Right now is the perfect time to be shopping at Seattle’s splendid farmer’s markets. Just about anything you could want is in season, from luscious berries and cherries, to patty pan squashes, zucchini blossoms, enticing greens, and some early root vegetables.
In Ballard where my Dish D’Lish café and Food Studios are located, our farmer’s market is a weekly must for Mary, my assistant and Cameo, the chef at Dish D’Lish. Mary loves to pick up raw milk from Sea Breeze Farm for making paneer and adding to her coffee, while Cameo can’t go without taking home a bag of freshly foraged mushrooms from Found and Foraged Edibles. Matthew, our executive sous chef makes weekly pilgrimages to the University Farmer’s Market to pick up fresh shellfish from Taylor Shellfish’s Oyster Bill. And Ann, my in-house editor calls the Madrona/Capitol Hill Farmer’s Market her home, never leaving without a Tall Grass bakery baguette to smear some Blue Cottage jam on.
When I go to the farmer’s market I’m always on the hunt for something new and exciting. I highly advise picking up a few unusual items to try, you never know when you’ll discover a new favorite. My other tips include getting there early! Many people will line up at their favorite stalls to get the best pick. Always bring cloth or reusable bags, and always walk the market once to see what everyone has before settling on what to buy. And if you don’t know what to do with some of that beautiful produce – just ask the farmer – they will have lots of tasty suggestions!
So lucky are we that our Farmer’s Markets run nearly every day of the week in one neighborhood or another, and some year round! To locate your neighborhood farmer’s Market visit Seattle Farmer’s Market , and Freemont Market. For Markets on the Eastside, use this helpful guide from the Seattle Times.
Puget Sound Fresh is also a great resource for locating farms, seasonal produce, and farmer’s markets.
With lush stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines, apricots, and plums hitting the markets and fragrant lavender popping up in local gardens, I hope you’ll try my recipe for Succulent Summer Stone Fruits with Lavender-Infused Honey Syrup.
Succulent Summer Stone Fruits with Lavender-Infused Honey Syrup
Makes about 6 servings
Lavender-Infused Honey Syrup
1/2 cup high-quality honey, preferably local
1/2 cup water
8 fresh lavender flowers, unsprayed, and rinsed (or use 1 tablespoon dried)
About 4 cups assorted fresh, ripe stone fruits, prepared as follows before measuring:
Peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into wedges
Large apricots, pitted and cut into wedges
Plums, pitted and cut into wedges
Nectarines, pitted and cut into wedges
Dark or light sweet cherries, pitted
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Fresh lavender flowers for garnish, optional
To make the Lavender-Infused Honey Syrup: In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the honey, water, and lavender flowers. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, being careful that the mixture does not foam up. Simmer slowly for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is like thin pancake syrup. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Strain into a glass jar, cover, and reserve. The syrup will keep, covered, at room temperature for 2 weeks.
To assemble and serve: In a large bowl, toss the fruit first with the lemon juice, then with the Lavender-Infused Honey Syrup. Serve in pretty glasses or fruit dishes, garnished with fresh lavender flowers if desired.
Top with a tiny spoon of vanilla bean ice cream or a poof of whipped cream if desired.
Recipe from Dishing with Kathy Casey: Copyright © Kathy Casey.