Buy Local Pasadena Blog


Shopping the Local Farmer’s Market
June 12, 2008, 4:30 am
Filed under: Food | Tags: , , , ,

There isn’t a more perfect time to shop at the farmer’s market*. Prices are soaring, salmonella is rampant (well, sort of) and Spring in its final days. Steve and I gleefully plopped our 7 month old into the stroller today and walked to peruse all the delicious possibilities that fruits and veggies could offer. We chatted about the ominous vine-less tomatoes that we could avoid, the plastic we’d escape and the local farmers we could support (and man! There’s nothing like saving a penny, or 10, on gas).

At the market, we held on to our precious $20 bill and canvas shopping bags like we were eager children in a candy shop (nature’s candy shop!). Beautiful ears of sweet yellow corn, flaming red bell peppers, and bright orange apricots – they were all tempting us to buy them. We said hello to the familiar strawberry man and the potato and carrot lady (funny how you can see the same people from week to week and never know names). She had the best smooth red fingerling potatoes this week. Among the tiniest fingerlings I had ever seen was a sign cut out of cardboard that read “pee wee thumb potatoes.” Hilarious! I embarrassed myself by laughing so hard because I was probably the only one who never thought of thumb potatoes in conjunction with fingerlings before…but it sent me over the moon. We weighed down the stroller with our bundles and walked back home.

No cookbook was needed with all these wonderful veggies. We decided on our veggie version of twice baked potatoes. Our 3 year old, now home from his grandpa’s house, excitedly drew up his chair to the counter to help with the preparations. Always aware that his girlfriend (Rachel Ray) could be watching, he carefully washed off the vegetables as I sliced up an onion. Steve threw the potatoes into the microwave (yeah, it’s cheating – but we were hungry!) and then generously poured fruity green olive oil into a pan for our veggies to sauté. The smells were heavenly. We scooped the potato into the veggie mixture and then the real fun began. We mashed everything together and then reunited the mash with their skins. Tons of glorious sharp cheddar cheese and twenty minutes later, it was heaven on earth.

Maybe next week we’d ask the farmers their names.

Approximate Recipe for your convenience (serves 4 as a side dish 2 as a main dish):

2 large potatoes (the skins on baking potatoes are heartier but any potato will work)

½ onion

1 bell pepper (any color)

1 bunch broccoli

2 zucchinis

1 yellow squash

2 large carrots (any color)

2+ Tblspn. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (fair trade is even better)

salt/pepper to taste

about ½ cup of milk

Thoroughly wash all vegetables (substitute with any of your favorite veggies). Score potatoes in half, length wise, and cook (or nuke) until soft. While potatoes are cooking, chop and sauté all veggies in olive oil (with salt and pepper) until tender. Once potatoes have cooked (let cool enough to handle), cut length-wise and scoop out the potato with a spoon and add to sautéed veggie pan (careful to not tear the skins). Place empty skins on a baking sheet. Mix and lightly mash potato/veggie mixture while over low heat. Add enough milk to the mixture until it has a slightly whipped texture (final mixture will be light but with lots of veggie chunks!). Add salt and pepper to taste. Evenly fill skins with the potato mixture (heaping mound) and top with cheese, if desired. Bake on 350 for 20 min, or until cheese is slightly crispy.

*Sierra Madre Farmer’s market: Wednesdays from 3-7 p.m. at the Mariposa parking lot between S. Baldwin and Hermosa Avenue. Click here for more info.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thanks for the yummy potatoe recipe Shelby! Looks delicious…Thank God Farmers Markets are back in vogue!

Comment by buylocalpasadena

Seconds!! More please!!…..this is what yum is all about. Shelby you know how to rock the taters and keepin’ it locally real too…thanks!

Comment by jordan




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