July 28, 2010 - Phyllis Sigal
One of the things I love about summer (and I do love just about everything about summer, except that it must end), is the farmers' market, located in the parking lot of St. Michael Parish, 1225 National Road in the Edgwood section of Wheeling on Saturday mornings.
I've only been a few times this season, but each time is an adventure. There's always something new.
My new favorite market purchase is a garlic bulbil.
It sort of look likes like a flower, and is referred to as a flower, but is not really a flower. It's basically a round capsule that can contain from 10 or less to a few hundred bulbils, according to www.garlicfarm.ca.
The bulbils taste like a mild garlic and are teeny, little replicas of a garlic clove.
At the farmers' market a couple of weeks ago, I asked Mick Luber from the Bluebird Farm what those funny looking stalks were with the iittle round thing on the top.
So I had to try one. I took it home and picked around the top, but then when I realized I should cut it in half, I hit the mother lode! All these little tear-shaped garlic were at my fingertips!
I tasted one. It burst with a garlicky flavor. But, it's mild.
I tossed them in a salad that night.
I couldn't wait to go back to the farmers' market the next Saturday morning, and got four more this time.
We whipped them up with some eggs for breakfast that day, with some fresh farmers' market tomatoes on the side. What a great flavor they gave to the eggs!
Last night, my husband Bruce tossed them with broccoli and some of Mick's fresh, tiny carrots. So good.
Mick also has no less than six (maybe even eight) varieties of garlic bulbs for sale.
Also last Saturday, Angela McAteer was cooking with items available at the farmers' market.
She blended up some tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, onions, garic and basil for some delicious and refreshing gazpacho.
She had baked some tomatoes, stuffed with Italian arborio rice and some basil. Delicious.
She also sauteed some zucchini fritters: zucchini, feta and cheddar cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, flour ... When they were nicely browned, she put a little squeeze of lemon juice over the top. So rich and filling.
Angela also chop-chop-chopped a delicious bowl of a "pseudo-tabouli." She used couscous instead of bulgar wheat, which she said is a "little chewy for the Ohio Valley palate."
She chopped up cucumber, tomatoes, mint leaves, chives, fresh dill (she used all of it — flowering tops and all) and some lime juice. She peeled the tomatoes, because she finds "them bothersome" — the skins can be very tough on the heirloom tomatoes. Another tasty, and very healthy, dish.
According to Mick, someone will be cooking with the market produce on the last Saturday of each month during the farmers' market season.
Stop by to learn what to do with some of the season's best. And the bonus — a little morning snack while you're shopping.