Last Saturday I was planning a visit to the Durham Farmers’ Market to see if I could get lucky and score some more Brussels sprouts. Then I remembered I needed to be in Chapel Hill AND The Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market would be on my way. So I made a last-minute alteration in plans, which turned out to be a rather good choice (if I do say so myself). That’s one of the (many) great aspects of the Triangle. Just about every city has a farmers’ market, facilitating easier access to local foods.
The Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market is situated in the parking lot of University Mall, on the back side of A Southern Season, in front of the K&W cafeteria. Knowing I had a busy day ahead, I was hoping to find something that I could put together for a quick Saturday night dinner. Luckily Porcino, a local artisan pasta and pizza dough maker, and Hillsborough Cheese Co. were right there, front and center, ready with the beginnings of a pizza dinner. I picked up a package of Porcino’s rosemary pizza dough and a ball of fresh (delicious!) mozzarella from Hillsborough Cheese Co., some eggs, english muffins and other produce.
Later that night, I rolled out the dough, releasing the rosemary scent with each pass of the rolling pin (MmmMm!). I topped the parbaked crust with red onion jam from my freezer, the grated mozzarella and some curly green kale. I prepped the kale by removing the stems, tearing it in small pieces, drizzling with EVOO, and sprinkling the lot with a bit of kosher salt, before giving it a good massage. While the pizza bakes, the kale gets dark and crunchy and lovely. Crunchy kale is my new favorite. 🙂
Leftover portions of crunchy kale and mashed sweet potato went into this pasta dish and I topped some soft scrambled eggs with the last of the kale crisps for breakfast yesterday. Kale is definitely back on the farmers’ market shopping list for this Saturday.
One large sweet potato, one large onion, a half pound of Mae Farm Italian sausage along with three eggs went into this sweet potato hash recipe (great for a weekend brunch or weeknight dinner). Four eggs would have fit in the skillet, but I was running a bit short on eggs by then.
All good eats this week. Other than kale, I’m kinda winging it on the farmers’ market shopping this Saturday – no specific plan. I recall reading that leeks were available at the Durham Farmers’ Market, so I bookmarked a few leek recipes that looked tempting:
Swiss Chard & Leek Gratin via Food & Wine
Leek Bread Pudding via Smitten Kitchen
Braised Leek & Bacon Bisque via Food 52
A simple Leeks Vinaigrette via Orangette
And maybe, just maybe this pasta, leek and shrimp recipe, if I can snag some shrimp from Locals Seafood at Western Wake Farmers’ Market.
We’re settled into March now. I imagine asparagus and strawberries may become available in the not too distant future. Isn’t anticipation of fresh, Spring produce a wonderful feeling?
Next week I’ll be back with more meals from the area’s farmers’ market and the Spring opening dates for the seasonal markets. Please feel free to share in the comments what you cooked with items from your local farmers’ market or from your CSA box. I love to see what everyone’s cooking up.
In the meantime, thanks for stopping by and for keeping it local! Oh, and don’t forget to “Spring Forward” those clocks on Sunday, then enjoy the extra daylight in the evening.