(purple tomatillos at the West End Alexandria farmers market)
We caught a nice break from the usual summer heat this weekend. Sunday morning was glorious and a trip to the farmers market seemed like just the thing to do. Around 9:30a.m., a decent crowd was busy milling through the farmers market at Ben Breneman Park. Farm stands mingled with artists, as they do on the first Sunday of each month that the market is open.
One thing that one notices about this market is how laid back it is. The market master happily greats dogs and no one looks askance if you decide to bring your four-legged friend. There are no crushing lines, and strollers glide up and down the aisle with ease.
On the produce front, it’s all about corn, tomatoes, peppers and stone fruit right now. Westmoreland Berry Farm still had blackberries and even raspberries and blueberries–rather late in the season. J&W’s produce looked as fresh as can be, with a sign for their corn say ‘$.50 each/3 for $1–just picked last evening’. So, I bought a half dozen ears of their super sweet white corn. At another stand, tomatoes were selling for $2.75 per pound and across the way, a vendor had big, thick Roman string bean (sometimes called Italian string beans) that I couldn’t pass up. My family grew these beans in our summer garden, and growing up they were a staple on the table at this time of year.
I also bought large nectarines and jalapenos because I could feel a salsa coming on! And well, here it is. I simply used my Cuisinart to blend 2 tomatoes, a peeled and pitted nectarine, a half of a red onion, one jalapeno and some fresh parsley. I added a pinch of smoked paprika and about half a palm-full of cumin along with the usual S&P and got a HUGE amount of salsa!
Nothing says summer like fresh salsa with ingredients that came right out of the field.
Until the next At The Market, eat and buy local when you can. As and added incentive, read The Arugula File’s post on Virginia’s Farmers Market Week. This week, try to eat only local for one day.