I wrote before about visiting the local farmer’s market and the fun I’ve had shopping there – I finally have some fun stuff to post about the food I’ve bought and how I’m cooking it. First I’ll start with the market itself. Since winter in Central Texas is somewhat mild, there are lots of great veggies to be had: lettuces, greens, cucumbers, root vegetables, winter squash, herbs, and even a couple of tomatoes. There’s a guy who brings seafood up from the Gulf, and I can’t help myself, I always buy his shrimp. They’re big, juicy and sweetly mild in flavor – I boil them and eat them hot and cold. I think they’d be great cooked into food, too, but I love the pure shrimp flavor. There’s an artisan cheese company that makes raw milk aged and mozzarella cheeses, plus delicious flavored cheese spreads. There’s a mushroom seller, lots of great local beef, lamb, game, chicken and eggs, fresh bread, pastries and pies, plus multiple booths with gluten-free foods. There’s kettle corn, flavored pecans, home-made dog cookies, and soaps and lotions and olive oil.
Aside from these, there are several booths or trailers cooking food – breakfast tacos, sausage wraps, empenadas, and tons of other great-smelling snacks and meals. There are also jewelers, live music, wine and sweet tea sellers. People bring their dogs, kids roam around with bags of kettle corn or food on a stick, and a guitar player serenades the crowd. Today’s market, the first after the holidays, was packed due to the gorgeous spring-like weather, and the vendors were running through stock like crazy.
I came home with a bag of shrimp, a drake breast, a bag of mixed root vegetables, a bunch of Russian red kale, and Bibb and green lettuce. I got right to work on the kale, which I had with my lunch. I’d never cooked kale before and none of my cookbooks had a simple sauteed kale recipe, so I’ll cover that in another post. The root vegetables also went right into the oven so that they’d be done for dinners later in the week. Stay tuned for more updates on my cooking exploits with these treasures from the Farmer’s Market!