Wow!! My local farmer's market at Dupont Circle in Washington DC was brimming over with amazing fall fruits and vegetables during my visit this past Sunday. The bright colors of orange and golden yellow squashes and pumpkins mixed beautifully with the reds of apples and tomatoes. And the greens provided a stunning backdrop with endless piles of salad fixings, beans and zucchini to enjoy.
I brought my little digital camera with me to the market and had fun taking pictures of the terrific foods. I am happy to share them with you and included some in this posting.
I found the abundant array of healthy, local food irresistible and my bag was overflowing when I finished. That worked out well, because I was having six good friends over to my house for lunch that afternoon. We have had this tradition for 22 years and this Sunday was my turn to cook for the group. It was a perfect day for enjoying a farmer's market menu.
The vibrant colors of the fall market translate into great nutrition value - and the various fall fruits and vegetable make fabulous ingredients for any meal. Did you know that a vegetable's color can be a clue to the vitamins and minerals found inside? For example, the orange of carrots, sweet potatoes and squash are filled with Vitamin A, fiber, potassium and trace minerals such as iron and zinc. And the red of tomatoes, beets, red peppers and chilies means they are rich in vitamins A and C and fiber and minerals.
I started by picking up a shapely butternut squash that I used for an easy-to make soup. It is a recipe from FoodFit Chef Nora Pouillon who started the first organic restaurant here in Washington DC and who shops regularly at our local market. The soup is just pureed squash (or pumpkin) with the added flavoring of curry, cumin and lemon juice and only has 133 calories.
Then because I was making a big Couscous Salad inspired by FoodFit Chef Charlie Trotter, I started gathering the many vegetables to be tossed in it like red pepper, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and scallions. This dish looks great on a platter because of its many colors. For something different, I substituted grilled tuna for smoked turkey. It was delicious.
I could not resist the beautiful pears and apples piled high throughout the market. The pears were a centerpiece for the dessert and the apples were thrown in with the greens for a side salad.
As you can see, a trip to the farmers market can lead to all kinds of nutritious, healthy eating that is also absolutely scrumptious. What are you picking up in your local markets? Please share your ideas for weekend feasting on fresh, local food.
Here are some choice recipes from the market that were a hit at Ellen's Healthy Table:
- Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Pepitas(try substituting the pumpkin with butternut squash!)
- Charlie Trotter's Smoked Turkey and Middle Eastern Couscous Saladc with Artichokes and Lemon-Chive Vinaigrette
Published On: September 26, 2007