I just spent a glorious, long weekend in Southern California enjoying every minute. The highlight was when our family walked to the Palisades Farmers Market for a spring food tasting. As you approach the little plaza where the market is held you feel the energy bouncing from every stall. There is music playing and throngs of people sampling so many different foods presented on the different tables under the tents.
The colors are spectacular - the bright berries are bursting red and blue the broccoli is so green and so are the asparagus. Then there were the shiny orange mandarins and sasuma oranges and giant grapefruits that are golden yellow. The color shock to me was the bright heads of cauliflower-purple, orange, green and traditional white.
Spring comes much earlier to California and so the delicious fruits and veggies of spring were out in all their glory. Our markets back east in Washington DC still have that wintry look with only radishes and the first asparagus and peas to signal springtime. There was such a variety in the Palisades market which makes for such fun menu planning. We loaded up on all kinds of delicious treasures that will be used for different meals each day.
Lisa's first choice was the little cauliflowers. She picked out a purple head that she will roast in the oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and that is it. It is a fantastic side dish (She says it is also a great snack!). And the first choice for Jason and Claire were the big, bright red strawberries. They use them in so many ways from breakfast to dinner. Cut up in cereal or on top of French toast they make breakfast a sweet beginning. Then Claire slices them into the salad and sometimes heaps it on top of non-fat yogurt for dessert.
Another treat at the market are the fresh homemade soups that are filled with beautiful veggies and herbs. Also there were homemade breads and muffins along with organic meats and beautiful fresh fish. With all of these delicious foods it is no surprise that farmers markets are sprouting up everywhere. It is a wonderful way to get in touch with your community and support local farmers while enjoying the fresh, healthy foods. Do you have a farmers market in your community?
Here are a few recipes we enjoyed at Ellen's Healthy Table this week. They are packed with great nutrients and superb taste. What could be better? Enjoy!!
Published On: April 09, 2008