Posts Tagged ‘del ray farmers market’

At Market: Broccoli!

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Allow me to gloat briefly: my son’s favorite vegetable is broccoli. When I serve broccoli, he asks for seconds. When I told him the broccoli in our garden needed to grow a little bigger, he said, “But I really wanted to eat it tonight,” in such a sad voice that I snipped it and steamed it just for him.

how do you test broccoli for ripeness?

how do *you* test broccoli for ripeness?

Now before you resent me too much, let me assure you that there are plenty of green vegetables he won’t touch. Including anything leafy. (I blame myself, for telling him not to eat leaves at the playground when he was a toddler.) But as long as he loves broccoli, we’re eating it once or twice a week. And it’s in season right now at our local farmers markets, along with its cousin cauliflower, squash, Brussels sprouts, beets, apples, pears, those pesky leafy greens, and more root vegetables than you could ever find time to roast.

Did you know that broccoli lowers cholesterol, has high levels of vitamins A & K, and contains folic acid (good for pregnant and nursing mamas)? Ninety percent of the time I just steam broccoli and serve it with butter and sea salt. But if you’re looking to mix things up, or if your little ones aren’t quite as enthusiastic about broccoli, here are some other ideas from around the blogs.

Kid-Friendly Broccoli Recipes

Moroccan Lamb Stew {and Del Ray & Dupont Winter Markets}

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

After an extended holiday absence, we finally made it back to the Del Ray Farmers Market this past weekend. The winter market is small, with ringleaders Tom the Cheese Guy and Smith Meadows meats holding down the fort. There’s a new vendor this year, The Dressed Up Nut, selling sweet spiced nuts and gluten-free biscotti. I had a hankering for stew and picked up the convenient pre-cubed lamb meat from Smith Meadows.

I was also craving some fresh produce, so it was off to Dupont Circle’s FreshFarm Market on rainy Sunday morning. It was the off week for Next Step Produce (who alternates weeks in the winter) so I missed out on my watermelon radishes. These pretty carrots were a welcome shot of color in the dreary weather, though, and made their way into my Sunday night stew as well. (I think they were from New Morning Farm, but I’m not positive.) I also picked up some ravioli from Copper Pot (newish to the Dupont Market, I reviewed Chef Frigerio’s pasta last spring) for a farmers-market-fast-food dinner later in the week.

When it came time to cook the stew, I wanted to keep it relatively light, so I went with Moroccan seasonings as found in an Epicurious recipe. I added fingerling potatoes and those carrots, and instead of using the orange zest called for in the original recipe, I just squeezed the juice from a clementine into the pot at the end. (The husband has a thing about citrus zest.) Served over cous cous, it was a flavorful, warming winter stew. Best of all, it elicited a hearty, “I LOVE it,” from the boy, who asked for seconds of both meat and carrots. (And ate the side salad, but that’s another post.)

Recipe: Moroccan-Spiced Lamb Stew
adapted from


  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 pounds lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, washed and cubed
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • juice of 1 clementine or mandarin orange
  • fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions: Combine salt and spices in a bowl, then add lamb cubes and toss to coat. Heat olive in dutch over over medium high heat. Brown lamb on all sides, about 4 minutes. Remove lamb to a bowl. Lower heat to medium and add onion and garlic to pot; cook until tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and return lamb to pot. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover, reducing heat to medium low, and simmer for 1 hour. Add carrots and cook another 15-20 minutes, until lamb is tender. Remove from heat and stir in orange juice. Serve over cous cous and garnish with chopped parsley. Makes 6 servings.

At Market: Puffy Sweet Corn Pancake

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Fall may be my favorite season, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hoard the summer produce just as long as possible. Sweet summer corn in particular, and this year my favorite has been the white corn from Three Way Farm at the Del Ray Farmers Market.

Pancakes and kids are pretty much a sure thing, and the boy was eager to help me whisk together this quick and easy batter. It’s adapted from a classic puffy apple pancake recipe that I’ve always enjoyed, turned savory to serve as a side dish to our first maple-glazed pork chops and apples of the fall. (Oh yes, we went apple picking recently too, at the ecoganic-ish Crooked Run Orchard in Purcellville, Va. … they spray their apples (I’m unaware of any u-pick orchards in the region that don’t) but have a lengthy explanation of their practices on their website.) Anyway, corn and apples makes the perfect crossover pairing to mark the autumnal equinox, I’d say.

puffy sweet corn pancake

RECIPE: Puffy Sweet Corn Pancake
Adapted from Betty Crocker Puffy Oven Pancake


  • 1 cup corn kernels (from 2 ears of corn)
  • 1 small yellow onion or spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/8 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup corn meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • fresh parsley to garnish

Instructions: Place butter in 9-inch pie pan and allow to melt while preheating oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, corn meal and salt in one bowl. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs and whisk in the milk. Add the flour mixture, stirring until just combined, then fold in corn and onion. Remove the pie pan from the oven and brush the butter around the pan, including the sides. Pour batter into pan and return to oven. Bake 25-30 minutes, until puffy and lightly browned. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen the pancake. Place a large dinner plate over the pan and flip quickly. Garnish with parsley and enjoy! Makes 6 servings.

Note: If you’re in the area, Crooked Run will be making apple butter on the farm this weekend, Sept. 19 and 20. Elsewhere, visit to locate an apple orchard near you. And if you have any favorite apple recipes, please share!

Farms of Origin:

  • corn, Three Way Farm (VA)
  • corn meal, Wye Mill (MD)
  • milk & butter, South Mountain Creamery (MD)
  • parsley & onions, Potomac Vegetable Farms CSA (VA)
  • pork chops, Smith Meadows (VA)
  • apples, Crooked Run Orchard (VA)

Shared with Real Food Wednesday — visit for round-up at Cheeseslave for more real food recipes and inspiration!

One Local Summer, A Family Affair

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

one local summer 2009This past week we’ve enjoyed a visit from family — my two siblings, sister-in-law, niece, father and father-in-law, a family reunion with five of my dad’s six siblings to celebrate my uncle’s retirement from the Navy, and my son’s third birthday party. Of course, food is always the focal point of our (semi-)Italian family’s gatherings, and while we may not have had an entirely local meal, we had local ingredients in every meal.

foodie cousins at del ray farmers market

The night my family arrived we ate at my aunt & uncle’s, enjoying the fruits of their garden while the cousins admired their chicken tree and beehives. First thing Saturday morning, the boy and I cooked up black & blueberry muffins, made with Pequea Valley yogurt, for breakfast before taking the fam to the market. The boy led his cousin straight to Vera’s for fresh-squeezed orange juice before introducing her to Tom the Cheese Guy (aka Mr. Tom) and sharing his slice of cheese.

At the family pool party we had a salad grown in my aunt & uncle’s garden, corn on the cob we brought from Three Way Farm, and a peach cobbler that my brother and sister-in-law prepared with Toigo peaches. The same brother and sister-in-law brought some home-grown cherry tomatoes from their Alabama garden, which we snacked on like candy over the weekend. Cherry tomatoes and Tom’s horseradish cheddar made a spicy version of the typical tomato-basil-mozzarella salad to enliven a take-out meal after the birthday party. And my son’s birthday cake, with its Swiss meringue buttercream, made good use of our local cage-free eggs.

To top it all off, my brother and sister-in-law brought a basket full of jams and salsas, put up themselves, a set of organic yogurt starters and the Local Flavors cookbook as my birthday present. Can you imagine anything more appropriate? (Thanks J & H!)

One Local Summer is an annual challenge in which people around the world join together for 13 weeks of seasonal eating, supporting local farmers and exploring their local foodsheds. Visit FarmtoPhilly on Tuesdays for the weekly round-up; here’s what my neighbors in the Southern region cooked up this week.

At Market: Cherries, Charcuterie & Canteloupe (and a Honey Bee love note)

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Updates on the early July finds at our local farmers markets, and scroll down to learn why you should satisfy your sweet tooth with something honey-sweetened today!

At the Del Ray Farmers Market: Last week we returned to the Crystal City Farmers Market to check out its newest additions, and returned to the Del Ray Farmers Market after a weekend out of town. It seemed like summer took forever to arrive and now berries and cherries are making their fleeting appearance while the first peaches are already trickling in. Sweet corn is also making its first appearance, but we held off on that and instead picked up a cute, sweetly fragranced cantaloupe from Three Way Farms and sour cherries from Toigo Orchard. The melon was enjoyed for breakfast, wrapped with some not-at-all-local Ibérico ham (jamón) — but, I rationalized the purchase as supporting both a local chef, José Andrés (the importer) and local cheese shop La Fromagerie.

del ray farmers market july

At the Crystal City Farmers Market: Earlier in the week, at Crystal Farms, we were pleased to see the two charcuterie vendors had arrived, Red Apron and MeatCrafters — with the latter cooking up a generous amount of samples to satiate the hungry boy. We brought home the patriotic Capital half-smokes this time, but the Merguez lamb sausage and sopressata were my personal favorites. The boy strutted through the market as if he owned the place — since this is an after-work market it doesn’t attract as many families as weekend markets, but there were plenty of kids helping out their parents at the stands.

crystal farms arlington va

The boy was thrilled that Kuhn Orchard had saved the last kid-sized cup of berries “just for me!”, bought purple string beans from a young assistant at Barajas Produce, chips and tomatillo salsa from the mom and daughter team of Salsa las Glorias, and had an involved chat with the J-Wen dairyman’s son about the various flavors of milk offered. (The boy settled on chocolate for himself and root beer for his father.) This market seems to be doing quite well, and the summer produce bounty is only just beginning so be sure to visit soon. They’ve also instituted a bag share program, where you can drop off extra reusable shopping bags that may be cluttering up your house or car, and pick one up if you forgot to bring one along. Fantastic idea.

Love food? Eat Honey July 10, Save a Honey Bee! Today is “Don’t Step on a Bee Day,” originally conceived don't step on a bee dayto discourage people from going barefoot in the summer, and then stepping on a bee. The holiday was re-purposed to highlight the plight of the North American honey bee, whose declining numbers could seriously jeopardize our future food supply. (Serious Eats has a short video that explains colony collapse disorder.) So eat something honey-sweetened today (real honey, preferably from your local farmers market) and raise a glass to our friends, the honey bees! If you’re in the DC area, get a bite to eat at the Fairmont Hotel or Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm, both of whom raise honeybees on site, or drop by Buzz for free “honey cups” for the kids and an assortment of Josh Short’s honey-sweetened desserts.

Sending this honeybee note over to Fight Back Friday at the Food Renegade – take a look for more real food inspiration!