Thursday, May 03, 2007

Grapevine May 6 2007 Market

this week
-What's New At The Market This Season?
-Cooking Ideas - Asparagus

The Hillsdale Farmers' Market begins its sixth season this Sunday. To celebrate our growing market, we are giving away 500 plant starts to the first 500 customers this Sunday. We'll also have music by Josh Kadish and a market full of the best food the Northwest has to offer. Rieke Elementary is holding its annual Art Fair this Sunday so when you're done shopping at the market take a look at the artists' works in the Rieke Gym.

See you Sunday!

Eamon Molloy
Market Manager

What's New At The Market This Season?
Every new season brings changes and this year is no exception. We have a number of new vendors this year. Creative Growers and Artisan Fruits and Vegetables will be bringing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. New prepared food vendors include:

Chanka's Catering (Trinidadian/Caribbean ready to eat)
River Wave Foods (International cooking sauces)
Rose City Delicacies (mustards)

plus two vendors who started in the winter season and are staying on:
Crabapple Company
Rose City Pepperhead Jellies

As many of you know, we implemented a debit card/Oregon Trail card token system last fall. If you've forgotten to bring cash you don't need to look for an ATM machine. With the swipe of a card, you can purchase tokens for use in the market. Thanks to a generous grant from New Season Market (read about its Pacific Village grant program here), we will be not charging a fee for debit card use.

So what will be at the market this weekend? Asparagus will be readily available this weekend. Other spring favorites such as lettuce, spinach, chard, arugula and leeks will be in good supply too. Strawberries started showing up last week and will be available this weekend too. For the complete list of who's coming this weekend check the availability list.

Cooking Ideas - Asparagus
Along with morel mushrooms, leeks and strawberries, asparagus's appearance at the market is another sure sign of spring. You'll find white, green and purple asparagus at the market. Preparing asparagus is pretty simple. Bend the stalk at the base to find the point at which it naturally snaps and remove the woody end. The bottom inch or so of thicker stalks may need to be peeled to remove the thick skin. Asparagus is most commonly steamed or boiled. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the asparagus is just tender. Asparagus can also be roasted or grilled. Just brush the stalks with a little olive oil and roast in the oven or grill until tender.

Asparagus can be used in entrees, side dishes and salads. The recipe below is adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Enjoy!

Warm Asparagus Salad on Arugula with Walnut Vinaigrette
1 large shallot, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 1/2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 bunch asparagus
1 large bunch arugula, stems removed and leaves torn into small pieces
1 hard boiled egg

Combine the diced shallot, vinegar and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Allow the salt to dissove the whisk in the oil.

Prepare the asparagus to your preference. If boiled, remove from water and allow to drain.

Dress the arugula with 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Add the asparagus and spoon the remaining dressing on top. Finely chop the egg (or run through a sieve), sprinkle on top and serve.