Wednesday, June 18th: Cauliflower, Shunkyo Radishes, Mushrooms, A New Bakery & Chef Derek Ronspies!

Cauliflower from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons. I love cauliflower. Always have. But it wasn't until recently that I really learned to prepare it in ways that truly celebrate it in all its simple, sweet deliciousness. Like simply tossing it in some oil, salt and pepper, and roasting it in a 450 degree oven until tender. It gets so incredibly sweet while remaining still a bit toothsome. Sometimes, I like to break it up into smaller pieces and sauté it with some crushed red pepper. Then, I learned that Italians like to add a little bit of bread crumbs to this preparation, and they will often then toss it with some pasta. Mind you, a quick steam and then freshly grating some parmesan cheese over it is still a great fallback... just don't overcook it. Nothing worse than mushy cauliflower. But when it is young and freshly harvested, like the cauliflower is right now at Kirsop Farm, it is so incredibly sweet that you will crave it every day.

Oyster mushrooms from J&M Mushrooms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Look, kids! Mushrooms are back at your Wallingford Farmers Market! Yup, these are oyster mushrooms from J&M Gourmet Mushrooms in Selah, the newest addition to our farm lineup. They grow seven kinds of oyster mushrooms, as well as shiitakes, and other varieties. Their mushrooms are grown in a state-of-the-art, positive pressure grow house, and in the field. And remember, mushrooms are not only good, they're good for you!

Shunkyo radishes from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These are Shunkyo radishes, a Japanese variety that is my favorite radish. They are long, bright pinkish-red, and right now, they carry a good, spicy kick, which, for my money, every radish should. Stop by One Leaf Farm today, pick some up, and punch up your salad tonight, or simply dip it in some nice butter and maybe some truffle salt for a great pre-dinner snack.

Pomodoro bread from Snohomish Bakery. Photo courtesy Snohomish Bakery.

As you may have noticed, we've been one bakery down so far this season. Well, not anymore! Please welcome Snohomish Bakery, from -- you guessed it -- Snohomish. They offer a large variety of great artisan breads, including this Pomodoro loaf, which they describe thusly: "A finishing salt takes the flavor of this already-packed savory bread to a whole other level. Ideal for sun-dried tomato and  rosemary lovers!" They also offer a number of other fun savory baked goods and croissants. We are excited to add them to our vendor lineup!

Chef Derek Ronspies of Le Petit Cochon. Photo courtesy Le Petit Cochon.

Chef Derek Ronspies of Le Petit Cochon is the brother of Wallingford Farmers Market's beloved Chef Dustin Ronspies from Art of the Table. Derek brings the same level of passion and commitment to creating brilliant cuisine using the finest local ingredients... not "wherever possible," but all the time... at his great new restaurant. Today at 4 p.m., Chef D will perform a cooking demonstration at your Wallingford Farmers Market, sharing with us how he thinks up delicious preparations for what is in season locally. Come watch him work his magic!

Organic strawberries from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Sure, we've had berries in your Wallingford Farmers Market since day one this season, but there is just something about the organic strawberries grown way up north atop Alm Hill... at Alm Hill Gardens... that always just seem a little extra special. Maybe it is their love of hockey, being just a few miles from the Canadian border. Maybe it's the altitude where they grow, or the brisk winds at night from the Fraser River Valley. Maybe it's just that Kentucky drawl from JT. Who knows? But if you haven't tried them, trust me... you should!

Summer squash from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Say what? Yes, this is zucchini from Alvarez Organic Farms. In fact, they already are harvesting about a half dozen varieties of summer squash over in Mabton... and it's not even summer yet! I like to slice them in half, lengthwise, and oil them up, then grill them. How you do like to prepare them? Post your ideas on our Facebook page, or click the comment button, below.

Organic raspberries from Gaia's Harmony Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Speaking of amazing organic berries, these organic raspberries from Gaia's Harmony Farm are incredible. They have such a deep, robust flavor that will make you wonder what you have been eating in the name of raspberries until now. You won't find berries like these in the Big Box stores.

Green cabbage from Seattle Youth Garden Works. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Last week, our buddies at Seattle Youth Garden Works returned to your Wallingford Farmers Market with lots of great veggies grown in South Seattle. This bunch of high school kids from diverse backgrounds produces lots of beautiful stuff, like this green cabbage, just in time for your summer slaws. Stop by and check them out, and support their cool program.

Beef-porcini cappelletti from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo courtesy Pasteria Lucchese.

Look! It's a bunch of little hats! No, seriously, this is beef-porcini cappelletti from Pasteria Lucchese, and cappelletti means "little hat" in Italian. So these are a bunch of little hats. Delicious little hats. I am just imagining eating some in a nice broth right now. Mmm. Ask Sam for ideas for preparing them, or any of his many other awesome handmade artisan pastas, today!

Spring garlic from Around The Table Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And how about this? Yes, it is fresh, mature garlic, in June! It is still green, as it has not yet been dried, which makes it bright in flavor, and still a bit sweet. Grab some today from our friends at Around The Table Farm at your Wallingford Farmers Market!

Of course, this is just a highlighting of what you will find today. There is still plenty of other stuff just waiting for you at your Wallingford Farmers Market this week. For a full accounting of what you will find, check out What’s Fresh Now!

Please remember to bring your own bags today, and every Wednesday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Wallingford Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.