Wednesday, June 25th: Happy Summer! Salmon, Blueberries, Radicchio, Apricots, Romanesco, Fennel, Cherries & More!

Skipper Shannon Ford of Two If By Seafoods aboard the F/V Paul Revere in Alaska. Photo courtesy Two If By Seafoods. Happy Summer, everyone! Meet Shannon Ford of Two If By SeaFoods. Shannon is a fourth generation Salmon fisher, following in the footsteps of her father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Above, she's on her boat, the Fishing Vessel Paul Revere, up in Bristol Bay, Alaska, catching Salmon for you... right now! Then she cleans it, fillets it and blast freezes it at the peak of freshness the day it is caught, and ships it down here to your Wallingford Farmers Market for you to enjoy. Stop by, introduce yourself to her mom & dad, and grab some for dinner tonight, for the weekend, and for the 4th!

Berry-palooza from Sidhu Farms. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Holy Berry Cobbler, Batman! Sidhu Farms has raspberriesblueberriesblackberries and strawberries already, and it is still June! All I can say is, wow. This year continues to amaze. So while we begin our slow, steady, six-month long descent into darkness, let us remember to enjoy all that these long, sunny, warm days have to offer. And heck… start freezing these berries today! You and yours will enjoy them all winter long!

Romanesco from Kirsop Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is Romanesco from Kirsop Farm. For my money, this is the coolest looking vegetable on earth. Italian in origin (bet you wouldn't have guessed that from the name, eh?), this cousin of broccoli and cauliflower is the only vegetable to grow out into perfect fractals. It has a nice, sweet flavor, and it holds its crunch better than cauliflower when cooked. That means in doesn't get mushy as fast when you quickly steam it, then add it to other dishes, or just enjoy it with some freshly grated parmesan cheese over it. It is also great roasted in a hot oven, sautéed with some crushed red chile pepper and tossed with some pasta, or even grilled!

Tomcot apricots from Collins Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Apricot season has arrived. Woohoo!!!! This ties the earliest we've ever seen them, which was set last year. These are Tomcot apricots from Collins Family Orchards. They are sweet, juicy, and packed with that perfectly rich, deep apricot flavor that makes them so special. What a wonderful welcome to summer, eh?

Variegato di Lusia radicchio from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

One Leaf Farm is famous for their fine chicories, and those chicories are beginning to come into season. Last week, we welcomed their escarole. This week, it is this gorgeous Variegato di Lusia radicchio, another glorious vegetative gift from Italy. Like all chicories, it has a distinct bitter flavor that sweetens a bit when cooked. It can be finished with a little balsamic vinegar to sweeten it up, and it also likes being prepared, either raw or cooked, with something nice and salty, like bacon, anchovies, a salty, dry cheese, or just a nice finishing salt. When cooking, try oiling it up, grilling it, then hitting it with salt and balsamic. Yummers!

Early bing cherries from Martin Family Orchards. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Martin Family Orchards is the most northern of all of the orchardists here at your Wallingford Farmers Market. That means they are usually the last to start harvesting cherries. Well, folks. This is the week! They’ll have these lovely Bing cherries, as well as some nice Rainier cherries today. Now, we get to wait on pins and needles for their apricots and peaches!

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

Fennel has arrived at Alm Hill Gardens. This sweet, licorice-y, bulbous weed is so versatile. Use the leafy fronds in salads or on fish. Grill the bulbs, sauté them or pickle them… even eat them raw. Use it to add flavor to other things, or let it be the star. I hear people telling me, “oh, but I’ve got that growing wild in my backyard.” No, what you have in your backyard is a wild cousin. The cultivated form has been bred for its tender bulbs and its sweet flavor. Enjoy!

Pork chops from Olsen Farms. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It is time to gear up for Independence Day! July 4th is next week, and whether you will be firing up the barby and watching the fireworks from your rooftop deck, or fleeing the neighborhood in favor of camping in some peaceful forest, you'll want some of these incredible pork chops from Olsen Farms for the grill. These are likely the best pork chops you have ever tasted -- beautifully marbled and full of flavor. In fact, they are featured on the menus of restaurants all over town, like Le Petit Cochon on Fremont Avenue. Of course, they've got beef steakssausages and other goodies for the grill, too.

English shelling peas from Alvarez Organic Farms. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ah, English shelling peas, from Alvarez Organic Farms. This time of year, I get lots and lots of them, shuck them, then freeze them for use in the winter. No blanching required. Just sturdy one-pint freezer bags, which I then put inside a larger one-gallon freezer bag, for extra protection. Of course, I do need to get extras, so I can enjoy them now. I like to sit on my deck in my Adirondack chair with a bag of them, eating them right out of the pod. But one of my favorite ways to enjoy them is to toss them with some pappardelle from Pasteria Lucchese and some smoked salmon from Two If By Seafoods, garnished with just a bit of freshly-grated Romano cheese. The trick is to drop the peas in the pot with the pasta about 30 seconds before it is done, then drain both, and then toss them with the smoked salmon and some olive oil in a warm skillet. As Samuelle Lucchese would say, "Done!"

Gluten-free sandwich breads from d:floured gluten-free bakery. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Looking for great sandwich bread, but you are allergic to gluten? Never fear! nuflours gluten-free bakery has you covered! This stuff is moist, chewing, slices well, and it is delicious. It will make you fall in love with bread all over again.

Golden turnips from Seattle Youth Garden Works. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

I loves me some golden turnips, but not many farms grow them around here. Lucky for us, Seattle Youth Gardens Works does! Golden turnips are what I might call the turnipiest flavor of all turnips, and they are a little more dense, too. That makes them ideal for roasting, though you can enjoy them raw as well. And don't forget to eat the greens!

Folks lined up for vittles from Chef Joe Ritchie from Ethan Stowell's Mkt. Restaurant. Photo copyright 2014 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Joe Ritchie from Tangletown's Mkt. Restaurant is the featured chef today for the Ethan Stowell Restaurant's booth. And you'd better get done here and get in this line early, cuz they've sold out every week! Today's offerings include BLTs, O-Rings, and Strawberry Shortcake, featuring these market-fresh ingredients: Olsen Farms Bacon, Alm Hill Gardens lettuce, Tall Grass Bakery BriocheStoney Plains Organic Farm onions, and Sidhu Farms strawberries.

And when you are done with your picnic in the park today, please remember to use the correct waste receptacles. Our prepared food vendors use only recyclable or compostable plates, cups, napkins and utensils. Please place your waste after your meal either in our green composting or blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Wallingford Farmers Market. Each receptacle 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.

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!