As snowflakes hurtle towards the grass, gardens, sidewalks and streets, the weather today does not exactly scream “farmers’ market!” Instead, you are contemplating soup. A lively fire. Tea. Go for them all tonight, and consider adding something red and warming, too. A bold Northern Rhone Syrah, or brooding Oregon Pinot Noir, seems appropriate.
But you will wake up tomorrow to sun. And yes, to the first Boulder Farmers’ Market of 2018. And you will vist the Market because you have missed it sorely since it shuttered for the season in November, and you are eager for more greens, more local meat and eggs, more Boulder County food.
You will encounter the Black Cat Farm stand, and say to yourself, “What a spectacle of vegetable abundance!” Seriously! You will say that!
The spectacle is the result of work in the fall, when we planted things like arugula, mache, escarole and spinach with the purpose of harvesting through the winter to supply the restaurants, and having a bounty to offer at the Market when it opens. The spectacle of carrots arrives courtesy of a similar over-wintering gambit. We pull most of our carrots out of the ground in the fall and keep them in a root cellar for the winter. But we keep some (quite a lot) in the fields, too. We are yanking them from the soil now and, wowza — so great. We overwintered some parsnips, too.
The shishito peppers? We grew a ridiculous amount of shishitos last year, far more than we could use in the restaurants during the season or sell at the market. So we dried a mountain of red ones and they are on display at our stand. Use them to make a red chile sauce, to crush and sprinkle over pizzas, to add depth to stews and sauces. The drying technique, too, provides us with peas and fava beans in April.
Our trusty root cellar maintains vegetable deliciousness, as well as abundance, for months with beets, potatoes and parsnips (we over-winter and root-cellar parsnips and carrots), and all of the above will be for sale at the Market.
Like the rest of the Market farmers and food artisans, we are thrilled to be back! And next week we offer an exciting new twist — our own prepared-food stand, with pork (like roast suckling pig, possibly, or pork burgers) and a salad bar. Much more about that next week on the blog.
We look forward to seeing you on 13th Street tomorrow!
And we also offer a recipe for carrots tarator, a Bramble & Hare standby that is little more than carrots (which we have in, yes, abundance at the Market), lemon juice and pistachios or almonds.
For the Carrots:
2 pounds carrots
1/2 cup sunflower oil
Remove the tops from the carrots. Trim and peel the carrots if necessary. Wash the carrots and dry. Cut the carrots into finger-size pieces, each about 4 inches long. Transfer the carrots to a medium mixing bowl. Add the sunflower oil and season with salt. Toss to combine. Transfer carrots to a baking sheet and place in the oven. Roast carrots until tender and just beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer the roasted carrots to a serving bowl and top with tarator sauce. Serve immediately.
For the Tarator Sauce:
1 cup toasted almonds or pistachios
2 tablespoons roasted garlic
1/4 cup sunflower oil
In a food processor, combine the nuts, garlic, and 2 tablespoons water. Process on high speed until very smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until fully incorporated. Season with salt and lemon juice. Store in a tightly covered container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
And now time for the drumroll. The Market list for April 7, 2018 — the first Farmers’ Market of the year.
- Red Russian Kale
- Siberian Kale
- Turnip Greens
- Swiss Chard
- Tat Soi Rapini
- Ruby Streak Mizuna
- Carrot bunches
- Beets (bulk)
- Parsnips (bulk)
- Potatoes (bulk)
- Dried red shishitos
- Dried peas
- Dried fava beans