We hope you all had a pleasant Independence Day holiday. Now, it’s time to gear up for the real summer in Seattle — lots of warm, sunny days, a festival every three days, and a stunningly diverse rainbow of localiciousness at your Wallingford Farmers Market. Indeed, this particular blog installment is about as colorful as any we’ve ever done. And yes, this is a photo of beefsteak tomatoes taken this year. I took it right here last Wednesday, in fact. These beauties are from Alm Hill Gardens.
Okay, now we're talking! Yes, it is time for sweet corn! Lyall Farms will have their first harvest of the season today at your Wallingford Farmers Market. To quote Garrison Keillor, "Sex is good, but not as good as fresh sweet corn."
Shannon is reeling in lots of wonderful, wild Alaskan salmon on the F/V Paul Revere in Bristol Bay, Alaska right now. This is a photo she sent us from this past weekend's catch. She's catching it, cleaning it, cutting, vacuum-packing and blast-freezing it all in the same day, then sending it down to us here at your Wallingford Farmers Market! Stop by Two If By Seafoods today, say 'hi' to her parents, and pick up some salmon today.
Tiny's Organic has the first pluots of the year today. Pluots are a cross between plums and apricots -- genetically 70% plum and 30% apricot. As such, they tend to favor plums in appearance, texture and taste, but they are sturdier and surprisingly diverse in flavor and appearance in and of themselves. These are Flavorosa pluots, the earliest variety.
This Treviso radicchio, from One Leaf Farm, is one of the most beautiful vegetables on earth, hands down. It is also one of my favorite vegetables. It is a chicory, so like all chicories, it tends to be bitter. But it has a sweetness to it, too. And when you cook it, those dramatic white cores of its leaves sweeten up a bit. There are many ways to enjoy it. Two of my favorites are grilling it and sautéing it with bacon. For grilling it, just cut it in half, lengthwise, oil it down, and plop it on the grill until wilted. It’s okay if it gets a little char. That adds depth to the flavor. Then finish it with a nice finishing salt, some fresh ground pepper, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. To sauté it, cut it up crosswise, with about one inch wide cuts. Use a nice bacon, like Olsen Farms‘ jowl bacon, or Cora's Favorite bacon from Sky Valley Family Farm. Chunk it up into smallish pieces and render out the fat over medium heat in a skillet, then drop in the Treviso with the bacon and fat, and toss together until the Treviso is just wilted. Salt and pepper to taste, and if the bacon hasn’t effectively sweetened it, add a drizzle of balsamic.
We welcome the return of Whitehorse Meadows Blueberry Farm from northern Snohomish County today. They grow some extraordinary organic blueberries, including Spartans, Jerseys and Rubels, a close cousin to the wild mountain blueberries on Northern New England and Maritime Canada. Whitehorse Meadows is actually located several miles east of Oso, on the far side of the slide zone on SR 530, which recently reopened. We imagine they'll be thrilled to be able to get out and see us again, so let's give them a big welcome back today!
About 30 miles due south of Whitehorse Meadows, on Hwy 2 in Startup, you'll find Sky Valley Family Farm. They produce chicken and duck eggs, meat chickens and hogs, from which they offer sausages, fresh cuts and bacon, like this delicious spiced bacon known as "Cora's Favorite."
I know I wrote of organic salmon raspberries from Gaia’s Harmony Farm just last week. But when I saw this spectacular checkerboard of berries on their tables at your Wallingford Farmers Market last Wednesday, I just had to share it.
Rainbow chard is not only wonderful to eat, it is just plain gorgeous to look at, and I love to photograph it. This rainbow chard is from the kids at Seattle Youth Garden Works. When purchasing chard, look for fresh, clean stem cuts that show little, if any, browning. That tells you it was harvested mere hours ago.
And look! Green beans from Alvarez Organic Farms! Yup, green beans are now arriving at your Wallingford Farmers Market this week from several farms. Try doing a quick sauté on them, maybe with some bacon and some pearl onions, if you can find them. Or get pickling!
There are more than 800 licensed wineries in Washington, making it second in wine production only to California. But when Bainbridge Island Vineyards & Winery was founded back in 1977, they were among a handful of pioneering winemakers in the new craft winery movement here. Their diverse lineup of wines includes estate wines, meaning they are made from fruit grown by them, using grape varieties of the Puget Sound Appellation, one of 13 distinct wine grape growing regions in Washington. The Puget Sound Appellation is the coolest, dampest region, lending itself to many German white varieties and some hearty, robust French reds. Stop by and try them out, and find the ones you like!
Beets, a very close cousin of chard, are also quite stunningly beautiful. Just take a gander at these golden beets and Detroit red beets from Kirsop Farm, for instance. And what's great about beets is, you essentially get two veggies for the price of one. See, you get the root part, plus you get the greens, which are basically like chard.
Have you tried the Gruyere bread from our newest bakery, Snohomish Bakery? It is nothing short of addictive. It has that wonderful, cheesy, Gruyere funkiness, and lovely, moist, chewy bread. Follow it up with one of their chocolate croissants, and you're pretty much set!
And in case you didn't notice last week, our friends from Zaw Pizza have returned to your Wallingford Farmers Market. With their freshly made, at the Market, take-and-bake pizzas featuring local, and often Market, ingredients, you can grab one for a quick dinner when you get home tonight, and enjoy the rest of your Market goodies tomorrow. And ask them for instructions on how to grill your pizza, so you can enjoy it without heating up your kitchen on a warm summer evening.
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!