Why I Love Farmers Markets
Shopping at farmers markets has become a huge trend over the past five years as it is the easiest way to eat locally. You know where the food comes from: after all, the grower is right there to tell you about their products.
Moving to Essendon in February this year, if you follow me on Instagram, you will know what my favorite past time is on a Sunday morning. I love the Flemington market because it is quick and easy to get around, everything is fresh and organic, and I love how the market changes each week, as often stall holders and produce change weekly, or with the seasons.
I find the market an enjoyable experience. I am boycotting supermarkets as much as I can. If I need to stock up, I will go to La Manna Fresh, but since Italy, where we discussed "Supermarkets have no soul," it is now the market or local fruit and veg, fish or butcher shops for me.
I have had many messages asking what I cook from the markets. Many people have told me they come home with bags of produce that went uneaten. And many others have left after a morning's tour around the stalls only to return home with a simple bunch of carrots. With this in mind, I can put together a series of articles showing what I purchased from the market and recipes of what I made with the produce.
Below are quick, easy and healthy recipes for any working woman to make, Cazinc style.
1. Winter Soup
If you loved my soup recipe, with a special ingredient, (read here), a few weeks ago, you would like this one.
Chop all ingredients, and place all except for silverbeet in the slow cooker. Cover with water, and Simon's Nana's magic ingredient, vegemite. Cook for 6 hours.
Add silverbeet for last 10 minutes and serve.
Always a winner when the weather is cold, and you need time during the week. Place in a saucepan to heat up servings during the week, or freeze leftovers.
2. Parsnip, Sage, And Chorizo Pasta
- 500g Fresh Linguine Pasta
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 x Parsnips -
- 1 Bunch Sage (Leaves only)
- 2 Chorizo sausages (or exchange for mushrooms to make vegetarian) - chopped
- Cooking Cream to taste.
(You can also add the zezt of one or two lemons, plus juice to taste)
1. Cook pasta as per instructions in a large pot of boiling water and a touch of olive oil. Drain, but hold 1/2 cup of the water.
2. In another pan, heat EVOO and fry chorizo for two minutes. Add strips of parsnip and sage and continue to fry for another 2 minutes, keep stirring.
(You can add a splash of white wine here if you wish).
3. Turn heat down. At this stage, add the 1/2 cup of boiling water. Add lemon zezt and juice, then cream. Only add in small amounts until you have the taste you like.
4. Mix the sauce with the pasta, serve with a salad, or add spinach at step 4. Serve with shaved parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Enjoy with a glass of white wine.
3. Mushroom Risotto, (with extra mushrooms on top).
If you are a lover of mushrooms, especially when there is a mixed variety on offer from the market, then this is the perfect recipe for you.
- 3 sticks of celery - chopped
- 1 large onion - chopped
- 1 clove of garlic - chopped
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 or 2 chicken or vegie stock pot/s (continental)
- 300g of arborio rice
- ½ glass of white wine
- 500g - 1kg of mixed fresh mushrooms - chopped
- 40g Parmesan cheese
- A large knob of butter
- 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Fill kettle and boil water.
Grab one large pot and one frypan.
Drizzle some olive oil and a teaspoon of butter into a large pot and the frypan. Note: don't heat up frypan yet, only pot.
Add the chopped celery, onion, and garlic, stir over a medium heat for 3 minutes.
Add rice to mixture and stir until completely coated. Add wine and stock. Keep stirring.
Start adding about 1/2 cup of the boiling water. Stir until absorbed. Keep adding more water and continue until rice is almost cooked.
Meanwhile while the rice is cooking:
Heat oil and butter in pan. Add half the mushrooms and most of the parsley. Fry on medium heat until cooked.
Add the leftover mushrooms, lemon zezt and juice, butter, and parmesan cheese to the rice.
Stir until rice is cooked. Turn off heat. Add salt and pepper.
(During this stage I added some shredded silverbeet left over from the soup).
Serve the risotto with some of the mushrooms over the top. Grate over some more Parmesan.
4. Banana and Walnut Muffins, (without sugar).
I love the walnuts from the market. Most of them are whole, fresh and amazingly delicious. No one will know they are healthy. They’re easy to make with basic ingredients and only one mixing bowl, so less to clean up.
Note: I use spelt flour because I like the taste and for health reasons, but normal or wholemeal flour can be used.
Makes 12 muffins
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup packed mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon,
- 1 ¾ cups spelt flour
- ⅓ cup oats (or I use a healthy cereal mix)
- Walnuts to place on top
Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Spray muffin tin (I use non-stick coconut spray).
In your large bowl, mash up the bananas with a fork, then add the coconut oil, maple syrup or honey and whisk. Add the eggs and milk and keep whisking.
Add the dry ingredients and gently mix with a wooden spoon.
Pour into muffin tin, top with walnuts, and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
I hope you are now inspired to shop at your local farmers market. Let me know if you enjoyed this article. If yes, I will write up more articles for you from the market.
Please feel free to share this article.
What do you love about your farmers market?