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Farmer’s Market Goodness

June 29, 2010

I finally made it to my favorite Saturday farmer’s market in Northfield this weekend and was surprised to see more vendors of baked goods than vegetables, fruit and flowers, but it’s still early in the season. I did my usual sweep to see who was there and what they were offering before deciding what to buy, but I did eye-spy white radishes and bought a bunch right away since it was the only one on the table. While waiting my turn, I couldn’t help but notice how engaged the boy in line in front of me was in describing how he’d prepared these turnips. He carmelized them in butter and sugar which made me think of the gorgeous purple carrots Liz had made a few Summers back while we were in Wisconsin. I was excited enough to have found something I’d never tried before then the purple carrots with their beautiful long green tops started calling me from the next stall. I was starting to feel very lucky. 

Organic produce from Prairie Crossing , a Conservation Community in Northern Illinois 

Hakurei turnips – sweet and tender, not at all hot like red radishes

Purple carrots have a long history and are making a come back

P for the C, I’d only had milk and espresso and was starting to get hungry so caved when I saw the brown habit across the field. That meant the French Nun was there with her butter rich pastries that rival anything from across the pond. I discovered her a few years ago and love trying to speak French with her. Her sign only has prices and no name from where she hails so with a little internet sleuthing discovered she is from the St. Roger Abbey in Algonquin where they have a bakery that sells their very French pastries and from where the army of Sisters are deployed to many local farmers markets (their profits go to Haiti Relief through Fraternite Notre Dame). SO, if you are lucky enough to see a nun in a brown habit at your market be sure to buy something, anything. Palmiers, croissant au chocolat, apple bread or almond tart. All amazing and all proceeds help the sisters in their mission work.

Almond Tart from St. Roger Abbey Gourmet & Bakery Shop

Michigan blueberries and raspberries from my yard were the perfect

paring for this divine almond tart.


Back to the veggies

Carmelized Carrots and White Turnips

Serves 4

1 bunch purple carrots – ends removed, scrape with sharp knife, rinse with water, cut in half lengthwise and quarter

1 bunch white turnips – trim ends, wash well, cut into quarters

2 Tbsp salted butter

3 tsp sugar

Heat butter in a large skillet, add sugar carrots and turnips. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stir and turn as best as possible to brown other side. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes. So easy and so good.

Trim ends and wash. No need to peel before slicing to eat raw or cooked

Purple carrots contain all the phytochemicals of orange carrots plus

anthocyanins, the antioxidants abundant in berries, especially blueberries

Carmelize carrots and radishes in butter and sugar

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