Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Your Opening Day Shopping List!

Fresh Vegetable love, baby!
Glory hallelujah, it's finally Opening Week for the Bellevue Farmers Market! Imagine when, on Monday afternoon, I saw Market Director Lori Taylor's startling update on Facebook: "Lori Taylor is at the Bellevue Farmers Market." Say what? What was she doing there, when she'd told all of us that Opening Day was Thursday, May  10, from 3-7 p.m. in the parking lot of First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue! I think a time machine must have been involved to get her there, but I'll chalk it up to the vagaries of technology. Have no fear, Marketgoers, we haven't missed Opening Day.

What better way to celebrate the start of the fresh-and-local season, but with a recipe and a shopping list? I discovered this one for homemade Ranch Dressing, the perfect thing to dunk fresh vegetables into, or to slather on your bazillion kinds of picked-that-morning lettuce:

Bellevue Farmers Market Crudite Platter with Homemade Ranch Dressing
(Some of the vegetables below can be eaten raw or lightly cooked, depending on how you like them)

Sugar Snap Peas (if we're lucky)
Asparagus (definitely pre-cook)
Beets (ditto)
Parsnips (ditto)
Rutabaga (ditto)
Jerusalem artichokes
A variety of lettuces!
Halves of hard-boiled eggs

Slightly-adapted Ranch Dip/Dressing (see the link for the original; Market ingredients marked with an *):

1 small clove garlic, minced*
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I prefer one without soybean oil)
1/4 cup sour cream (full-fat sour cream contains fewer bizarre ingredients)
2 Tbsp Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced*
1 Tbsp fresh dill, minced, or 1 tsp dried
1/2 Tbsp minced fresh chives*
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1/8 teaspoon paprika
Dash cayenne pepper
Dash hot sauce

Mash garlic with salt. Add to rest of ingredients. Thin with milk or buttermilk to desired consistency. (For a dip, I didn't thin it at all. Chill it for a couple hours to blend flavors.

Delicious. Serve up your platter with an omelet of farm-fresh eggs* or a grilled steak* or salmon.* Throw in a loaf of artisan-baked bread* spread with specialty butter.* Finish off with a lovingly-baked pie*! You can't go wrong. And if, somehow, this menu didn't appeal to you, remember there's plenty, plenty more at the Market, including prepared foods. And you gardeners remember--there'll be plant starts on offer.

See you all Thursday, and let the good life begin!

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