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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.

I am grateful Laura Lencioni, Chair of the Market Commission, is sharing her Market expertise and passion for local food on my behalf this week. –Colleen McNichols, Market Manager

Remember the Oak Park Farmers Market is open to everyone.

Healthy Food Access: Oak Park Farmers’ Market is committed to equal access to high-quality fresh food. We believe that anyone who wants to eat locally grown and produced food should be able to, regardless of their income level. Therefore; we accept SNAP/LINK cards for payment. We match each dollar spent with a Link card with a one dollar coupon (up to $25.00 per Market day). In addition, we accept WIC and Senior vouchers, as well. To learn more about our equitable programs visit our website:

http://www.oak-park.us/our-community/oak-park-farmers-market

ROMAINE CALM, PLASTIC FREE JULY IS JUMPIN’ WITH MARKET FISH

Happy 4th of July, everyone! Whatever you are doing over the holiday weekend plan stop by the farmer’s market to pick up some fresh foods for your summer cookouts. Last week we saw the end of spring produce such as asparagus and rhubarb, but this week it is the beginning of the season for summer squash, peppers, raspberries, tart cherries and my favorite, blueberries! Since summer is now in full swing and the weather is hot, I have been craving a somewhat lighter meal. I’ve had salads for lunch every day this week, using Genesis growers lettuce mix as the base and a wide variety of market veggies to make it a full meal. Buy a baguette from Katic and some cheese from Brunkow or J2k Capraio and you’ve got a hearty meal. Personally, I like to add protein to my salad in the form of a bit of lunch meat. Green Fire Farm’s Tuscan salami is a delicious addition to my lunchtime salads (Green Fire is at Market on July 13).

I’ve been really excited to try some salmon from Sitka Salmon, a new vendor at the market this year. Sitka Salmon is a small, sustainable fishing biz (line-caught seafood in open water by 20 men and women) in Alaska that has Midwestern roots. I wanted to try a salmon dish that didn’t use dairy or lemon as I have allergies to both, but I love the taste of butter and lemon on fish and wanted to come up with a recipe that emulates those tastes using market ingredients. There are many great herbs that can be used to substitute for lemons, such as sorrel, lemongrass, and lemon verbena, all of which can be found at the market either as a plant you grow yourself or as fresh cooking herbs. Herbally Yours (at Market July 13) tarragon vinegar is a great choice for this week’s recipe.

The market is full of a dizzying array of greens and vegetables that can accompany this delicious wild-caught salmon, and there is so much room for experimentation. I think the sorrel sauce would also work with greens such as kale, collards and swiss chard as well as more hearty vegetables I used in the recipe below. For dessert, I just had a plate of in-season fruit; cherries and strawberries. 

Enjoy my recipe for Sorrel Sauce Salmon below.

-Lauran Lencioni, Market Commission, Chair

Upcoming events: PLASTIC FREE JULY

All vendors will be giving out compostable bags in July as part of our Plastic Free July initiative. Single-use plastic bags are banned from the Market in July. We are accepting the plastic plant pots back, after shoppers go home and plant their gardens. The pots will be returned to the original vendors for reuse. We prefer everyone bring their own reusable bag or purchase one at the Info Tent. The compostable bags should be a last resort. Please ask us about the Village Compost curbside pickup program. Please remember to bring your yogurt containers or storage containers to bring your berries home. Keep your bag clean and berries safely protected.

  • Annual Corn Roast fundraiser on Aug. 10.
  • Pie Bake-Off (enter to compete, application available on our market website) Sept. 7
  • Stone Soup giveaway, closing day, Oct. 26
  • Chef Demos TBA
  • Sweet Corn arrives July 27! 

Bake Sale: None this week. Enjoy the guilt-free Church Donuts, while supporting a great cause.

Children’s activities: School of Rock

Vendor update: Sitka Salmon Shares are back with a lot more than Salmon. Purchase a fillet or sign up for home delivery with a share (CFA).

Petals Farm is bringing more organic cut flowers, as the North Wichert Garden farmers have retired. Also, Farmer Scott of Geneva Lakes is going back to his Dutch roots and growing cut flowers this season.

MARKET READY RECIPE FROM LAURA LENCIONI

Sorrel Sauce Salmon with Seasonal Vegetables 

This is my own twist on a classic dish; my version is good for people who don’t do dairy. Bonus recipe: salmon “bacon”

Ingredients:

  • 1 fillet of Coho or Keta salmon from Sitka Salmon
  • 5-6 leaves of fresh garden sorrel (plants from Geneva Lakes, herb from Genesis)
  • 5-6 fresh dill fronds (Prairie Wind)
  • 1 bunch of saltwort (Genesis Growers), optional 
  • 1/4 cup (Herbally Yours) tarragon vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of unrefined cold-pressed virgin coconut oil
  • 1 can of coconut milk (I use Thai Kitchen organic coconut milk)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic or 1 garlic scape
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 nub of ginger (Genesis; typically found later in the season but I buy in large quantity and freeze for use year round)
  • 3-4 cremini mushrooms (River Valley)
  • 3-4 shitake mushroom (River Valley)
  • Seasonal vegetables such as asparagus, onions, Romanesco broccoli, cauliflower, sweet peppers, and summer squash

To make the sauce:

Put sorrel, dill, vinegar, coconut oil, coconut milk, garlic, salt, and ginger and blend on high until it is a  smooth, creamy sauce. Transfer sauce into a mason jar or similar container. measure out a 3/4 cup for use in the recipe. The recipe makes more sauce than you need, but it is good with a variety of fish and poultry dishes or even as a salad dressing. 

To prepare the salmon:

Using a sharp fillet knife, remove the skin and set aside to make salmon “bacon”

Debone the salmon. Salmon fillets may have small pin bones that need to be removed before cooking. You can use special “de-boning pliers”, however, if you don’t have one of these you can use any needle-nose pliers. run your fingers along the length of the fillet to locate the line of pin bones. Once located, carefully pull the bones out at an angle with the pliers. Put some cooking oil in a skillet and heat it up. Place the salmon fillet with the side that had the skin on it facing up, lightly add salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Flip the fish over, lightly add salt and pepper, and add half a cup of sauce over the top. If using saltwort in the recipe, the bunch of it on top of the fish. For thicker Coho salmon, cook an additional 4-6 minutes. for the thinner Keta salmon, cook another 2-3 minutes. When lightly cooked all the way through remove from heat. 

To make Salmon “bacon” add a layer of cooking oil to another skillet. Place the salmon skin in the oil and lightly salt and pepper it. Cook like bacon and remove from heat when the skin is crispy. I heard about fish skin bacon from a friend and I didn’t believe it would taste good, but I tried it and it tastes great! This works even better with the skin of smoked salmon, but that is a dish for another time. 

To round out this meal, chop up your mushrooms and seasonal market vegetables of your choice. place in a skillet on high heat and stir frequently until the veggies are about half done. Then, turn the heat down to medium and add the rest of the sauce. Cook until veggies are done. If you feel like 1/4 cup of sauce isn’t enough, pour a bit more from that mason jar you filled earlier. Plate up your veggies, fish fillet and “bacon” and serve with a nice glass of white wine. I had a Sauvignon Blanc called Flirty Bird. A colorful plate of fresh seasonal fruit drizzled with honey (Dennanne Farms, Ellis Family Farm, Stover & Sons) makes a nice light dessert with this dish. Enjoy!

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