Found at the Farmers’ Market

June 1, 2013 |

As recent transplants from downtown to mid-town, Dan and I were delighted to discover The Loft’s Saturday farmers’ market, just minutes away via vehicle or bike from our new Blenman-Elm ‘hood. In late-April, we went on a morning harvesting expedition to cull together locally grown, organic produce. The goal was to create a tasty, seasonal lunch that was packed full of mouth-watering nutrition.

This small but growing market features various offerings – Food Conspiracy Co-op baked goods, honey from Tucson Honey Company, fair trade/organic coffee from Café Aqui, Local Roots Aquaponics, dog treats from Ozzie’s Naturals, soap from Sun Grown Soaps, along with raw food, salsa, starter plants and more from area vendors.

This day we were focused on fresh veggies and bought them from Breckenfeld Family Growers and River Road Gardens. Breckenfeld supplied us with bordeaux spinach, Ajo Rojo garlic, carrots and beets; we procured parsnips and kale from River Road Gardens.

What to do with these beautiful purchases? We kept it simple.

For the root vegetables – beets, carrots and parsnips – we peeled, chopped and steamed them. They were tossed with Smart Balance (insert buttery spread of your choice) along with salt, pepper and allspice. Nutmeg and/or allspice are very compatible with these sweet steamed roots.

For cooking the kale, bordeaux spinach and beet greens, we pulled out the wok. Homemade vegetable broth, tamari soy sauce and diced Ajo Rojo garlic were simmered together with the greens’ chopped stalks for about five minutes. The greens’ chopped leaves were tossed in last and sauteed until wilted.

All told – between cleaning, peeling, chopping, steaming, dressing and sautéing – this process took about 30 to 45 minutes. The haul cost around $14, but not all of the food was cooked and there were leftovers for an upcoming dinner.

Both of these dishes are flavorful and satiating, complex on the palate, earthy, robust, and energizing. Dress ‘em up how you like, try different spices! Be flexible with the portions – always season to taste! Buy local produce and support farmers’ markets. Your body and your community will thank you.

The Loft’s Farmers Market, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd., is open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. More information is at The River Road Gardens website is; find Breckenfeld Family Growers on Facebook.

Category: FOOD & DRINK, Living, Shopping