This is the first of my “Newton at the Farmers’ Market” columns for the season. Throughout the summer and early fall, I will be spotlighting various merchants at the Tuesday Cold Spring Park market and Friday American Legion Post 440 market and sharing recipes prepared with their produce and products.
New Field Farm, Temple NH
What they sell: Tomatoes, basil, arugula, Boston lettuce, red leaf lettuce, summer crisp lettuce, salad mix, sugar snap peas, shell peas, cherry tomatoes, Swiss (rainbow) chard, cousa squash, zucchini, golden zucchini.
Coming soon: Blueberries, garlic, a variety of onions (including Aisla Craig and Red Long of Tropea), four kinds of potatoes, many types of tomatoes, peppers, celery root.
What they say: “There’s been a growing interest in local produce, within the last 10 years it’s really kicked in. But it’s interesting- here (in Newton), I sell a lot more arugula whereas in New Hampshire, I’d be lucky to sell a bunch or two.” – Tom Winship, owner.
Roasted Sugar Snap Peas- Serves 6 (adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine)
The simplest preparation can bring forth the best flavor from freshest ingredients, like these delicious sugar snap peas. Just be sure you don’t overcook them or they lose their yummy crunch. These also taste great cold, by themselves or tossed with a salad.
- 1 pound sugar snap peas, rinsed and “strung” (see below)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Fleur de sel or other delicate salt (pink Himalayan salt also works well)
- snipped or chopped chives (optional)
- Preheat broiler.
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- String sugar snap peas by pulling stem down the “belly” (concave part) of the pea. If a pod opens up, just eat that one: if the individual peas spill out when you roast them, they will get burnt.
- Toss pea pods with oil in a bowl and spread evenly on baking sheet.
- Broil pea pods for 3 – 5 minutes until they are just starting to get brown spots on them; toss once to make sure they are getting evenly cooked.
- Transfer back to bowl (if there’s still a little oil in there, that’s fine), toss with salt and chives (if using), then serve immediately
- If you want to serve them cold, make sure they have cooled completely before you put them in the fridge so that they don’t lose their crunch.
Laurelwood Farms, Paxton MA
What they sell: Mushrooms, mushrooms and more mushrooms (right now, they have oysters and lion’s mane).
Coming soon: More types of oyster mushrooms, shitakes, hen of the woods, chicken of the woods (an orange, shelf mushroom).
What they say: “We’re very excited to be here (this is Laurelwood’s first year at the Newton market). This is our 11th year in business, and we’ve mostly sold to specialty restaurants in the Worcester area. But we decided to try our hand at farmers’ markets, and here we are!” – Kerri Sandberg, owner (who says her husband is the “mycologist” – or mushroom expert- in the family)
Warm Mushroom Salad on Wilted Greens – serves 2-4
The idea of a warm salad may seem odd, but the contrast of the meaty, flavorful mushrooms to the spicy, wilted greens makes for a really satisfying starter or side dish.
- 2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 cups mushrooms (I used a mixture of oyster and lion’s mane), torn or cut into similarly-sized chunks or slices
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- ~10 ounces salad greens (I used arugula, but you can use any baby green or other delicate blend. DO NOT use romaine or iceberg as they are too crisp and won’t wilt well)
- Snipped or finely chopped chives
- Heat 1-½ tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add shallots and cook for 3 minutes, until soft and starting to brown.
- Add mushrooms, and cook stirring frequently. Cook until mushrooms are soft and browned, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add remaining olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and stir to coat mushrooms.
- Turn off heat and let mushrooms cool slightly, about 3 minutes. You should be able to put one in your mouth without burning it at all.
- Put greens in individual bowls, then spoon mushrooms over them and toss. Garnish with chives and serve.