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

After a few quiet weeks, tomorrow brings local farmers back to Clark Park, Chestnut Hill, Fitler Square, and Rittenhouse. Markets are smaller and sometimes shorter in the new year, at least until springtime officially hits. For now, markets are running on an abbreviated winter schedule, some skipping weeks and some with shorter hours. Before bundling up, make sure your favorite market (whether through Farm to City or The Food Trust) is actually happening. If you do venture out in the chill, here are a few things you’ll find.

Black Trumpet Mushrooms – Nutty and rich with a fruity aroma, fresh black trumpets are delicious and not something you’ll often see except on restaurant menus. These wild-harvested mushrooms are especially difficult to find, their dark color camouflaging them on the forest floor. It’ll be much easier to find them laid out on the table at Primordia Farm at the Chestnut Hill and Clark Park markets. Though black trumpet mushrooms aren’t growing locally at the moment (these ones are coming from foragers in Oregon), the rest of Primordia’s selection of oyster, shiitake, pioppino, maitake, and lions mane mushrooms are.

Komatsuna – This leafy green is a relative of all those other brassicas we love at this time of year: cabbages, brussels sprouts, turnips, and broccoli. It’s a Japanese green, sometimes called mustard spinach, and these flat, spoon-shaped leaves have a juicy texture with just a little bit of peppery bite. Look for it at Taproot Farm at the Chestnut Hill market.

Turnips & Rutabagas – ’Tis the season for big trays of roasted vegetables, and turnips and rutabagas fit right in. Creamy white flesh, roasted, pureed, or layered into a gratin, what’s great about both of these root vegetables is that they can easily stand in pretty much anywhere you would use a turnip, but with about half the calories, which is great if you’re trying to do some clean eating in the new year. Turnips, whether golden or white with a purple top have a slightly stronger, more radish-y flavor, but rutabagas are mild enough that swapped in alongside some potatoes you’ll barely notice the difference. Look for both at Landisdale Farm at the Clark Park market.

Sweet Dumpling Squash – Loads of winter squash are still going strong and Margerum’s Herbs at the Clark Park market has a great selection. If you’re typically a fan of acorn squash, try the sweet dumpling. Especially sweet, with tender orange flesh, you can roast them or stuff them just as you would an acorn squash.

Fermented Vegetables & Kombucha – Restart your gut bacteria for the new year with some ferments from Food & Ferments. Though they’re not coming to market every weekend, they’ll be at Rittenhouse tomorrow so you can get your probiotic fix.