Just a couple blocks from my office sits our local farmers’ market. I’ve shared with you in a number of posts the wonderful bounty that my home and my work family has come to enjoy. This week as I approached the parking lot the view was quite different. What generally is a row of 12 – 15 vendors, was but one lonely pickup truck with a small table in front. How can this be? Is summer literally drying up and taking all the tomatoes and summer squash and cucumbers with it?
The young fellow that was tending the sole booth seemed quite pleased as I stepped out of my car. I was a captive audience to say the least and he had stories to share. First he wanted me to be assured that he had promised his customer following that he would set up shop every Wednesday and Saturday morning through the end of the month, no matter what. Which translated into just one more week to enjoy the glorious bounty that has become a weekly staple for us.
Just look at this gorgeous produce. First the Haricot Verts, soon to become Deconstructed Green Bean Casserole, were just beautiful (wished I had bought more). They served well as the bottom ‘cushion’ layer in my veggie tote. I added some tiny cucumbers to share, a couple gorgeous eggplant for me, and two pounds of heirloom roma tomatoes….just begging to become bruschetta. He threw in some cubanelle peppers and pears from his back yard trees, all the while sharing recipe ideas and flavor pairings. As we talked I noticed a pile of oddly shaped squash looking fruits laying in the back of his truck.
Bitter Melon! I added the exclamation point because this might just be the coolest things I’ve found at a farmers’ market since zephyr squash. He shared that bitter melon is VERY bitter, however it has a wealth of health and medicinal properties associated to it. He recommended I read this Bitter Melon article on Wiki for the skinny on this crazy fruit. At the time of this posts we have not yet decided how we will use bitter melon in a recipe, but I’m certain we’ll add lots of punch!
My beloved Farmers’ Market…..how I hate to see you go…