In April, I tackled the topic of How to Shop for Good Produce. It’s something we all do everyday, and yet, there’s a bit of an art to buying and storing great produce. This week we’re tackling the large topic of How to Shop the Farmers Market. This is a daunting post for me to write. I’ve been shopping the farmers market since I moved away from home, 9 years ago, and it still makes me nervous. The market is full of the unfamiliar. I’m leaving you with a couple tips that help me navigate the market, followed by two interviews with the experts—the farmers. I hope you add your tips to the conversation too!
I have a favorite guy at the farmer’s market. He’s probably a bit older than my dad. His hair is white and his skin sun-kissed. His eyes are a soft trustworthy blue with well worn lines around them which tells me he smiles a lot. But most importantly, he has dirt under his fingernails. If his eyes weren’t already trustworthy enough. Read more
Pardon my language. Allow me to explain.
Amy: Can you help me recreate a sauce?
Me: Sure [said with hesitation]. I can try.
Amy: It’s vegan.
Me: Oh never mind, that’s way out of my league. You’ll have to ask Genesis.
Amy: I already did. She told me to ask you.
Me: Shoot. No promises though [said with confidence].
Next thing you know, we’re sitting around Amy’s kitchen table. Pinkies lifted high. A
chip cracker in hand. Palettes cleansed. Let the Bitchin’ Sauce tasting begin. Dip, taste, dip, taste, ponder. Dip, taste, pretend you know what you’re doing, write. And repeat.
Definition: Bitchin’ Sauce (nerb—noun + verb) is a bitchin’ (for lack of a better word) sauce sold at the San Diego farmers market. It comes in 3 varieties—original, chipotle, pesto. It’s both vegan and gluten-free. And the taste? It’s oh-em-gee out of this world! (Coming from a girl who turns her nose up at all things vegan. Mark my word—this sauce made me a lover.) Almonds give the sauce its creamy base. While lemons provide a lovely kick at the end. Its only downfall—you can’t get it in Chicago. Hence Amy’s question—can you help me recreate a sauce?
100 chips later and the dip/taste sequence came to a close. We had a list of ingredients. And yes, we cheated by writing down the ingredients from the label. However, if the word “spices” had been a bit more specific, we could have saved those chips for another time. Travesty.
After the list was secured, we reconvened at Genesis’ house. Wrote up a rough recipe. And turned the VitaMix to high. A couple tweaks later. And Houston, we have Bitchin’ Sauce! Or darn close to it.
Eat it on a chip. Or even on a vegetable. Or stay tuned to how I’ve been eating it everyday for the past 2 weeks. San Diego peeps—how do you eat your Bitchin’ Sauce?
- Place all ingredients in a high-powdered blender (such as a VitaMix). Slowly blend for one minute. Turn the dial up to high, and continue to blend for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
- Store in the refrigerator. Sauce may separate. Stir and it’s as good as new.
• 2 tablespoons = 1/8 cup (If you happen to have one of those laying around.)
• Although I haven’t tried it, I think a food processor will work to make this sauce.
• This sauce doesn’t last long enough in my fridge to figure out its shelf life.
• If you’re stopping through San Diego, you must give the real deal a try. It just might revolutionize your life. Word on the street—they may start shipping soon.
• If doing Whole30, coconut aminos can be substituted for bragg aminos.
Try the chipotle version!
Today marked the start of the farmer’s market season in Oak Park. I’ve been looking forward to this day for weeks. I even popped out of bet a little earlier—with excitement. And the weather was just perfect for a walk. My graduate school husband got a couple homemade donuts—while I got some asparagus, rhubarb, and black raspberry jam. Perfect Saturday morning.
We love asparagus minus it’s after effects, if you know what I mean. It is super easy to cook. Very versatile. With a quick 10 minute cook time. You’re gonna love this recipe, if you can even call it that.
Bunch of fresh asparagus spears (support your local farmers!)
Drizzle of olive oil
Sprinkle of sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Wash and dry asparagus. Break off hard woody ends.
3. Place on baking sheet covered with foil for easy clean up.
4. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt.
5. Bake for 10 minutes. Enjoy.
• This recipe is so basic, it’s easy to dress up. Try adding lemon or orange zest, lemon juice, orange slices, garlic slices, balsamic vinegar, or parmesan cheese.
• If you overcook your asparagus, they will no longer be spear-like, but limp and soggy and a little less nutritious.
PS—Do you notice anything different around here? The ole blog was in need of an update. I’m trying to do it myself with the little web knowledge that I have—scary! If only it was as easy as cooking asparagus.