Posts Tagged ‘falls church farmers market’

FRESHFARM Week: Meet The Mushroom Stand

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

I’ve written about mushrooms a lot, but haven’t properly introduced our source: The Mushroom Stand, or Mother Earth Organics from Pennsylvania. Ferial Welsh, better known as The Mushroom Lady, can be found each week at FRESHFARM Penn Quarter or Dupont Circle patiently explaining the difference between her numerous mushroom varieties and offering cooking instructions. I first seek out the stand in early spring for those coveted wild morels, but the cultivated mushrooms are available nearly year-round. More frequently, we buy my son’s favorite, tiny honey mushrooms. But shitake, maitake and others make an occasional appearance on our dinner table as well.

the mushroom stand freshfarm markets

Try The Mushroom Stand’s mushrooms in some of these favorite recipes:

Find The Mushroom Stand at FRESHFARM‘s Dupont Circle and Penn Quarter markets, and at the Falls Church Farmers Market.

PS Obviously that is not a recent photo… but I couldn’t resist a flashback to cooler times as we suffer through 100 degree days here in DC this week.

At Market: What to Make with Garlic Scapes

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

It warms my heart around this time each year when my old garlic scape recipes suddenly see a spike in traffic — because it means people are hitting the farmers markets and trying something new. Garlic scapes, or curls, as our CSA farm calls them, are one of those things you won’t find in the grocery store.

garlic scapes

The early shoots of the garlic plant, they pack a potent punch and crisp bite. I like to thinly slice them and toss ‘em in salads or scrambled eggs. Garlic scape pesto is a classic and easy way to jazz up pasta or chicken salad. My garlic scape chimichurri makes a great topping for grilled bison steaks. You can throw the whole scape on the grill, too. I’ve even quickly blanched them, cut into 1-inch pieces, and frozen them for stir-fry use later in the year. And I keep meaning to make garlic scape vinegar (perfect for salad dressings) — maybe this year I’ll finally get to it.

How do you like your scapes? Do you grow your own garlic?

kohlrabi broccoli and greens

I made a quick stop at the Falls Church Farmers Market this past weekend for Memorial Day grilling supplies, where I spotted the scapes pictured above. There were a couple other new arrivals at market this week, including kohlrabi nearly as large as bowling balls, broccoli and sugar snap peas a plenty. Coming soon: English peas and sour cherries.

{At Market} Strawberry Horchata

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

I still can’t believe how early strawberry season began this year. We got our first Virginia berries of the year at the Falls Church Farmers Market last weekend, and a few more this weekend. The foodie tots have been ecstatic. The first week, they downed a pint at breakfast as soon as I returned from the market. This past weekend, the toddler went with me and somehow managed to leave strawberry stains on the front and back of her t-shirt, and stroller seat, just while snacking on a few as we shopped. (She was also a big fan of the fresh mini cider doughnuts from Mama’s Donut Bites, new at the market this year. Also spotted: asparagus, ramps & morels — the locavore’s holy trinity of spring.)

falls church farmers market, april

I’ve been wanting to make horchata, a frothy rice-based drink I first tasted in L.A., for an embarrassingly long time. Like, since my last trip to L.A. In 2009. Ahem. Anyway, the drink is simple enough to make but requires advanced planning and patience as the ground rice and water must soak overnight. So it’s a good opportunity to give the kids a lesson in delayed gratification. It’s a fun recipe for kids who enjoy pressing the buttons on the blender, too. It’s lighter than a smoothie and its sweet, refreshing taste goes well with spicy tacos.

While some recipes call for almonds, I chose one that used only rice to keep things simple. I added fresh strawberries which helped sweeten the drink, so it requires less added sugar. (If your berries are very sweet, you may get away with using even less sugar.) You may be tempted to taste the preliminary soaked rice concoction …. (I confess, I did it.) If you do, don’t despair. The drink vastly improves once sweetened. I don’t plan to let another three years pass before making this again — in fact, I’m already envisioning sipping a watermelon version on the deck later this summer.

strawberry horchata @foodietots

Recipe: Strawberry Horchata
adapted from A Wooden Nest

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup long grain white rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1 cup whole milk

Instructions:

1. Place rice in blender and grind to a fine meal. Add to water in a pitcher, drop in cinnamon stick and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

2. Pour mixture back into the blender and blend until cinnamon stick is finely chopped. Pour through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on the rice solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids.

3. Return strained mixture to the blender and add sugar, strawberries and milk. Blend on high speed until well combined and frothy. Chill before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Can’t wait overnight? Try our Strawberry Agua Fresca recipe.

Worm Wednesday: How to Start an Herb Garden

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Perhaps you don’t have enough room, or time, for a full-size garden. An herb garden is an easy way to dabble in gardening and can be done on a window sill, porch or anywhere where you can stick a pot. Planting an herb garden is a good project for young kids, as it can be done in about 10 minutes — just find a container, pour in the potting soil, dig a little hole for each plant, and gently plop it in. Voila! And unlike seeds, there’s no wait time before you can use the plants.

I have a rectangular planter on my deck rail, for easy dinner-time access from the kitchen. A larger pot on the deck holds extra rosemary (purportedly a natural mosquito-repellant) and several varieties of mint for those refreshing summer cocktails, er, beverages.

virginia grown herb plants

If you want to make sure you’re getting organic herb plants, take a look at the farmers market. Many farmers are offering herbs this spring as they wait for their other crops to come in. We picked out sage, thyme and rosemary (above) from Medina & Sons this past weekend at the West End Alexandria market — the Falls Church farmers market has several plant vendors, including our ecoganic CSA Potomac Vegetable Farms.

Check out this Middle Eastern Stuffed Pita recipe from Aviva at PBS Kitchen Explorers for a tasty way to use your home-grown mint.

What herbs are your kids growing? Do they eat them?

Worm Wednesday” is a new feature here to highlight the enthusiasm kids have for gardening.  If you’d like to contribute, send me a picture and description or story of your garden to foodietots@gmail.com, and you could see your garden here on Foodie Tots!

{Meatless Monday} Spaghetti Caprese

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Eating meatless seems simpler in the summer, when steamy hot August days often leave me in the mood for little more than a salad for supper. The traditional caprese salad, comprised of tomatoes, basil and mozzarella, is perfectly sufficient for dinner along with a few slices of a nice, crusty baguette. I was in the mood for something with slightly more substance, though, so I added pasta. You’ll want to use very ripe cherry tomatoes and real, fresh mozzarella — the liquid from the tomatoes and cheese combine to make a silky sauce for the spaghetti. I used Blue Ridge Dairy’s boccini mozzarella (small ball-shaped) from the Falls Church Farmers Market.

The sungold yellow cherry tomatoes and the basil for this meal came from our own kitchen garden — the two stars of our garden, I might add. While the sungold tomatoes have not made a tomato lover out of my son, he did voluntarily taste one … and offer to try them again another time. Small steps… he does enjoy picking them and bringing them in for us to eat, though!

Recipe: Spaghetti Caprese

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound spaghetti, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • about 4 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, preferably small balls (halved) or else cut into small cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper

Instructions: Prepare spaghetti according to package instructions; drain and set aside. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Cook until garlic softens and begins to appear translucent, being careful not to brown. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook several minutes, letting tomatoes give off their juices. Add basil, season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Toss with the spaghetti noodles and let cool a couple minutes before adding the mozzarella. Makes 4 servings. Enjoy!