Farmer’s Markets

I don’t think I have quite enjoyed any summer like I have this one. It’s not the overwhelming heat or humidity, but the vegetables. You remember my garden from a few posts ago? The wee little plants, dropped in the ground at the beginning of April? Well, here they are now…

The cucumber plant is taking over the place, and I’ve been picking off a few a week now for the past couple weeks. The basil and other herbs are abundant, and the tomato and jalapeno plants are so heavy laden with their burdens, that they are leaning over and requiring staking. This little plot of land has made me one of the happiest girls this season. That, combined with trips to the farmers’ market has led to many a dish of fresh veggies lately.

Memphis has a downtown farmers’ market, and if you haven’t checked it out, and you live in the area, you should. Local vendors set tent beginning at 8 am on Saturday mornings and display their goods for everyone to peruse. Today’s specials: a local goats milk feta cheese, blackberries, yellow tomatoes, and two types of green beans. There’s also been an opening of the Trolley Stop Market downtown. Owned by Whitton Farms, in Arkansas, it is half farmers’ market, half cafe. Serving homemade vegetables and pizzas, it’s been my new go-to place to shop for food after work.

Last week, I was lucky enough to snatch up the last bunch of baby carrots. Sweet and tender, they were begging to be eaten, and, after watching Laura Calder of Fench Food at Home on the new Cooking Channel make hers roasted with cumin, I set out to do the same with mine. Cumin and carrots are natural buddies. You see, a carrot is a member of the parsley family, so the grassy flavor along with the depth of the cumin, and added sweetness from roasting…they make a fanastic pair.

We’ve been eating healthier around here lately, but with a big plate of these veggies, it doesn’t seem like such a bad deal after all. Bon appetit! Happy farmers’ marketing…

Cumin Roasted Carrots with Cumin
Slightly Adapted from Laura Caulder

1 bunch baby carrots, washed and tops trimmed
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash carrots, trim tops. Leave a small amount of green at the top, it makes them look pretty, and tastes pretty darn good too. Slice the larger carrots in half, lengthwise, and leave the smaller ones whole. Place carrots in a bowl, add seasonings, and toss to combine. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with foil (for ease of cleanup) in a single layer. Roast until carrots have gone limp, soft, and have a bit of browning around the edge.

Serve up. Laura served hers with a roasted piece of fish. I did the same, and it was lovely. But really, anything would do, including just a fork.


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