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A Jarring Experience

July 18, 2011 - 8:44am
Carolyn K

Did you notice those cucumbers that resembled tiny watermelons at Suzie’s Farm’s booth? Mexican sour gherkin cucumbers, also known as the “mouse melon” is a newly re-discovered heirloom varietal that has a surprisingly sour taste. Their sourness got us thinking about pickling and the North Park Farmer’s Market has a plethora of picks for pickling. According to Chinese medicine, one should consume pickles during the hottest summer months as a tonic for cooling the stomach and strengthening the kidneys. But don’t stop at cucumbers, almost any vegetable or fruit can be pickled. Why not consider pickling chard from JR Organics, green beans or squash from Kawano Farms, and let’s not forget the pickled peppers from Valdivia Farms!

Here is a basic pickling recipe that will get you started: Start with approximately 4 pounds of any vegetables. Combine 3 cup vinegar, preferably apple cider, but rice, white or red wine are fine too with 3 cup water, 1/4 cup non iodized sea salt! Check out Salt Farm or She Sells Sea Salts for more adventurous infused and flavored salts. Cover the vegetables with the vinegar, water and salt mixture, fill sterilized mason jars and refrigerate. Some vegetables, such as chard and leeks will need to be boiled for 5-10 minutes, before jarring.

Not so much into the whole do-it-yourself thing, then stop by the Happy Pantry booth, where they have an amazing selection of pickled veggies and salads. However you choose to get your pickling fix, we think pickling is a great way to save your summer vegetables for consumption when you long for the taste of summer!



April 8, 2011 - 1:57pm
Hillary E.


This soup is creamy, bright and packed full of spring flavors. Peas and mint are a classical pairing that come together flawlessly in this soup based on a recipe from Ina Garten. Simple and lovely, it's dinner in less than an hour.

Start by chopping a few cleaned leeks and a yellow onion and sauteing them in a bit of olive oil from Bistro Blends. Once everything is nice and softened add 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you're so inclined) and bring to a boil. Add a pound or so of freshly shelled peas from Maciel & Family and cook until just tender. Take if off the heat and stir in a handful of freshly chopped mint leaves from Suzie's Farm and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Whirl away in a blender or food processor until smooth and stir in a few big spoonfuls of sour cream or creme fraiche. Serve with croutons made from Belen Bakery's ciabatta and snipped chives. Celebrate springtime.


February 17, 2011 - 6:37pm
Hillary E.


Sometimes a little blustery cold weather just calls for a night in with dinner and a movie. So snuggle up Saturday night with a steaming bowl of creamy cauliflower soup made with farm fresh ingredients. Start by chopping and sauteing the white and light green parts of a leek or two from Vang Farms, making sure to rinse it well to get out all the grit. Add to that a head of cauliflower from either Vang Farms or Suncoast Farms that's been broken into florets, 2 cups of milk and 2 cups of either chicken or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the cauliflower is very tender. Blend it all up until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper. For some added flair, garnish with snipped chives or microgreens from Suzie's Farm, or add in a teaspoon or two of Just Spice's Vindaloo Curry blend for a spicy kick.

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