Sue Gill

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. Call for a free pickup and ride to the Market (Tel. 708. 383.4806). Please call before 2:00pm on Friday.

Celebrate the success of our 44th Market year with a cucumber lime martini, cuke caprese salad, creamy cucumber dill dressing, or cuke “noodles” in place of traditional pasta.

WEEKLY MARKET HIGHLIGHTS:

This week be adventurous with refreshing, dill, mint, cukes, and pickles! Cucumbers should not be relegated to just cold salads; try adding this versatile veggie to yogurt with toasted chopped walnuts, raisins, minced shallot, mint, and dill. To entertain and nourish my friends who are trying to adhere to today’s trendy diets, I avoid crostinis and toasts and instead use a cucumber as an interesting base for my appetizers.  And with the warm summer days, nothing refreshes like cucumber water!

We may be lucky enough to have our first rampini, bok choy and strawberries of the season this week! Root vegetables and various greens will complement our late spring staples and expect some surprises grown in hoop houses. Our experienced farmers are working hard, between rain showers, to plant for the remainder of the season.

Also, Sitka Salmon Shares is back this week with their filets and shares. Try their Pacific Cod with our fresh veggies (including asparagus) and market butter (SSS recipe below).  Ask the SSS Market representative for tips on grilling and preparation.

Experiment with cod in your French Bouillabaisse with our heirloom tomatoes and herbs courtesy of our long-term vendor, Herbally Yours (present this Saturday). I prefer Farmer Jim’s herb mixes because I want to add my own salt. I also spice up most of my entrées with cherry bomb hot sauce from River Valley Ranch. This week will feature an abundance of  salsas, preserves, pickled items, sauces, dips, granolas, condiments, edible flowers, fresh herbs, syrups, vinegars, and honey to choose from. Heck anyone could create a feast, without much culinary experience!  And be sure to pick up some pickles to make a batch of Melissa Elsmo’s refrigerator pickle relish!

There will be thirty vendors to choose from this week selling potted plants (native, herbs, and vegetables, flowering) and food items and organic Illinois-grown cut flowers from Petals Farm. American Pride micro-greens will sharpen your knives for just $5.00, while you shop.

Do not forget to take home a dozen of our vast variety of eggs (including duck), meats from animals that are truly pasture-fed and humanely raised. I advise you to shop early, as both of our bakers have been selling out by 11:30am this season. Brian Severson Farm will offer their incredible organic grains (cornmeal, cornbread mix, grits, oats, flours, wheats, etc.). Try the whole grain bread they created with Frank of Breadman for a true OPFM Market original creation.

We accept credit cards, debit cards, SNAP/LINK/EBT cards. You will need cash for the weekly bake sale, church donuts, and Katic Breads. If you pay with a LINK card, we will match each dollar you spend with a $1.00 coupon (up to $25.00 per Market day). Check our website for more details Here: http://www.oak-park.us/our-community/oak-park-farmers-market

And, just a reminder shopping at the Oak Park Farmers Market helps to support our endangered small family farms. I am not exaggerating about the latter–they need all the support they can get!

MARKET READY RECIPE:

Pacific Cod with Sautéed Spring Veggies (Sitka Salmon Shares recipe)

By: Dara Chapman

Prep: 5 mins  |  Total: 45 mins

Serves: 2

This simple and flexible recipe encourages you to mix and match spring produce as it becomes available. Paired with seared pacific cod and potatoes, it is a complete meal that highlights the freshness in all the ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 ounce) Pacific cod fillet, cut into 2 individual fillets
  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, cut in half  (various Market peas available this week).
  • 1 pound red potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced (can use green garlic from Market)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (Ramp butter is available at Brunkow’s Creamery tent)
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • Salt & pepper, to taste 

Directions:

Boil Potatoes: In a medium saucepan, add potatoes and water up to an inch above the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-12 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through, then drain.

Puree Basil: In a small food processor, add basil leaves, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Puree into a smooth sauce. Set aside.

Sauté Vegetables: Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add asparagus pieces and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until the asparagus is mostly cooked. Add garlic slices and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Then add in the boiled potatoes and snap peas and sauté about 2-3 minutes until the vegetables have colored slightly. Finish the vegetables in the pan by adding 1 tablespoon butter and salt & pepper to taste.

Sear Pacific Cod: Season fish fillets with salt & pepper. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once the oil is hot, sauté the fish until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes on each side.

Serve: Serve the fish on top of the sautéed spring vegetables and potatoes, drizzle with basil puree and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Note: Additional spring vegetables can be added or substituted in this recipe. Found morels at your market? Halve them and sauté them with the asparagus. Got ramps? Thinly slice them and use them as a garnish, or blend 1-2 in with the basil puree.

UPCOMING EVENTS: Chef demos, pop-up vendors, plastic-free July at the Market, Corn Roast on Aug. 10 and Pie Bake-Off on Sept. 7.

BAKE SALE: OPRF High School Marching Huskies

ALTERNATING VENDORS PRESENT ON 6/8: Sitka Salmon Shares and Herbally Yours

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