It has been a pleasure slinging veg in the Corvallis community this season! The sun made a cameo for the last weekend market, making an already perfect day simply magical. I’d like to thank everyone—customers, vendors, fellow marketeers—for making this market season a gem in my memory. On behalf of my crew of wonderful marketeers, I would like to say how grateful we all are to help feed our community and our families—it’s a privilege and a joy.
This country we live in has lost much of its sense of community. We don’t know our neighbors and we no longer gather in village squares. But farmers’ markets are places where community building starts anew. We know our customers, and we feel that they know us. The farmers’ market is our village square, a place where we can all gather together, share in food, and watch the seasons roll by. It could seem like the marketplace is first and foremost a place of commerce, where we come to buy food to sustain our bodies, but my soul ends up being quite nourished as well.
So thank you for being a part of our community, for taking joy in the beautiful food we have to offer, and we hope to see you at the Corvallis Indoor Winter Market. (We will be at market this Wednesday for all of your last minute Thanksgiving needs.)
Here are the recipes we sampled up on Saturday, the last recipes that I’ll be posting until April. This has been GTF’s first year offering this recipe service to its customer base, and I have learned a lot throughout the season. Thank you for your support, thank you for reading, and stick around next year for our second season devoted to food education. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Kabocha and other large squashes lend themselves to easy baking, but being limited to a frying pan at market forces me to cook in creative ways. Trust me, if you stir fry kabocha once, you might never go back. Kabocha is a dry yet intensely flavorful squash, with the sweet and savory flavor similar to a roasted chestnut. Cooking it in the frying pan takes hardly ten minutes, as there is very little water to cook out, and you end up with bites of creamy squash encased within crisp edges.
Cutting up the big kabocha squash while it’s raw is the hardest part of this recipe. Be safe, take your time, and don’t chop your fingers off however tempting it may be. Follow the chopping tutorial at right, and set aside.
Finely chop your shallots.
Heat a pan of olive oil up to medium-high temp and add in the shallots, letting cook 2-4 minutes.
Add in the kabocha squash slices and stir around. Let cook covered 2-3 minutes.
Finely chop elephant garlic and add into the pan, continuing to cook uncovered another 2-3 minutes.
Finely chop up ½ bunch of Peacock kale and add it into the pan along with 2-3 pinches of salt, stirring around to distribute evenly. Let cook another 2-3 minutes until done to taste, but before the kabocha turns to mush! It’s a race against time, but it’ll always turn out delicious.
In this climate, we generally eat poblanos when they’re still green, which is okay because they actually have a great flavor before they color up, unlike green bell peppers. Usually poblanos don’t enter their “chocolate phase” of red-fleshed ripeness before it freezes, but as we have yet to have a freeze we now get to enjoy the illusive “chocolate” poblano. Of course they don’t actually taste like chocolate, but they do develop a flavor similar to a chipotle or mole pepper.
Cut the ends off your delicata squash to make a flat surface, then stand it on end and slice it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds. Make thin half-moon slices down the delicata. Set aside.
Finely chop the shallots and elephant garlic.
Heat up your pan to medium-high with olive oil coating the bottom. Once up to temp, add in the shallots and let cook about 2 minutes.
Add in the sliced delicata and let cook covered about 4-6 minutes.
Chop the poblanos in half and rip out the seeds and stem (make sure to wash your hands after touching the spicy seeds). Chop each half into thin slices.
Add the poblanos, garlic, and 1-2 pinches of salt to the pan and stir around. Cover and let cook about another 3-5 minutes.
Let cook a couple more minutes to desired softness. Add more salt to taste, and enjoy! Customers last year said this dish was a hit at Thanksgiving. Personally, I love to eat it for breakfast with hot sauce, melted cheese, and a fried egg on top.
The photo at right shows parsnip fries with spinach salad, which is what I made in May the first time I posted this recipe. This week I used watercress instead of spinach, as seen in the photo below. Watercress is a very delicate green, with a mild arugula-like flavor.
1-2 large parsnips, sliced in thin strips
2 bu. watercress
2 medium shallots, minced
Coat the bottom of the pan in oil, liberally. Place one parsnip strip in the oil, and once it starts sizzling, add enough parsnips to coat the bottom of the pan in a roughly single layer (you may have to do two rounds to fry up a whole plate).
Stir every couple minutes to prevent sticking. After about 7-10 minutes, many of the parsnips will turn golden brown on the edges. This is a good sign that they are done.
Fish the parsnip fries out of the pan with tongs, allowing most of the oil to drip off before placing them in a bowl. Sprinkle them with salt immediately. This is the magic secret. If you salt the parsnips while they’re in the oil, they will release water and become mushy rather than crispy. Set aside and munch as you work on the salad.
In a large bowl, mix together minced shallots, 2-3 pinches of salt, ~1/8 cup balsamic vinegar and ~1/4 cup olive oil. I do a rough 1:2 vinegar to oil ratio, though I don’t actually measure. Mash the shallots with the back of a spoon to release their juicy flavors into the dressing—you’ll instantly be able to smell the difference this makes.
Chop up your watercress and toss in the vinaigrette. Taste a leaf. If you think it needs more balsamic, add some more. The vinegar will make the leaves become more and more tender over time, so the longer your plate sits the more delectable it will be!
Serve together for a wonderful combination of crispy salty parsnips and mildly spicy watercress salad.