Saturday, August 18, 2012

Farmer's Market

One of several covered aisles at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market
I am thoroughly enjoying having a CSA share (from Treasured Haven Farm) this summer and picking up a box of farm fresh produce every week at a local coffee shop. Each week is a surprise and I am learning how to be more creative with the produce I am picking up. Last week brought two large bags of tomatoes, so this week I am making salsa, panzanella salad, and a tomato tart. Even with this weekly bounty, I still can't help going to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market on Saturday morning.
The market is just outside of downtown Minneapolis

Music at the market
The market is open 7 days a week, but I always happen to go on Saturday's. In most countries, going to the market is a daily affair and probably not that exciting for the average person who lives there. In Minneapolis/USA, it is a huge cultural event that people (like me!) look forward to all week.
There are all kinds of food stalls- roasted corn, tacos, pastries, polish dogs, coffee and more

Tomatoes were everywhere this week!

People park in lots under the interstate and on streets surrounding the market. There are craft stalls, food stalls, fresh produce, local meats, eggs, wild rice, honey, and fresh flowers. Every stall seems to have an abundance to sell. There is a buzz of excitement and everyone is busy looking for the best finds of the week- this week was tomatoes. There were boxes, buckets and crates full of various types. Some vendors were giving out samples to taste.
This little girl was cute selling her family's produce

Fresh produce is so beautiful to me

All of the flowers this week reminded me of Pike's Place Market in Seattle
Every table is so tempting and I wish I could buy something from everyone- unfortunately there are at least 4 huge, covered aisles full of vendors making that idea a little over my budget! I usually try to buy at least one thing that I haven't tried preparing before so that I can do a little experimenting. Chinese spinach, Chinese broccoli, kohlrabi, garlic chives, swiss chard, and this week white eggplant have been a few of my purchases. The prices at the farmer's market are very reasonable and I love being able to support local farmers.

Afterwards, I always feel like eating some fresh and full of vegetables!

Panzanella Salad

2-6 ripe tomatoes, variety of types/sizes (I used about 4 grape and 2 medium yellow tomatoes)
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced in half
1 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small pieces
handful of fresh basil
1 slice of crusty bread
olive oil
red wine vinegar
kosher salt

1. Toast bread and then rub with the garlic clove (use the cut sides) and cut or tear into pieces
2. Dice tomatoes and put int a salad bowl. Add cheese, bread and fresh basil
3. Drizzle with olive oil, add a splash of the vinegar and season with kosher salt and pepper

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