via OPFM

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.

This week I turned over my blogging responsibility to Katie Weaver. She is a Registered Dietitian and our newest Market Commissioner. She is also a creative cook and I have no doubt you will all enjoy her market perspectives.

Upcoming Events::

  • Annual Corn Roast fundraiser on Aug. 10. (bring cash, $2.00 per ear, 8:30am to noon)
  • Pie Bake-Off on Sept. 7 (enter to compete, application is available now on our website)
  • Stone Soup giveaway, closing day, Oct. 26
  • Knives sharpened every week at American Pride Microgreens booth
  • Live Music, every week, starting at 9:00am
  • Church donuts, coffee (iced and hot), OJ, every week

Bake Sale: Friends of the OP Conservatory

Vendor Update: Greenfire Farm is back with their Wisconsin pasture-raised, sustainable restorative ag meat and eggs and Swiss-style yogurt. I am hoping Farmer Jacob brings his pet newborn lamb who is being bottle-fed. Herbally Yours is present for the big event and sharing their fresh-grown herbs for the fresh roasted corn. Take a bottle of their tarragon vinegar home for a real treat. 

WEEKLY MARKET HIGHLIGHTS FROM KATIE WEAVER:

It is that time of year, the annual sweet corn roast event begins at 8:30am and we keep roasting until about noon or when the corn runs out. Please bring cash ($2.00 per ear), as this is a Market fundraiser. Four of our vendors (Smits “The Farm”, Geneva Lakes Produce, Genesis Growers, Nichols Farm) donate their non-gmo corn and farm fresh butter (Brunkow Cheese). This is a zero-waste event as everything, including the corn husk, is compostable in the gray bins.

This week brings another week of stone fruit to the market, and peaches in particular, are on the top of my list each time late summer rolls around.  Six OPFM vendors are selling peaches from Michigan, so there are sure to be plenty available. Peaches are a good source of vitamin C and vitamin A, and are a great addition to your meals, snacks, or desserts.  Today I thought I would share a couple of my favorite recipes to show off how peaches can be used in a savory recipe as well as a desert. I also threw in some quick ideas on how to prep and eat peaches.

Peaches can be firm or soft. The firm peaches tend to be more tart, while the softer peaches are as sweet as candy.  Depending on what you want to do with the peaches, you may want firm peaches or you may want soft peaches.

The first recipe I want to share is one I adapted from a blog post for Farro, Peach, Mint and Feta Salad I found HERE. The original recipe calls for farro, but I’ve used many types of grains for this salad, but my favorites are barley for it’s protein content, and wheat berries for their flavor. You can buy wheat berries from Brian Severson Farms.  Firm peaches work best for this recipe since they will hold up to chopping and tossing in the salad. The original recipe calls for sweet onions, but I like using shallots if I have them. Green onions would also work well. This recipe is a crowd favorite each time I bring it to a cookout. Check out my version recipe below.

Peach, Grain, Mint and Feta salad (serves 4 or more)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup wheat berries (barley, farro, or quinoa also work)
  • 2 medium peaches, diced (skin on)
  • ½ cup sweet onion or shallot, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup mint, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Boil the wheat berries (or other grain) until “al dente,” about 15-20 minutes. Rinse with cool water to cool the grain.

Dice the peaches, leaving the skin on for extra fiber

Slice the onion/shallot, chop the mint

Add wheat berries, peaches, onion, mint and feta to a large salad bowl.

In a smaller, separate bowl mix oil and lemon juice, then pour over salad. Toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper

The next recipe is a desert featuring peaches and blueberries: peach-blueberry parfait with maple ricotta.  Soft, super sweet peach work best for this recipe. You’re going to peel the peaches like you would peel a tomato. Cut an X into the bottom of the peach and dip it into a pot of boiling water to start the peeling process, just until the skin starts to curl back. Then dip the peach into some cold water to cool it down. Blueberries add contrast in color and compliment the flavor of the peaches with some tartness. Throw a little more mint on if you have some extra lying around. It is a very simple recipe w/ maple syrup as the only added sugar because the fruits are so sweet.  See below for the recipe.

Peach-Blueberry Parfait (serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 2 peaches, peeled, sliced (softer peaches work better for this)
  • 1 cup blueberries, rinsed
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Mint (optional)
  • Chopped almonds (optional)

Directions

Peel the peaches. Cut an X into the bottom of each peach and then gently drop into boiling water until the skin starts to curl at the X. Remove from boiling water and dip into cold water to cool.  Peel the peach, then cut in half, remove the pit, and slice

Mix the ricotta cheese with the maple syrup

In a glass cup or parfait dish, start layering. Start with peaches and blueberries, and then add a layer of maple ricotta. Repeat the layers between 2 dishes until ingredients are used up. Top with mint and/or chopped almonds if desired.

A few more ideas to use up all the peaches you buy this week at the farmers’ market: Dice a soft peach use it as a topping on plain or vanilla yogurt.  Dice a firm peach and throw it on a salad with fresh lettuce and other produce. Purée some peaches, spoon some in a cup, add champagne for homemade blinis. Slice some soft peaches and put them on top of a crostini w/ ricotta cheese – make it savory by adding some salt, pepper and oregano or make it sweet by adding some raspberries. Grill your peaches. Eat the grilled peaches alone, as a side of dinner, or along with some grilled vegetables like sweet bell peppers and zucchini. Grilled peaches go great with grilled chicken. Top your grilled peaches with vanilla ice cream.  Slice some peaches and throw them in a bowl to share as a snack with your family. Grab a peach and just eat it.

I hope you enjoy this season’s peaches, as much as I do.

OPEN TO EVERYONE:

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

A GENTLE REMINDER:

Please remember to bring your yogurt containers or storage containers to bring your berries and fruit home. Keep your bag clean and berries safely protected. We have given out all of our compostable shopping bags, so please remember to grab your bags on the way out of the door, as well as your reusable coffee and water thermos.

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