Chicago’s torrential storms yesterday nearly ruined market day. But when the rain finally stopped, I had just enough time to get to the closest farmer’s market, in a high school parking lot in our neighborhood.
For the first time, I missed our CSA and always having fresh vegetables at the ready. We were in northern Michigan for the Fourth (actually, the fifth), so our crisper has been sadly bare the past couple of weeks.
Only a handful of vendors had stuck it out, but I still managed to fill my bag with an onion, cucumber, kohlrabi, hothouse tomato, beets, cabbage and blueberries.
I missed two Saturdays of the farmer’s market while in Montana and my, how things changed! The last of the strawberries are now out, but are being replaced with favorites I’ve been longing for. Namely, garlic scapes and kohlrabi.
You might recall that I got a little obsessed with garlic scapes last year, and ended up making carbonara with them three times before perfecting the dish. To the point that I had carbonara out the other night and thought, “mine’s better.” (This rarely happens.) This go-around, I may even get a little crazy and toss in the fresh English peas I found today.
My niece Leah and I have been waiting patiently for kohlrabi to come into season, although she wasn’t as excited as I thought she would be when I called her this morning from the farmer’s market and woke her after I found it. Some people eat kohlrabi raw, but I prefer it peeled, tossed in olive oil, and roasted.
I also filled my farmer’s market bag with beets (more on this experiment later), three types of summer squash and sweet Michigan cherries.
For the first time, I ran out of room in my bag before I ran out of cash. Now that’s a good day at the market.
We decided against a third season of the CSA. As awesome as our experience was last summer, I missed lazy Saturdays at the farmer’s market. Our weekly shares were so bountiful that there was simply no need to bother.
I’ll admit, I haven’t missed those boxes of vegetables one bit. These early weeks in particular are so, so green. I saw Swiss chard at a stand at Green City Market over the weekend and smiled knowing that I didn’t feel like eating any, and I wouldn’t have to. Instead, I bought purple and green asparagus, a big bag of mixed mushrooms, and rhubarb. (And macarons on the way home.)
The mushrooms and asparagus went into this Food Network recipe I bookmarked a couple of weeks ago, for Creamy Farfalle with Cremini, Asparagus and Walnuts. I’m using the rhubarb tomorrow for the rhubarb blueberry muffins I featured in this April post.
I can’t wait to head back to the market next week, and am hoping garlic scapes will make an appearance. Fingers crossed.