A taste of fall at the farmer’s market

By Aiyana Edmund

Stumble across any city square or patch of grass found in a metropolitan area and it is almost guaranteed to be blanketed with little white tents, posted up like pawns on a chess board. People stroll aimlessly through the tented rows, a bundle of earthly dusted carrots in one hand, and their lovers fingers intertwined in the other. With so much more than just the sun to soak in, market shoppers don their sunglasses and let their sensory overloaded eyes do the guiding.

These leisure wanderers of the farmers markets walk with no specific destination other than to ogle, appreciate and purchase these local or homegrown products. If you are strapped for time, consider taking an alternate route. But, if you have the time to spare, take a walk on the wild side and see what this farmer’s market frenzy is all about.

(Photos by Aiyana Edmund)

Behold the bounty. Wooden crates overflow with heirloom and cherry tomatoes, the red of their skin basking under the afternoon sun, begging to be tossed in a salad or eaten like candy. The heads of cauliflower, ever white and shy hiding behind their half cocoon of leaves await your approval in the crates nearby. And the eggplants! So ripe and ready you can almost see your reflection in the deep purple of their flesh.

The beauty of farmers markets is that they don’t attract just one genre of shoppers, and there is something for everyone. Local poultry, baked goods, the vast array of assorted fresh produce, homemade jams and honeys, even handpicked flowers (which is always a healthy idea to head home with, especially if you are late).

These markets are the pop up ads of the outside world, except we don’t hit the minimize button as hurriedly as we do on the web unless we are strapped of time or momentarily lack creative cooking juices. So with the weather slowly winding its way towards the fall atmosphere a little more each day, it’s just about that time to dust out the inside of your oven and break out the roasting pan. It’s been awhile since last fall, so for those who need a little kick-start on inspiration, here’s an easy roasting recipe for beets found at the market.

Recipe: Roasted Beets with Apple and Thyme 

 

1-2 lb of raw, whole beets
1 granny smith apple
Bundle of fresh thyme (1 tablespoon minced)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Oil
Salt, pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon horseradish (optional- it gives it a nice spice kick, though)
 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a roasting pan or oven-safe dish, lightly grease the pan/dish (I use coconut oil but olive oil works just as well). Remove stalk from beets and place beets in pan. Roast for about 30 to 45 minutes depending on size- just check tenderness with a fork after 30 minutes. It is done when the fork inserts smoothly. Meanwhile, dice apple and toss with lemon juice. When beets are done, remove from oven and peel. Quarter the beets and toss in a bowl with diced apple, vinegar and thyme (and horseradish if you’re using it.) Serve warm or cold!

(Recipe inspired by Food & Wine Magazine)