Seasoned Shopper – March 2019


Strawberries, Asparagus, Onions Take Spotlight on Farmers’ Market Opening Day, April 6

    Springtime is the yearly reminder of an exciting new season beginning at the farmers’ market. Local farmers and vendors are gearing up for Saturday, April 6 opening day and will be offering some of the freshest and tastiest in-season produce available.
    Strawberries and asparagus are stars of the produce stands. Look for other gems including an array of herbs (arugula, parsley, thyme, chives and mint), edible pod peas, fresh-pulled radishes, fava beans, salad greens, cabbage and perhaps a few early variety apricots. Stop by one of the artisanal foods stands for a bag of granola or bread, tub of hummus, jar of jam or bottle of honey.
    The subtle tastes of spring onions and green garlic are ready to enjoy but only for a short time. They soon become larger and stronger tasting and ready for more hearty dishes.  
    Spring onions are very young onions harvested before the bulb develops, while scallions and green onions remain small and do not develop bulbs. Trim the roots off the end of the stalk and remove any damaged greens – the rest is completely edible.
    Green garlic is harvested before heads of garlic form. This is a way for the farmer to thin the crop to give room for heads to mature and at the same time offer a delight of spring. It lends a pleasant mild garlic taste to omelets, risottos, dressings and garnishes. To prepare the green garlic, trim off roots and slice the white, light green and first few inches of the dark green leaves (as long as they are tender).

Market reminders
    The Orinda market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Orinda Way in front of the Community Center and Rite Aid. Look for a special kid’s activity every week.
    Short on cash? Stop by the information booth and use your debit/credit card to purchase market bucks, which are accepted by all vendors.
    Purchase reusable shopping bags or pick up some free recipes at the information booth. For more information visit the market website at where you can also sign up for market specials sent to your phone.

Spring frittata
    1 tablespoon butter
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 spring onion, trimmed and chopped
    1 green garlic, trimmed and chopped
    One half-pound fresh asparagus, trimmed, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces
    6 eggs
    1 tablespoon water
    1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
    Melt butter and olive oil in an oven-safe, 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and asparagus. Cook and toss occasionally for about 5 minutes.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and water. Pour into skillet, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 5 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven. Bake 10 to 15 minutes until eggs are set. Top with Parmesan cheese and place under broiler until cheese is lightly browned.
    Serves 4.

(Barbara Kobsar, Photographer)
Fresh-pulled radishes are among the spring favorites available at the Farmers’ Market.

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