Over the summer, Ari Post, a reporter for local newspaper The Georgetowner came into our stand at Arlington Courthouse, curious to find out all about the art of selling freshly picked, eco-ganic summer produce.
He was interested in everything, how it grows and how to cook it. And the resulting article, Taste of Summer: How to Shop at a Farmers Market featured us prominently!
…Here’s a guide to what to look for from your local farmers in farmer’s markets now, as well as a few recipes from local farmers. Lydia’s Fields is a Wheatland, Va., based farm that sells their produce at Arlington Courthouse Farmers Market in Va. and the Market at UMD in College Park, Md., as well as supplying restaurants around the area. Marsha, who helps run the farm, has a long list of her veggies to watch right now: kohlrabi, Swiss chard, squash blossoms, escarole, cucumbers, summer squash and eggplant are all on her list, with a few other curveballs. Dandelion greens, for instance, are a dense and bitter green leaf that looks like a weed—in fact, it is a weed—but is known throughout the farming community for its nutritional value, loaded with vitamin A and calcium. If you cook them the right way and pair them with the right ingredients, they become a unique and tasty treat. Because the greens are bitter, they pair perfectly with rich flavors: think goat cheese, egg yolk, bacon, potatoes.
And he liked our go-to Kale Salad recipe (even though it comes from Lynn, who sells for Toigo Orchards:
Marsha’s recipe for red Russian kale salad is a winner. For the dressing, mix tahini with olive oil, pressed garlic, salt and pepper (think of it as hummus dressing), and squeeze a good amount of lemon over the kale about fifteen minutes beforehand to soften. Mix the greens with the dressing, and toss with roasted pine nuts, dried cranberries or raisins, and even chickpeas for texture, then serve as a starter salad or eat with a hunk of artisan bread for lunch. There’s easily enough flavor and nutrition in there for a light meal.