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


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In just three weeks, on March 20th, the Spring Equinox arrives and we shift (thank goodness) towards warmer weather. In the meantime, this is probably a good time to cook all of those wintery things that you haven’t made yet this year. I’m talking about your beef stew, your potato-turnip gratin, your roasted root vegetables, your carrot soup, your chili, and your mashed potatoes. If there were ever a moment to embrace the starchy, sweet long-keeping vegetables of winter, this would be that moment. In just a few weeks things are going to begin to shift towards greenery. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy the sweet, roasty, caramelized flavors of winter while you can.

Parsnips – Parsnips have a distinctly carrot-like flavor, but they’re firmer, starchier and creamier. They roast up beautifully and they’re especially delicious glazed with spiced honey. Pick-up some of Livengood’s prize-winning parsnips this weekend at Clark Park.

Sweet Potatoes – Roast them whole, make a curry or a soup, or even a sweet potato pie. Landisdale Farm has a fantastic selection—purple, Japanese, and Beauregard—of sweet potatoes still in great shape at the Clark Park Market.

Onions – This is about this time of year that the onions figure out that something is up and they send out exploratory green shoots, anticipating the chance to grow. Before they wise-up, get those suckers in a pan. Slow-cooked until caramelized, they’re a foundation for almost everything delicious. Take on the project of making french onion soup now. The end of winter is surely the last hurrah for something so rich and slow-cooked. Rineer Family Farm has both yellow and red onions at the Rittenhouse and Chestnut Hill farmer’s markets.

Beets – Roasted beets with goat cheese might be a culinary cliché, but the reason that it lingers on menus is that it’s great. The beets provide their distinctive earthy sweetness, which the goat cheese matches with tanginess. You’ll find both ingredients for this pairing at the Rittenhouse Market from Shellback Hollow Farm and Rineer Farmily Farm.

Winter Squash – Finally, the supplies of winter squash are beginning to dwindle.