Early Season Produce. Recipes. Local. Fresh. Enjoy.

Point Labaddie Farmers Market
Thursday, May 17th, 2018
at Point Labaddie Brewery, 1029 Thiebes Rd  in Labadie MO


I had fun over the weekend using all of the local, seasonal, fresh produce and food items that I had to create a Mothers Day picnic for my mom and my family. It was  an enjoyable challenge  to not have to go to the store and come up with a multi-course, seasonal, make ahead meal. Today I am going to do my best to inspire you to try some of these ideas.

I didn’t want to cook much or leave a lot to do on Sunday, so most everything was prepared a day ahead of time.
The menu was grilled Boerwurst Sausage from Alpacas of Troy (grilled on Sunday) as well as fried Wild Turkey breast (from my brothers spring turkey hunt).

I made pimento cheese deviled eggs.
The homemade pimento cheese was made last week. I have been enjoying grilled pimento cheese sandwiches and homemade Cheez It crackers using this batch of pimento cheese.
The fresh market eggs were hard boiled, peeled, cut in half and the yolks mixed with the pimento cheese, homemade pickle relish, mayo, a little homemade mustard, stuffed back into the egg halves, covered and refrigerated until picnic time.

Grilled Asparagus Pasta Salad with Spinach Pesto 
On Saturday I built a small fire in the grill, carefully placed a couple of handfuls of asparagus spears that had been sprinkled  with olive oil on the grate, added a half dozen long, fresh spring green onions, red onions and green garlic to the mix as well. I watched them and turned them, adjusted their positions and cooked until everything had a nice char or was tender.  I took all of that off the grill and put to the side or cover and refrigerate overnight.
Keep the green garlic separated to use for the pesto.
While the veggies were on the grill, I boiled some small bow tie pasta al dente, drained well, placed in container with a lid. Drizzle a little olive oil and stir into the pasta to keep the pasta from sticking and to add a little flavor. Refrigerate overnight if you would like.
I made Spinach Pesto to go on the pasta salad. You may already know that you can make “pesto” with many different combinations of herbs and veggies. This spinach pesto is quite seasonal.
2 cups of fresh spinach, 1/2 cup of fresh, flat leaf parsley, 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts, 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese, 2- 3 TBLS olive oil, salt and pepper and in my case, a piece of grilled green garlic (otherwise use fresh garlic cloves, 2-3).  All of the ingredients get buzzed in the mini food processor. Add more olive oil if needed for the consistency of choice. Put in a covered container and refrigerate.
To assemble- cut up asparagus, green and red onions and some of the green garlic into bite size pieces and stir into pasta. Stir in half the pesto. Just before serving add more pesto if needed.


Stunning Seasonal Green Salad– Or the Ode to Spring Farmers Salad it was indeed stunning. I get the phrase Stunning Salad from Rosy Buck and their market sign that uses those very words “Stunning Salad Mix”.. Randy and Holly have opened my eyes to edible flowers and sprouts.
It was easy, beautiful and really, really delicious. To be quite honest I didn’t know that it was going to be THAT delicious. The freshness of the greens and the textures of the ingredients was STUNNING. The salad spinner is my friend. I use it a lot. I also use a ceramic knife to cut greens. I actually prefer my greens cut and not torn, but only of I am eating them right away.
Mixed salad greens spread on a beautiful platter or plate. Thinly sliced, fresh, crispy radishes scattered. Thinly sliced, fresh spring green and red onions with the tiny rings separated and scattered as well. I like the mixed box of sprouts with the subtle variety of crunch and flavors. I put little “tufts” of sprouts around the platter of salad, sprinkled edible flowers about, pieces of fresh goat cheese and upon serving passed a cruet of homemade, fruity, honey vinaigrette. Homemade croutons made with Red Guitar bread is a great finisher!

The 4, 5 or 6 bean casserole is an old church potluck recipe that I have been making lately. It’s delicious and can be changed up a lot depending on what you have on hand. I use whatever canned or dried beans that I have on hand, whatever ground meat I have available and add onions and/or garlic and various seasonings and accoutrements to make the “sauce”. Basically, I sauté  just a slice or two of bacon for the smokiness and about 1/2-1 pound of ground meat (pork or beef) in a large dutch oven, then I add diced onions and sauté. In this case I used the spring onions and green garlic. In the summer, I use diced sweet and mildly hot peppers. Add a variety of cooked, tender beans.  I like pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, butter beans. If using canned beans, drain half and leave half of the liquid. If using home cooked beans, reserve some of the cooking liquid. Stir the beans into the meat. I have homemade catsup so I use that. I add 1/2-2/3 cup brown sugar, same with the cider vinegar, prepared mustard or dried mustard and a few tablespoons of molasses, maple syrup or dark honey. It is my belief that everyone has their own preferences on the flavors they prefer, so adjust to your preference. I also think consistency can vary from person to person. I like to have this dish start out more liquidy and saucy and then let it cook on low to reduce and thicken.
You can put this in the fridge overnight and reheat the before serving. I put it on a cookie sheet in a 325 oven in a covered casserole and heated until hot and bubbly.

For dessert, I baked cookies, cooled them, spread them with locally produced ice cream, made ice cream sandwiches, wrapped tightly and put in the freezer. Easy, refreshing and delicious.

I will have a few more recipe ideas for you in the coming days. How about those radishes? What do you do with all of those? Stay tuned.

I am gathering the vendor list as I write this. The responses are coming in and I will post those soon.

Enjoy all the best of our local, seasonal, late spring produce and other locally produced food items.

See you at the market.
René, Market Manager

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