“The market is fun, isn’t it?”
Atticus’ nod was barely perceptible. Perhaps he would have answered the nice lady, but he was seriously concentrating on eating that delicious, juicy tangelo without getting any of it on his mustard-colored shirt– a task that proved unsuccessful.
Saturday morning was the first time I felt like going out in almost a week.
I coaxed Christopher into making my first outing a trip to the farmer’s market. Atticus didn’t need much convincing. The little guy was quarantined just as long as I had been, and he certainly wasn’t about to protest going anywhere on a sunny February day.
After our first trip to the Irvine Farmer’s Market nearly two weeks ago, Chris and I agreed that we just had to head back for a closer inspection. It’s one of the best we have visited, and the other plus is that it’s in our new neighborhood! Okay, so maybe I get a little more excited about the market than other people, but maybe the images below can help put things in perspective. I’ve included a few tips that I hope you’ll find helpful.
Did you notice the picture of the beets? I am always on the hunt for beets at farmer’s markets because that’s where I tend to find ones with the firm, green leaves and bright red stems. Although Swiss chard still remains dear to my tummy, last year a college friend of mine and founder of Cuatro Caminos Collective, Eddie Casarez, introduced me to a new world of nutritious and delicious possibilities with beet greens. That’s right, that part of the beet that your mom threw away before steaming those red roots is not really meant to end up in the compost pile.
Beet greens pack quite a nutritional punch. They are delicious simply sautéed in a little olive oil. Throw in a sliced garlic clove and a dash of black pepper, and you’ve got yourself a perfect side dish. Sometimes, I’ll even add ribbons of beet greens to a pasta sauce, quinoa, or even a Quiche.
Another stand-out was the tangelo. And, it’s not all about that sensational color either. The citrus-sampling station was packed with an impressive variety of grapefruit, blood oranges, clementines, and the like, but it was hard not to notice the three-year old take bite after bite of tangelos.
A twenty- or thirty- something blond in a ball cap called out to his lady companion, “He really seems to like those. What are they?”
I wonder just how many pounds Atticus helped sell that day.
In what I took to be either an act of kindness or gratitude, the vendor suggested that we pick out the firm and cool tangelos. He assured those would be sweeter and juicier than others. Sufficed to say, we will be back this Saturday. Our supply at home didn’t make it past Wednesday morning.
I hope to see you at the market!
Irvine Farmer’s Market at the University Center
Campus Drive and Bridge Road
Irvine, CA 92612
Saturdays 8am – 12pm