It’s the weekend before school starts and amidst the mix of planning, adoption classes, and babysitting my neighbor’s crazy cat, my love and I found time to go putz at the Farmer’s Market.
It’s actually one of my favorite weekend errands.
Today we found the most delectable golden beets, fresh gorgeous carrots, rainbow chard, fresh fennel bulbs, incredible yams and sweet potatoes, cucumbers, string beans, peaches, apples and the last of this season’s blueberries from our favorite farm. All organic. And all cheaper than we would pay for them at the grocer.
This summer we’ve found the most incredible things at our local market. In the past, we’ve stopped and eaten a few things at the taco stand (I order chicken tacos in corn tortillas… speaking Spanish is a bonus here as I can explain that they need to clean the grill, etc). A few weeks ago, however, I ventured to another vendor and found some incredible salads – all of which could be made gluten-free by a rather knowledgeable vendor who was quick to answer my query about the gluten-free status of her dressings (all GF) and salads (all made to order/easily made GF). We’ve enjoyed eating lunch in the sunshine while watching the world pass by.
Today we raced down to the market after working on at the gym. Wearing our gym clothes, we stopped and had a great lunch at the “salad lady” stand and I watched as the crowd ebbed and flowed around the different picnic tables, vendor stalls and fruit bins. Many of the crowd was gearing up for the start of school. I heard parents planning fruit purchases with kids for their lunches – figuring out if the kids wanted peaches or apples with their lunch. (Personally, I was voting for the peaches as apples seem to be available always and the fresh gorgeous peaches will disappear all too soon.)
After lunch, we strolled through the stands toward our favorite blueberry farm/vendor. I was sad to see her sign declaring that this was the last weekend for their blueberries. OH! They have been so good this summer. We’ve been down to pick up two quarts almost every weekend since the berries have been available. Today, lamenting the end of the season, we bought a half flat or blueberries. I was actually a little worried about how many we bought, but we’ve already eaten almost 1/3 of them! (OMG! We shall soon look like Violet Beauregard!)
To help balance our fruit bonanza, I led the way to our favorite organic farm stand. We saw the most gorgeous veg. It actually made us both stop and consume the stand with our eyes. The colors were beautiful. Between the heirloom zucchini, rainbow chard, golden and deep red beets, and patty pan squash, I didn’t know where to start. I ended up picking up a bag of gorgeous carrots, a few fennel bulbs, some sweet potatoes and yams, golden beets and heirloom zucchini. Oh yea. I love the farmer’s market!
This recipe celebrates my veg purchases. While I made it a week ago, it still celebrates what we’ve been buying locally lately. It’s a little cooler here than usual (for this time of year) which I think is pushing me toward the roasted root veggies. It satisfies my soul to taste the goodness of these veggies… not to mention nourishes my body. And, to be honest, it is a treat to cook the ingredients we pick up at the farmer’s market together. I love peeling the carrots while thinking about the day with my love, roaming through the Farmer’s Market greeting friends and spying great finds.
What do you buy at your Farmer’s Market?
Do you have a favorite vendor or two too?
Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Fennel Bulbs
Serves 2, (with a few leftovers for 2 lunches)
-Can be easily doubled
2 large sweet potatoes (we used red garnet)
3 large carrots
2 fennel bulbs
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Peel sweet potatoes and carrots. Clean and prep fennel bulbs.
- Slice sweet potatoes and carrots into long sticks (about 1/2″ thick by 3 inches).
- Slice fennel bulbs in half and then cut each half in to four sections.
- Toss bulb sections, sweet potatoes and carrots with olive oil and brown sugar. Season with salt/pepper.
- Cover a cookie sheet (with rims, to catch any dripping juices from the brown sugar and sweet potatoes) or a 9 by 13 baking dish with parchment paper (or a silicone baking mat) and spread the root vegetables in a single layer covering the pan.
- Roast for 45-60 minutes, turning and stirring every 15-20 minutes. Roast until all are tender and sweet potatoes/fennel begin to brown.
- Serve with your favorite fall meal. (We had homemade applesauce, grilled pork loin and these veggies. Well, okay… and a couple handfuls of blueberries for dessert.)
Happy Gluten-free Eating, All!