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Farmers Market Finds

Posted Jul 24 2012 11:39pm

The Farmers Market is typically part of our Sunday ritual in the Craine house; we eat a fun breakfast, go to church, stop at our favorite new local coffee shop, The Hub, and the stroll through the farmers market. We have our favorite booths we visit every Sunday with farmers who welcome us back again and again to share their beloved harvest. We can’t go without the fragrant and flavorful salad from Somerset, made with a tasty mix of lettuces, greens, herbs, shoots and editable flowers; or the sweetest most mouthwatering wildflower honey you have ever tasted! We, of course, sample and select a variety of the most succulent stone fruits and melons, because we grow our own tomatoes and berries right in our backyard. After we gather up all of our favorite farmers market treasures we pick a few others to go with dinners for the week. I typically let the kids pick whatever they want and come up with a recipe for their find later.

Oh, and I forgot the most FUN part of it all…we let the kids handle all of the money transactions… We figure it is a good learning experience for them to be able to handle the farmers market finances. Each child is responsible for “their” fifteen dollars. Which usually works out just fine, with the exception of the occasional bickering about who has more money left, etc… So last week as we were winding down our farmers market trip, Liv had the only money left, nine dollars to be exact. She wanted beets and heirloom carrots from one of our favorite stands. When the farmer told her it was going to be “three dollars for the beets and two dollars for the carrots” she stopped and stared at him… Now I know she can handle simple addition, so what was the hold up? She, still looking confused, handed the farmer her four one dollar bills and tightly clutched the remaining five dollar bill in her other hand. I said “Liv, the total is five dollars not four.”She said, “I know I just don’t want to give up the five dollar bill, I don’t like ones!” The farmer laughed and told her to keep it! Not the lesson I was going for, but we all had a great laugh! Liv came home and put the remaining five dollar bill in our farmers market bank to be used next Sunday.
Now for dinner plans…fresh red beets and heirloom carrots in 100 degree weather, hmmmm. On Sundays we always roast a chicken, and in the summer we always grill outside for every cooked meal! After giving it some thought I decided on a grilled beet and heirloom carrot salad with lemon vinaigrette, fresh herbs and goat cheese. It was such a hit… guess what one of Jack’s farmers market veggie picks was this week? You guessed it beets and heirloom carrots! This may be a new part of our Sunday dinner tradition from now on! I’m not sure if it was how tasty the salad actually was, or the designs they made that made it such a hit. Make the salad with roasted chicken and let me know what you think!

1 bunch fresh red beets, washed, peeled and sliced into ¼” rounds

1 bunch baby heirloom carrots, scrubbed, halved lengthwise and then halved again
(peel them if you want…I don’t)

Toss beet rounds and carrot segments in olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill in grill basket until tender but still firm about 8 min on each side.

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup chopped fresh herbs, reserve 1 tbsp to sprinkle on the top (I used chives, tarragon, parsley and basil)

2 cloves garlic, grated

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

2 tsp honey

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Wisk together lemon juice, 3 tbsp herbs, garlic, lemon zest, honey, salt, and pepper, then gradually wisk oil in a slow steady stream. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper.

1-2 oz crumbled goat cheese

3-4 cups of your favorite mixed greens

Toss mixed greens, grilled beets and carrots with lemon vinaigrette and reserved herbs and top with crumbled goat cheese! Then make a face on your plate and enjoy your dinner with a well balanced with white Barbara!

Never throw away the beet greens! Wash them thoroughly and add them to your favorite salad raw, or sauté them with some garlic, shallot and olive oil! They are so tasty and full of protein, folate, pantothenic acid, phosphorus and zinc!

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