Wednesday, June 16th: Avila Chef Alex Pitts, Lots More Cherries & Strawberries, Firefly Returns With Kimchi & Cauliflower!

Chef Alex Pitts of Avila performing a cooking demonstration at Wallingford Farmers Market in September, 2009. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chef Alex Pitts of Avila graces us with another of his great cooking demonstrations at your Wallingford Farmers Market today. Catch him at 4 p.m., while he shows us just how easy and delicious it is to cook with great local ingredients from the Market.

Jessies Berries. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Jessie’s Berries and Hayton Berry Farms return to Wallingford Farmers Market today for the 2010 season, both with great local strawberries… finally! Hey, we’ve earned our strawberries this year. Get as many as you can, while you can, and just eat yourself silly with them!

Delicious, nutritious kimchi by Frelard's Firefly Kitchens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You gotta love when a new vendor at the Market is so successful that their sales outpace their production capacity, and that is exactly what happened to Firefly Kitchens and their incredible fermented vegetables. As a result, we missed them for the last two weeks. But they have increased their production capacity, and they are back today with all their healthy deliciousness you’ve come to expect, and maybe even a few surprises!

Gorgeous cauliflower at Summer Run. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This is just some of the most beautiful cauliflower, don’t you think? It comes from Summer Run, and it eats as good as it looks. Summer Run is also rocking the broccoli, chard, rapini, collards and especially the lettuce now, too. Their enormous heads of lettuce never cease to amaze me.

Endive from Stoney Plains. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Endive, like this from Stoney Plains, is one of those lovely, bitter greens that is wonderful when balanced against some other strong flavors, like bacon and bleu cheese. Crumble bleu cheese over the top of your endive in a salad bowl. Grab some bacon from Olsen, chop it up into small cubes, saute it until just crisp, and then pour the bacon and some of its grease right over the top of the endive and cheese. Toss. The grease dresses and wilts the endive and softens the cheese. Add pine nuts and lemon juice, if you desire. Yum!

Brilliant baby chiogga beets from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You gotta love baby beets. They give you two dishes for the price of one! You get the beets themselves, which are perfect for roasting, steaming or shaving into salads, and you get the greens, too! You’ll find these spectacular baby chiogga beets now at Full Circle Farm, and they also have lovely baby Detroit beets, too.

Romaine lettuce from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Alm Hill Gardens is knocking out some magnificent lettuce right now, like this gorgeous romaine. Sure, it’s great on sandwiches, in salads and even used as a wrap, but did you know that you can gently saute romaine, too? Heck, some folks grill it, and it is spectabulous!

And as always, there is still plenty of other stuff just waiting for you at your Wallingford Farmers Market this week. For a full accounting of what you will find, click on “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.

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