Late Summer Farmer’s Market | September 21, 2016

Seattle is full of Farmer’s Markets. Practically any day of the week you can find a neighborhood market full of bustling shoppers, baskets and bags full with seasonal vegetables, freshly baked bread, goat milk soap, and handcrafted jewelry. Here in the PNW we are very lucky to have the culture that supports farmers and artisans. I go regularly to a couple of markets that are year round but occasionally I venture past my “normal” routine and treat myself to another neighborhood’s fresh bounty.

Late summer in Seattle is pretty great in terms of variety of produce. There are still berries but the squash blossoms are starting to make an appearance. The colors shift from blues and deep reds to oranges, purples, and pale greens. You start to see the early season apples and the scent in the air is just starting to change.  The days are getting shorter but there is broken sunlight by the close of the market around 7:00pm.  Back to school is in the air but the strawberries and peaches are still plentiful and juicy.  It is my favorite seasonal transition.

Enjoy the colors and enjoy your local markets.  Having fresh, local ingredients always makes every dish and every meal taste the best it can be.

One of the very easiest and most delicious ways to celebrate fresh veggies is to simply roast them. Roasted vegetables are a staple in my diet and with all the varieties of vegetables available I don’t have to repeat a vegetable unless I want to. I have my favorites though: Brussels Sprouts tossed in a little Djion and maple syrup, carrots lightly roasted with cardamom or Garam Marsala, cauliflower with coconut oil and red pepper flakes.
Tovolo has a great vegetable helper in the kitchen that makes roasting vegetables a snap! Just like our baking mats, we made one for vegetables! It is a silicone mat that fits onto a half sheet pan and protects your pans as well as makes clean up so easy – wipe and done! Also the thickness of the silicone allows the vegetables to still caramelize on the mat just like they would if you used parchment paper. It even has suggested cooking times for the most common vegetables to roast.

The key to roasting is cooking evenly and the best way to achieve this is to try to cut your vegetable into similar size pieces. Also, if tossing in oil, try to coat the vegetables evenly as well. This will help everything cook at the same time and also allow for the oil to aid in caramelizing the outside of the vegetables.

Oranges, reds, greens, and purples in every hue.