My wife and I love going to the farmers market. It’s a great combo for the two of us: I get to scope out what I will be making for the week, and we stay connected with our shop/support local business ideals. It’s a great way to eat, you’re shopping local (which means supporting local businesses and keeping money at home), your food is fresh, sometimes picked that morning, you know where it comes from, and it’s affordable.
image via Pearl Farmers Market
It doesn’t matter what part of town you’re in, there’s a farmers market for you. On Tuesdays, at 3rd and Boston is the Downtown Farmers Market from 10:30 – 2, giving you the perfect opportunity to sneak away at lunch and get some goodies for dinner. The Cherry Street Farmers Market has a satellite location on Wednesdays on Brookside (that’s right, Cherry Street on Brookside) at the Food Pyramid parking lot from 8 – 12. Thursdays, get out for a fun night by stopping by The Pearl Farmers Market at 6th and Peoria from 4 – 7. Saturday morning, take the family down to Cherry Street for the Cherry Street Farmers Market at 15th and Peoria; pick up breakfast, listen to live music, and get stocked up on fresh (and delicious) food. We’ve also visited, and loved, Broken Arrow’s Market on Main at 418 S. Main Street in BA from 8-12 on Saturdays.
image via Tulsa Food
Farmers Markets really helped shape me as an at-home chef. I can’t tell you the number of times I picked up a vegetable I hadn’t cooked with before because it was what was in season, went home to make something that we ended up loving. When you shop at the markets for your meals, you are limited to what is in season at the time, but I think that’s a great opportunity to branch out and expand your repertoire of recipes (and the Cherry Street Farmers Market site has several). Not only have I tried new things, but I learned how food should taste. A couple of years ago, we bought a bunch of asparagus from a farmer who told us he had just picked the asparagus that morning and that we needed to cook and eat it soon. I’m a skeptic, so I wasn’t expecting too much difference, but I was surprised. The flavor of fresh asparagus is incomparable to what you buy at the store, it’s a deeper, more complex taste. I can say the same thing about most of the food we buy there, tomatoes have a stronger flavor, garlic smells and tastes much stronger (and the garlic lady at Cherry Street has mixed grab bags of different garlic varieties that are always a pleasant surprise when we open them), and everything is just plain better.
To help get the creative cooking juices flowing, here’s something you can do: bake an egg in a whole tomato (or you can substitute a bell pepper).
Large Tomatoes – enough for you and your guests. I use whatever variety is in season and catches my eye at the Market
Eggs – one for each tomato. Shake things up with different varieties of eggs.
Thyme leaves – fresh or pick some up from the Spice Market, a Farmers Market staple
Garlic Cloves – sliced thinly
1. Preheat your oven to 400º.
2. Cut off the top of the tomatoes, enough to get to open the middle and remove the seeds.
3. Arrange in an oven safe dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, thyme, and garlic.
4. Roast the tomatoes for 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes become tender.
5. Remove the tomatoes.
6. Crack an egg into a teacup and then transfer into the tomato. Cracking the egg into the teacup first really does make this easier. Repeat until all of the tomatoes have an egg.
7. Add salt and pepper.
8. Place back in the oven until the egg sets, about 8 minutes.
image via Beantown Baker
Be sure to check out my Manday Post next month for info on how to grow some delicious veggies regardless of your space limitations.