!  Tangerini's Farm, Flats Mentor Farm, Natick Community Farm, Samira's homemade, Cookie Lady Treats, Everything JalapeƱo and Not, Bagel Alley, Q's Nuts and many more.  You can also find wine, coffee, cheese, and fish.  There are many crafts as well. One vendor that I frequent is called Kaleidscope and she has great homemade soaps made out of goats milk. She comes to the market one time per month and I try to stock up on my favorites when she is there.

Natick Farmers Market is open on Saturdays from 9-1 on the Natick Common. I love to have a good cup of coffee in the morning, so you can stop by Bakery on the Common after you buy some great stuff!

It's still asparagus season, so I have another recipe :) I brought these to a friends graduation party over the weekend and they were gone quickly so they must have been good!

Recipe of the Week: asparagus wrapped in prosciutto 

1 bunch asparagus
1/3 pound prosciutto sliced thin
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400.  Chop the rough ends off the asparagus and wash.  Put asparagus in a baking dish and drizzle olive oil over asparagus coating well.  Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper.  Roast asparagus in the oven for 15 minutes.  Let cool completely.  Wrap 1/2 slice prosciutto around asparagus spear.  Serve at room temperature and enjoy!