The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

This is a big, big weekend for local food in Philly (so much so that we wrote up a field guide on farmers market events for you over here), but the biggest news of all is the return of the spring season’s favorite vegetable…

Asparagus – As much as the greens kick off the early spring season, it’s the asparagus coming out of the fields that really acts as the green flag that starts the vegetable races. There’ll be plenty of bunched green asparagus to take home, and Good Spoon will have Spring Asparagus soup ready to go, too.

Quail – The reopening of Headhouse means the return of Griggstown Quail Farm! Sure, you could pick-up one of their killer pot pies (or a fruit pie, if you prefer), you could choose one of their several chicken sausages, turkey burgers, or a whole chicken, but if you really want to do something impressive try grilling up some of their namesake birds, quail. Sold in packs of 2 or 4, these little birds are excellent grilled, still juicy even with a little char.

Vegetable Plants – It’s not too late to get your backyard garden going, and to help you out Taproot Farm (Chestnut Hill), Savoie Organic Farm (Headhouse), and Happy Cat (Headhouse) will all have plenty of herbs, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants for you to tuck into some flowerpots.

Curly Dock – Though ramps, morels, and fiddlehead ferns get all the glory this time of year, lesser-known wild edibles have their place at the table. One to look for this weekend is called curly dock. A relative of rhubarb and buckwheat, these ruffled leaves have a flavor similar to that of sorrel, which you might also see at markets this weekend. Pleasantly tart and lemony,curly dock makes a fine pesto, and it’s a nice addition chopped with other tender, fresh herbs in a grain salad.

Bok Choi & Tatsoi – Pretty rosettes of little green leaves, Queen’s Farm and Blooming Glen Farm will have tatsoi at Headhouse this weekend, and Pennypack will have juicy book choi at Clark Park.

Shhh…Strawberries – It’s early yet, but there are a few rumors that Blooming Glen and Queen’s Farm at Headhouse will have some strawberries to accompany the spring rhubarb. Supplies will likely be very limited, so arrive early for your best shot and don’t be disappointed if they don’t materialize. They’re on their way!