A FarmFreshDC Note: The September installment of Farm Fresh DC will be posted Sept. 26. In honor of the official start of fall, we’ll be featuring apples & squash. If you’ve got a recipe to share, comment below or email me at foodietots at gmail dot com. Thanks!
In the Fields: Apple Picking Season is Here! Though it’s hard to tell from the relentless heat this weekend, fall has definitely arrived at our local orchards. Peaches are on their last legs, so if you didn’t get them this weekend you may be out of luck. Apples are ripe, and I was surprised to learn that some varieties are already past their peak. Stribling Orchard in Markham, Va., was our destination this weekend. They have a well-stocked country store where you can find every type of preserved peach, apple or pumpkin product you could want, plus local cheese, fresh-baked pies, turnovers, bread and cinnamon spice donuts. We picked golden and red delicious and Empire varieties. While apples store well and are brought to market throughout the winter, they’re only on the trees for about two months so head out soon if you want to pick your own! The pick-your-own website provides a directory, and the new Farms + Fests page here lists some upcoming apple festivals you might want to check out if you’re local.
Alexandria Market Report: At the markets, heirloom tomatoes are winding down - available last Wednesday at Upper King Street but gone at the West End, and corn is less abundant. Peppers, summer squash, melons and field-ripened tomatoes are still available, Italian blue plums, and a few grapes are in season. Sweet potatoes and the first baby pumpkins are here. Squash blossoms can still be found at the West End Market, and Westmoreland Farms had several recipes printed out for the taking. Norma’s had a few purple tomatillos again this week, which I snatched up for a final batch of Peach-Tomatillo Salsa (recipe below). Tom the Cheese Guy reports that the Del Ray vendors are still negotiating a winter market. He says there is one city councilman who is very difficult to work with but refused to name names. October 19 will be “Oktoberfest” at the West End market, an alcohol-free, kid-friendly event with vendors planning to serve food.
Recipe: Roasted Peach Tomatillo Salsa
1 pt. tomatillos, skins removed
1 jalapeno (seeded for milder heat)
1 small onion
1/3 c cilantro
juice of one lime
pinch of salt
Instructions: Drizzle a touch of olive oil over peach, tomatillos and jalapeno. Sear on grill over high heat until just charred. Remove from heat and cool. Chop/quarter grilled ingredients and onion, pulse in food processor with cilantro until desired consistency. Stir in lime juice and salt and allow to stand at least 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!