The Oak Park Farmers’ Market, offering high quality, locally-grown produce, is held in the Pilgrim Church Parking lot at 460 Lake St. from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through October. 

Farmers Market Manager, Colleen McNichols, is delighted to share her insights and tips for the 10/6 Oak Park Farmers Market.

Our newest permanent vendor, Brian Severson Grain Farms will introduce a bread flour this week — an heirloom variety called Turkey Red. This unique flour variety has a rich flavor and is great for sandwich and other hearty breads. This seed can be traced to Crimea, near the Black Sea and Mennonite immigrants brought it to the United States in the early 1870’s.

Additionally Brian Severson Farms will have 5 pounds of their Yellow Henry Moore Cornmeal on hand and their popular Quick and Easy Biscuit mix will also be available. And, they always offer delicious baked samples!

  • Bake Sale: A Place For All – Oak Park River Forest High School
  • Chef Demo: Enjoy a cooking demonstration by a chef from The Heritage.

Aside from our four different types of eggs, truly sustainable meats, various farmstead cheeses, breads and croissants, grains, condiments and jarred items, here is what is in season during the 10/6 market:

Some of This Week’s Vegetable Harvest (not comprehensive):

  • Sweet Corn (the last of the season)
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Microgreens 
  • Various Squash including Spaghetti, Kuri, Acorn, etc.
  •  Rainbow Swiss Chard 
  • Various Turnip varieties, including Japanese Salad Turnips 
  • Beets
  • Herbs including Dill and Chives 
  • Scallions
  • Leeks
  • Celery Root
  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Rutabagas
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Collard Greens
  • Mustard Greens

This Week’s Fruit Harvest (not comprehensive):

  •  Cranberries
  • Raspberries 
  • Apples (12 varieties including Honey Crisp, Golden Supreme, Macintosh, Mutsu)
  •  Bosc Pears
  • Niagara Grapes
  • Concord Grapes
  • Peaches (the last of season)
  • Plums
  • Pumpkins (baking)
  • Pumpkins (Jack-o-Lantern)
  • Gourds 
  • Tomatoes (maybe a few, the last of season)

INGREDIENT TIPS FROM PRAIRIE WIND FARM:

Prairie Wind Family Farm offers a white salad turnip is a Japanese variety called hakurei. It is very mild and sweet and is easily mistaken for a white radish. Japanese turnips are delicious eaten raw or sautéed in a little butter and sprinkled with salt. Turnips are a good source of Vitamin C, and rich in the minerals potassium and calcium.

Spaghetti squash has a nutty flavor and the spaghetti squash flesh separates into long, thin strands when cooked, creating long squash “noodles.”  Cook the spaghetti squash in the oven, then remove seeds and scrape the flesh with a fork. Substitute spaghetti squash for noodles in pasta dishes, or simply saute with olive oil, garlic, and some cheese for a simple side dish.

FARM KITCHEN RECIPE FROM PRAIRIE WIND FARM:

Each type of apple varies in its flavor and texture (as do the pears we’ve had this season) so when we have a variety of both on hand, Farmer Jen Miller loves to make a traditional crumble (recipe below) to combine the contrasting flavors.

Apple Pear Crumble

  • 2 1/2 Cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 Cups (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 Cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 4 Pounds large mixed apples and pears, peeled, halved, cored, each half cut into 6 slices
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

Mix oats, 1 cup sugar, and flour in bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until topping comes together in moist clumps. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Mix apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, and 1/2 cup brown sugar in bowl. Transfer to dish. Sprinkle topping over.

Bake crumble until apples are tender and topping is brown and crisp, about 55 minutes. Cool slightly. Spoon warm crumble into bowls. Serve with ice cream.  Serves 6.

MEL’S MARKET READY RECIPE: WEEKNIGHT CAULIFLOWER BROWN RICE BOWLS

Weeknight Cauliflower Brown Rice Bowls

Make the most of the cauliflower available at the farmers market and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month all at once by making these healthy rice bowls! Feel free to adjust the garnishes according to your personal tastes.  Toss on a little Queso Fresco or use up your bounty of garden tomatoes to round out this week-night meal.

For the Cauliflower and Peppers:

  • 1 Head of cauliflower cut into large florets
  • 1 Poblano pepper, seeds removed and cut into 1” chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • Salt and Pepper

For the Rice:

  • 1 Cup brown rice
  • 1 ½ Cups water 
  • ½ Cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the Toppings:

  • ½ Red onion minced tossed with 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 Can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Avocado, sliced
  • Shredded red cabbage
  • Sliced radishes
  • Orange segments
  • Pepitas
  • Sliced scallion
  • Sour cream 
  • Chipotle salsa

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place the cauliflower and poblano peppers on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil.  Season with the cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and pepper.  Place the sheet pan in the oven.  

After putting the cauliflower in the oven bring the rice, water, orange juice, oil and salt to a boil in a medium sauce pan.  Cover the pan, reduce heat to low and allow the rice to simmer for 45 minutes.  The cauliflower and rice will be done at the same time.

Divide the hot rice among four bowls.  Top with the roasted cauliflower and poblanos before garnishing with red onion, black beans, avocado, cabbage, radish, orange, pepita and scallions.  Serve with sour cream and chipotle salsa.

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