Top 5 In Season Picks

The weather has turned cooler, parents are (perhaps eagerly) entering back-to-school mode, and our vendors’ shelves are bursting with a beautiful bounty. There is still a bit of summer left, and if our bustling weekends are any indication, we know you’re soaking up the harvest. So when you make your weekend trip to the market, what do you buy? Do you meander around looking for something new or beeline to your tried-and-true favorites? Are you picking up the peak produce to toss in salads, throw on the grill, and preserve for the Fall? Here’s what you should be buying right now at the market:

Top 5 Summer Picks

Taber Corn

Taber Corn

Direct from the farm to the market, Taber Corn is typically picked at 5am on the morning it goes to market. It doesn’t get much better than that! Fresh, crisp, sweet corn ready to grace any grill and table to wow your family and friends. And their tummies!

Join our FREE Corn Roast on Saturday, August 22nd from 10am-4pm!  Yes, we’re giving away roasted-until-perfect sweet Taber corn for FREE!

Taber Corn can be purchased from Cherry Pit (Perimeter, Booth 7) or Souto Farms (Aisle 1, Booth 1).

Melissa Souto
Melissa Souto on the Family Farm in Oliver, B.C.

B.C. Peaches

Sweet, succulent, juicy peaches have been cultivated in the Okanagan for over a hundred years. They’re a member of the rose family – as you can likely tell from their delightful aroma. All varieties equally amazing, peaches are perfect for eating fresh, for baking, or for freezing and canning. Souto Family Farms has been farming peaches for 30+ years on approximately 7 acres, brought direct to the Calgary Farmers’ Market. Cherry Pit supports a neighboring farm, Panorama Orchards, by bring their stunning peaches to market each week too. Organic peaches can be found at Blush Lane Organic Market (Perimeter, Booth 6), as well.

edgar-farms peas

Edgar Farms Sugar Snap Peas

Edgar Farms is most famously known in our market parts for their stunning asparagus. But their summer specialty is sweet garden peas. All of their peas (sugar snap, snow, and pea tendrils) are handpicked and chilled in a custom-made ice bath (conceived and made by Doug Edgar himself!) directly after picking. This chilling process keeps the sugars from turning to bitter tasting starch, thus retaining that fresh-from-the-garden sweetness. The sugar snap peas that fly off the shelf at Innisfail Growers are the ones that have a much thicker pod wall and develop round and firm at maturity. Pods “snap” just like a fresh green bean. These peas are excellent eaten pod and all, but our preference is to eat the whole bag raw. Did we say the whole bag?!? Yes, yes we did. Pick up your own bag at Innisfail Growers (Perimeter, Booth 22).

Cherry 2

Cherries

Most people would agree – it’s not really summer until we start seeing mounds of cherries. Cherries are one of Mother Nature’s truly seasonal crops, and we’ve learned to make the most of our time with them; eating them by the bagful, and preserving them to transport us back to the warm summer harvest during our cold winter months. The two most common varieties you can find gracing the shelves at Cherry Pit, Souto Farms, and Blush Lane Organic Market: a juicy, deep ruby red, lip staining Lapin cherry vs. the sweet, golden blush Rainier cherry. Both are equally incredible. Don’t make us choose a favorite.

Shelley Bradshaw of Beck Farms with their unique carrot harvester.

Beck Farms New Carrots

Shelley Bradshaw, with her husband Rod and two sons have been crafting the art of growing carrots for over 20 years. Over the years, they have perfected planting in Alberta’s rich, dark soil to bring us their famous Nantes carrots, but also beets, parsnips, dill, hot peppers, and more! Nantes carrots are by nature a sweeter variety, but Shelly’s carrots are particularly crisp and sweet due to the unique terroir; the cool nights we experience in Alberta are key to producing sweet tasting, crisp vegetables because it prevents the naturally produced sugars from turning to bitter starch. The new crop of Beck Farms carrots hit the shelves at Innisfail Growers last week, which is particularly exciting seeing as the farm experienced severe drought; Shelly and Rod had serious concerns of having a crop at all this year. Phew!

Seared Scallops with Corn, Spinach & Bacon

Corn 3

Is there anything that says late summer better than a hot, sweet, and stuck-in-your-teeth-butter-dripping-down-your-arm cob of Taber corn? Add in bacon and, well, very few things are made worse by the addition of smoky, salty bacon and fresh, local greens.

Inspired by the new and incredibly useful cookbook “The Broad Fork” by Hugh Acheson, this recipe is dead simple, can be whipped together in less than 20 minutes, and is super tasty too.  Sounds kind of perfect, right?

Corn 2

Market Sourced Ingredients

Scallops from Market Seafood (3-4 per person, or more if you really love scallops)

3 ears of corn, kernels removed from the cob from Cherry Pit

1/2 package of Spragg’s bacon, diced

1 bag of Jungle Farms spinach from Innisfail Growers

2 small shallots, 2 cloves garlic, and 1 lemon from Cherry Pit

1 tbsp Butter

Salt & Pepper

*Basil (to taste) from Terra Farms

*Hugh doesn’t call for basil in his recipe but the addition of any herb of your choice is a beautiful way of adding delicate flavor to any dish. We chose basil because we love it and Terra Farms has some pretty amazing basil these days.

Place the bacon in a medium sauté pan over medium heat, and cook until the fat starts to foam and the bacon is crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain off most of the bacon fat and add the shallots to the pan. Cook the shallots for 2 minutes, and then add the garlic and corn kernels. Continue to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until the kernels are tender but still have some pop. Season with sea salt to taste, and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the spinach and cook just to wilt it, about 1 minute. Then finish with the lemon juice and more sea salt to taste. Remove from the heat and keep warm on the stovetop, but not directly over the heat.

Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel.  Drizzle with olive oil and season them all over with sea salt. Add the scallops to a hot sauté pan and sear for 3 minutes on one side. They should caramelize and develop a good golden-brown color. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the scallops and allow it to melt. Flip the scallops over and quickly spoon the butter over them, cooking for 1 minute more. Remove the scallops from the sauté pan and place them on a plate lined with a paper towel.

Spoon the spinach/bacon/corn mixture onto individual plates, and arrange the scallops on top. Enjoy!

 

Learn more about our beloved Brian of Market Seafood.

Around the Table… with Market Seafood

If you think all fish tastes the same, then you haven’t had Brian’s seafood.  He offers some of the freshest and most flavorful fish we’ve ever eaten, which is saying a lot in our land-locked province. He has a wide variety of seafood, both fresh and frozen, to choose from and if you aren’t exactly sure how to season or cook what you’ve picked up, just ask Brian, he’s a chef!

How did this all start for Market Seafood?

I realized I didn’t want to work 16 hours a day working in my own restaurant so I sold it and got into the seafood business.  And that’s how Blu Seafood was born, 8 years ago. Now we’ve rebranded as Market Seafood and our only location is here at the Calgary Farmers’ Market.

What is your favorite thing about being a part of the CFM family?

We all know each other, we work as a close team to make the market a better place, for ourselves and for our customers.

What’s your favorite item that you produce? Why?

Ahi Tuna.  I have it all year long and it’s so easy to cook.  It takes 2 minutes preparation and 2 minutes cooking.  It’s beautiful and it’s always good.

Do you have a go-to recipe that highlights that item?

I do. It’s very simple.  Just salt, pepper, olive oil and grill.  We have it on a recipe card that people can take home with them.

Three quick tips that you want to share with market guests?

1. In preparing fish: Keep it simple. Don’t over season or spice.

2. In cooking fish: Don’t over cook your fish.

3. In buying fish: Always buy fresh.  If it smells, you shouldn’t buy it.  Never be afraid to ask to smell the fish before you purchase it.

Words of Wisdom you live by:

Live every day and be thankful for every day that you get.

What’s your favorite thing to eat in the market that’s not from your booth?

I really like the chicken sausage from Missing Link Extraordinary Sausage.  My granddaughter just loves the honey chicken.

If you could be a fish, what would you be?

Oh…. go away, no I’m not answering that one.  I’d be the Big Fish!

I think that’s a lot like the Big Cheese 🙂

Brian Big FIsh