FARMERS MARKET FAVORITE | Seared Duck Breast & Grilled Peach Summer Salad Platter

As I've likely mentioned before, my gig as Market Chef for Texas Farmers' Markets has me visiting the market with no recipe in hand, but a simple and delightful task; to find the best and freshest the market has to offer that day, and create a recipe then and there that is inspired by the task at hand.

Some weekends are easier than others. Some seasons, in fact, are easier than others.

THIS IS THAT SEASON.

ALL of my favorites are in season, y'all. June in Texas, especially this year, is hot as blue blazes. Farmers can barely keep up with their bountiful and burgeoning fields, and the market benefits from their sweaty hard work. Perhaps, because I've been a farmer, I am that much more appreciative of the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor. But friends, get thee to the markets because it's ALL GOING DOWN-- peaches and plums and blackberries and blueberries and tomatoes and peppers and basil and onions and potatoes and eggplants, and, and, and.....ALL of my favorites.

Even okra. I've become a fan of peak of the season OKRA. But I digress....

Along with tables and bins and buckets lush with ripe, fragrant produce, this weekend saw the debut of FRESH DUCK from Belle Vie Farm.

SWOON!

I love a perfectly seared duck breast and Belle Vie Farm was generous enough to allow me the honor of preparing it for market goers this weekend. It was a huge hit.

A fan of Fried Green Tomatoes? Find a recipe for the most traditional preparation here, and stop by my Instagram feed to see how Gray Gardens inspired an even simpler way to eat them. With vegetables at their peak, the simpler the better to help them shine brightest. Why gild the lily, after all?
Now I'd certainly make this for myself-- just one of me, and nibble on it for several meals, but where I think it particularly shines is as a light, impressive dinner for a small gathering. It's a beauty-- and don't we love our pretty foods (check out my Instagram feed for pretty food from every corner of my world, in fact).

Peaches pair particularly well with the richness of duck, and basil pairs particularly well with peaches. I truly adhere to the 'what grows together, goes together' principle of seasonal eating, and it serves me well both at the markets, and in my home kitchen, and you'll see in this salad that the main characters, as well as the supporting cast prove the maxim spot on.

Below, find the processes for creating a memorable summer salad that will have your guests returning for more. The addition of a crusty loaf of fresh bread and the best butter you can lay your hands on, accompanied by a thoughtfully chosen bottle or two of wine-- try Gewürztraminer, a lovely pairing with the savory peach components of the salad as well as a great non-red choice for the rich and complex duck breast, and impress your guests, as well as yourself, with a simple, yet far from ordinary summer meal.



SEARED DUCK BREAST AND GRILLED PEACH SALAD PLATTER

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch amaranth greens (Johnson's Backyard Garden)
3 small cucumbers, sliced (Flintrock Hill Farm)
Several sprigs of basil , destemmed (Johnson's Backyard Garden)
3 small red onions, peeled and quartered and seared (Johnson's Backyard Garden)
4-5 small mild banana peppers seared (Johnson's Backyard Garden)
4 small peaches, grilled (Engel Farms)
1 whole fresh duck breast, skin on, seared to medium rare, and sliced (Belle Vie Farm)
Lemon Pesto Vinaigrette

ASSEMBLING SALAD

Prepare ingredients as noted below. On a bed of well washed and dried amaranth greens, compose salad by grouping components and arranging on platter as shown. Dress with Lemon Pesto Vinaigrette, and season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve.

GRILLING PEACHES

Halve unpeeled peaches and remove pit. In a dry cast iron skillet over high heat (alternatively on a cast iron griddle on a pre-heated grill or directly on clean, oiled grate), place peaches, cut side down. Leave untouched until seared fully (either grate marks or seared surface, depending upon method of cooking), then turn and brown on opposite side until peaches are tender. Remove from heat and reserve to assemble salad.

SEARED VEGETABLES

In 2 tablespoons reserved duck fat in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, brown vegetables on one side until well charred, then turn and repeat with opposite side, until vegetables are tender and browned fully.

LEMON PESTO VINAIGRETTE

3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2  cup lemon infused olive oil (I used Texas Hill Country Olive Co olive oil)
2 tablespoons prepared pesto (I used Kala's Kuisine Basil & Walnut Pesto)
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a wide bottomed mixing bowl, whisk together vinegar and dijon mustard. Continue whisking while drizzling in olive oil in a thin stream. When fully blended/emulsified, stir in prepared pesto. Correct seasonings to taste.

SEARING DUCK BREAST
courtesy of Serious Eats

With a sharp knife, gently score duck breasts in a tight crosshatch pattern, keeping the scores 1/8 inch apart. If you prefer a little fat left on the breasts after cooking, just barely score the skin; to render more fat, score more deeply, taking care not to expose the flesh.

Season duck breasts with salt, heavily on the skin side and lightly on the flesh side.

Place duck breast, skin side down, in a large, cold sauté pan. Place pan over low to medium-low heat. To keep the edges from curling up, press duck breasts down with the help of a smaller sauté pan. After about 5 minutes, the fat should begin to gently bubble. If the fat is either silent or spitting, adjust heat accordingly. Maintain the gentle bubble of fat, pouring out excess rendered fat throughout the cooking process, (RESERVING!) until much of the fat has rendered, skin is golden brown, and duck's internal temperature is 125°F (52°C), about 15 minutes.

Increase heat to medium and further brown skin if needed, about 1 minute, before flipping and cooking on the flesh side. For medium-rare meat, cook until breast registers 130°F (54°C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 to 2 minutes. Continue cooking until duck registers 140°F (60°C) for medium or 155°F (68°F) for well-done. Remove duck from pan and set aside to rest. When cool enough to handle, slice thinly to arrange on salad platter.


I'm looking forward to my next visit to the BRAND SPANKIN' NEW Wednesday market at the Texas Farmers' Market Mueller location, on June 13, from 5-7pm. If you're in the area, do stop by to see all of the exciting things in store, including live music, Wednesday-only vendors, and a chef demo by your's truly showcasing seasonal fresh vegetables and the handcrafted sausage of Taylor Farm.

I would like to see people more aware of where their food comes from. I would like to see small farmers empowered. I feed my daughter almost exclusively organic food. -- Anthony Bourdain

STAY COOL out there, friends, and thank you for letting me be a part of your eating lives. Your support has encouraged me to follow my passion, and that has made all of the difference.

Feed yourselves well, rest when you need it, buy yourself fresh flowers, and love life fiercely,
Maggie

CLASSES & EVENTS | DATE NIGHT | Hands on Pasta Making with Italian Mother Sauce



Grab your MOM, your girl, your guy, your BFF, or just come on solo to this hands on class where you’ll join with fellow foodies to master an Italian favorite— Fresh Homemade Pasta with a quick an classic Italian Pomodoro Mother Sauce. You’ll create your entire meal from flour to finish, with a few extra flourishes thrown in for delicious delight, and enjoy it at the end of class. You'll also take home the fruits of your labor— a batch of dough to keep your skills fresh in your own kitchen.


Friday, April 27-  6:30-8:30  BYOB (your favorite Italian vino, maybe?)

Class will be held at a private kitchen in the Bouldin Creek area of South Austin. Address will be provided 24 hours prior to class.

GRAB YOUR SPOTS ---->  Kitchen Underground

Classes & Events | Cinco de Mayo Taco Blowout (and Jack's 18th!)



Come celebrate Cinco de Mayo (and sweet Jack, My Dog’s 18th birthday!) with a proper taco spread!

In this combination demonstration and hands-on class, learn how to make classic golden crispy-edged Pork Carnitas, and roll up your sleeves to prepare toppings and create traditional favorite salsas, with a few new twists, too!

WE: Create the setting and space. Collect all manner of toppings. Provide recipes for hands-on preparations. Demonstrate classic Pork Carnitas. Have a fantastic time celebrating Cinco de Mayo (and the most awesome dog that ever lived, JACK)!

YOU: Bring a spirit of culinary adventure and a healthy appetite! Celebrate with a community of like-minded taco lovers, fill your belly and soul, and make some cool new Austin foodie friends in the process.

SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2018
Bouldin Creek/South Austin area
(address provided 24 hours prior to class)
$45
Water will be served. BYOB is allowed (and even encouraged 😉).

This fun and economical class is filling up fast. Don't miss it! Grab your spots at Kitchen Underground.



Classes & Events | It's coming! Ms. Maggie P.'s Afternoon Tea


Working on a little dream, over here.....

Ms. Maggie P (that's me!) has been pining for tea. A formal tea, that is. With all of the fancy teapots and china cups and tiny cakes and biscuits and tea sandwiches and more. Once a month. Every month.

With a carefully selected playlist, a menu of sweets and savories, hats, if you'd like, and your favorite Spring dress, or your well-worn jeans and boho finery, or your grandfather's pocket watch, or your 3-piece searsucker suit....it's like a French salon meets British hotel lobby all at once in funky South Austin. 

SATURDAY, APRIL 28
3-4:30 PM
TICKETS, HERE
Let's get fancy!

Treat yourself to a sweetly civilized and tasty afternoon.

In this special Saturday class, learn by demonstration, sampling, and example, to host the perfect Afternoon Tea. 

Enjoy sweet and savory nibbles like biscuits, jams, tea sandwiches, petite tartines and more, and learn the dos and don'ts of a perfectly prepared pot of tea. 

Naturally, we'll explore the proper etiquette of the afternoon tea, as well. In fact if you've yearned to some day pull out those white cotton gloves tucked in the back of a drawer, or hoped to find a reason for wearing your mother's pillbox hat or your father's pocket watch, this is the perfect opportunity! 

We'll even get a little crafty, pulling out our favorite scrapbooking supplies to create pretty little tea cards designed to keep up with your favorite blends, as well as creating a "frequent drinker" record. Attend 5 monthly teas, and the 6th is on me!

Hoping to teach a young lady or lad some manners? Perhaps consider a special Saturday date for two. 

Not a tea drinker? No worries. We'll have a French Press with coffee, and pristine citrus and herb-infused ice water as well. Fancy a more adult beverage? It's BYOB so bring along your drink of choice!

While tickets must be purchased for each guest, all ages are welcome. Guests under 18 accompanied by adult, please. 


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Headed to the Farmers' Market this weekend? Here's your buying guide for In Season | April


To get the most bang for your buck at the farmers' market, familiarize yourself with what is in season, and you'll be certain you're getting the freshest from the field.

You'll find the guide here, as well as linked to on the right side bar of the desktop version of the blog. There is an updated monthly guide posted every month, in fact.

Find all the fruits, vegetables, and proteins available at markets throughout North America in the month of April and more. Stymied by kohlrabi? Not sure the best method to cook cod? Need some inspiration for cooking eggs? Click on the link for EVERY ITEM-- I've updated the guide to provide a little nudge towards healthy, wholesome, simple meals you'll enjoy any and every night of the week.


If you're in the Austin area, stop by the Texas Farmers Market at Lakeline on Saturday, 10-12 noon, and at Mueller Lake on Sunday, 11-1pm where I'll celebrate Earth Day with marketgoers and share how to turn oft-discarded scraps into glorious stocks, while saving nutrients, dollars, and our Mother Earth.

I'd love to see you there!

Hey, y'all. I made something new | Maggie Perkins | April 2018

A sneak snippet of this month's inaugural issue, be sure to check out the full issue here,  
and sign up to keep it coming to your inbox, here
So.......I did something.

I'm so excited to share with you a project a long-time coming. A MONTHLY NEWSLETTER.

Monthly, and occasionally more often. Maybe. We'll see. But for certain, whenever they go out, they'll contain information about classes, events, occasional free promotions and discount codes for classes, favorite recipes, monthly gardening guides, and more.


Let's dish about delicious, y'all!

Thank you for your encouragement and support over the years of this blog, and for following my real-life food adventures in the form of exploring, teaching, and writing, as well. It is all a lot of hard work, a mix of sweat, salt and laughter, and a big dream come true, and none of it could have gone anywhere without you.

Check out the link to this month's newsletter, and be sure to sign up so you won't miss a thing From Maggie's Farm!

Thirsty Thursday | Leftover wine?

Leftover wine lingering in your fridge? Some $4 bottle collecting dust in the pantry? 

Or maybe a red leftover from a party, but you like whites, or a white brought as a host gift but you like reds?

Seems like some great ways to get rid of them. And a super excuse for a party! Waste not, want not you know. 

Cheers!



Farmers Market Favorite | Oyster & Mushroom Spring Stew | Market Chef Maggie Perkins

Well the lion was back this weekend in Austin, Texas.

If March can be said to come 'in like a lion and out like a lamb', then April got a surprise re-visit.

Friday night was quite humid, and when I finally hit the hay sometime after midnight, it was still in the mid-70s, 60+% humidity, with an impressive light show in the northern sky but no real (promised) rain. Much lower temps had been promised. I had my doubts.

Shame on me! Because despite my distrust, the weatherman was redeemed, storms did arrive, I slept through most of the theatrics, and awoke to temps in the 40s. Upon reaching the farmers market in Cedar Park, I was met with a morning so blustery that outdoor cooking was, well, fruitless. It was cold, getting colder, windy, getting windier, rainy and getting rainier. The chef's demo was cancelled.

Sunday proved to be, while chillier than usual, clear, and at least a little warmer than the day before. I headed out to Mueller Lake and summoned Spring with herbs and shellfish, while accommodating a little late last taste of winter with a soul and tummy-warming stew.


The flavors are bright and crisp like spring-- the waters still cool enough to promise fresh, briny oysters and slightly cool nights still kissing greens and sweet onions to promise bright, but not bitter, herbal hints. Earthy mushrooms, each variety lending it's own unique note to a symphony-- yield layers of taste. Garnishing bowls with Cajun-spiced pecans added another texture, and a hint of peppery salt that enhanced but did not overpower the bowl. It was a big hit.

While it tastes as if the flavors have unfolded gradually in an all-day simmer, you can actually pull this together pretty quickly. Grab the ingredients, below, pick up a freshly-baked baguette and good quality unsalted butter, and maybe add a lightly dressed salad, and we'll have dinner in less than an hour.

If you like a glass of wine with your meal, I'd go with a Chardonnay or white Burgundy. If you're a fiend for bubbly, Champagne is always a safe choice as far as I'm concerned. Always.



Oyster & Mushroom Spring Stew
Serves 6

Ingredients

1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1 bunch spring onions with green tops, sliced
1 cup assorted mushrooms, caps and tender stems, sliced & divided
1 quart chicken stock, low sodium
1 pint oysters with liquor, divided & reserved
4 sprigs thyme
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves only, separated

1 pint whole milk
salt, cayenne & black pepper to taste
Cajun-spiced pecans, optional garnish

In a medium pot over medium high heat, melt unsalted butter. Stir in flour, 1/4 cup at a time, incorporating with butter fully before adding the next 1/4 cup. Stir constantly until it reaches a nutty fragrance and a tan color. Reduce heat and stir in onions and mushroom stems. Stir frequently, cooking until white onions are transparent and greens, limp.


Return heat to medium high. Add stock 1 cup at a time, stirring thoroughly to combine with roux. Bring to a boil to facilitate thickening. Add the liquor of oysters, only, thyme, and half of parsley. Bring all to a boil, then reduce to a rolling simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat for 5 minutes.


Remove thyme stems. With an immersion blender. puree soup. (Alternatively, use a blender or food processor, in batches, adding back to a clean pot cupfuls at a time.) Return to a low burner, add sliced mushroom caps, season with salt, cayenne, and black pepper to taste. (Alternatively, Creole seasoning can be used as a substitute or in conjunction with salt and peppers.) When soup reaches a full, rolling simmer, add oysters and milk. Cook about 3-5 minutes, or until warmed through, oysters are opaque and edges are curled. Correct seasonings again. Remove from heat.

Garnish with remaining parsley and spiced pecan pieces.

Texas Farmers Market vendors and farmers that provided food free of charge for this chef demonstration, upon request, include K&S Seafood (oysters), Hi-Fi Mycology (mushrooms), Yegua Creek Farms (Cajun-spiced pecans), and JBG Organic (onion, thyme, parsley).

Looking for another healthy version of Oyster Bisque?


For additional information about this gluten-free, low(er) fat, low(er) calorie favorite with all of the richness of its decadent parent, including local Texas Farmers’ Market vendor and farmer sources, see this link.


Farmers Market Favorite | Lemon Ginger Black Drum with Leeks & Green Garlic | Market Chef Maggie Perkins



One of the greatest benefits of shopping at a local farmers market is the opportunity to develop relationships with the vendors, farmers, producers, and foragers of the food you eat. 

Such has been my experience getting to know, and trust, fishmonger Scott Treaster of K&S Seafood.

Seafood is a vast, and sometimes overwhelming, member of my personal food chain, and probably this teacher's pet. There is no more favored meal for me than a delicious dish made with a fresh, full-flavored and wholesome serving of fish. I depend upon Scott to let me know what the freshest, best selection of the week is with which to create a recipe. He never disappoints and knows more about seafood than I could ever hope. 

With the proper selection, the success of a meal depends on just a few skills, and prime seasonings. It's almost foolproof. 

Unless, of course, the quality of your selection suffers by its purchase from a substandard, non-trusted source. The provenance perhaps unknown, as well as its possibly questionable journey from origin to your basket. That package of "Louisiana Crawfish"? Well turn it over and you'll find it's traveled from China. The U.S. imports fish and seafood from 136 countries and the top suppliers in 2014 were China with a 14.1% share, followed by Canada (13.7%), Indonesia (9.3%), Chile (8.4%) and Vietnam (7.9%).

This Black Drum? Well Scott brought this from the Gulf Coast, caught only days before I ate it. I mean I can even guess the highway it traversed on it's way to the Texas Farmers' Market at Lakeline. Because I know and trust Scott, my confidence in my selection is solid, and I feel secure in choosing a healthy and affordable meal that's quick and easy to prepare several times this week. 


I feel fortunate, in fact, to have mutually beneficial relationships with many of the vendors and growers at the market. I can always rely on pristine produce like the green garlic I used for this dish from Gray Gardens. The parsley, leeks, and broccoli raab I prepared from Johnson's Backyard Garden is certified organic. Byccombe Natural Solutions offers unique, healthy varieties of several vegetables like the carrots, above. The organic spicy mix I procured from Joe's Microgreens added both flavor and nutrition to the dish, and new vendor Hi-Fi Mycology offer unique and nutritiously beneficial mushrooms with new flavors and textures, and offer more trusted knowledge about mushrooms than I could ever collect.

Do yourself, and your diet, a big favor, and get to know the folks that provide the food that gives you sustenance. Those relationships will assure that the fuel your body uses is as clean and wholesome as promised. Food is life.
Would you like to learn more about Sustainable Seafood? Check out Fishwatch U.S. Seafood Facts


Another great reason to pick up fresh-from-the-Gulf seafood from Scott at K&S Seafood? With incredibly fresh selections like this weekend's Black Drum, simple preparations with only a few fresh ingredients actually showcases this fish better than any complicated, expensive meal could. Just ask the market shoppers of all ages who stopped by for a sample. It was a big hit with kids and adults, alike, and ushered in Spring flavors beautifully. I recommend serving it alongside your favorite spring greens, simply prepared, like the sauteed broccoli raab in season that I'll share later this week.

LEMON GINGER BLACK DRUM 
with Leeks & Green Garlic
Serves 2

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (see optional substitute, below)
1 bunch green garlic, whites & tender greens sliced thinly
1 bunch young leeks, whites sliced and washed well
1 large lemon, halved & seeded
1 thumb fresh ginger, peeled & grated
2 boneless Black Drum fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring olive oil to a shimmering heat in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add green garlic and leeks to pan. Stirring frequently, cook until limp. Squeeze one half lemon juice into pan. Add grated ginger to leeks and garlic and sauté, stirring, for one minute. With a spatula, gently slide leeks and garlic to the margin of the pan and lay fish fillet, skin side down, on cleared center surface of pan. Raise heat to medium high, browning skin until slightly crisped. Squeeze remaining lemon half over fish flesh. Carefully turn fish, flesh side down, and cook about 3 minutes, or until opaque throughout. Fold leeks and garlic over the top of fish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with additional slices of lemon and microgreens, if desired.



Optional substitute: Rendered Salt Pork is a tasty substitute for olive oil. Chop a slab of salt pork to yield about 1/4 cup. Over medium heat, brown salt pork until golden and crispy. Remove from pan, and adding oil if/as necessary to yield 1 tablespoon fat, continue with recipe, above.

Serving suggestion: Serve atop a bed of sautéed broccoli raab, seasoned with garlic, lemon & ginger. (Watch for the recipe this week on Notes from Maggie's Farm.)

If you're fortunate to live in our fair city, please stop by the markets! I'll be demonstrating how to utilize the Season's Best meat, seafood, vegetables and other products next on April 7, 2018 at the TFM Lakeline, and April 8, 2018 at TFM Mueller. Stop by the chef demo tent and let's get FRESH.

Disclosure required by law: I am employed by contract as market chef by the Texas Farmers' Markets. Most vendors provide products for sampling free of charge for chef demos. The selections, opinions, and endorsements for my own recipes are my own. 

Farmers Market Favorite | Fresh Pork Sausage & Smothered Greens 2 Ways | Market Chef Maggie Perkins


We celebrated St Patrick's Day at the markets this weekend and found it so easy to do since everything is SO SPRING GREEN right now in farmers' stalls. Whether or not the weather gets the memo, Mother Nature has let us know with no lack of certainty that spring has sprung in the farms and fields of Central Texas.

If it's still a bit blustery in your neck of the woods, let us be encouragers down south, and see what promises to show up at your seasonal markets within weeks.

Below, find the farmers and vendors of the Texas Farmers' Markets produce and products, however if you're not lucky enough to live in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas, no worries. Let this serve as a guideline to find producers in your area, or perhaps follow the links to find mail order options.

If you do live close, stop by the markets' chef demos next weekend, March 24 and 25, and let's dish about the best, most delicious way to prepare the seasonal ingredients you'll find gracing your market basket.

At the Lakeline market on Saturday, St. Patrick's Day informed my choices, and I was instantly inspired by a beautiful head of cabbage from Flintrock Hill Farm. I stopped by Smith & Smith Farms who were serving 2 lines of loyal customers 5 people deep, and eagerly accepted the fresh pork sausage with cabbage they suggested, just after I stopped to chat with the charming Gray Gardens' farmer, gathering the prettiest purple-bulbed scallions and fresh, sweet bagged spinach. I petted pups, smelled flowers, hugged farmers, admired eggs and jewelry and tried on natural lip gloss on the way back to the Sample the Market tent, where I borrowed Pogue Mahone's stone ground mustard and Round Rock Honey's bourbon reserve honey right off of the table. Just as I pondered how I'd season my bounty, the youngest Hill Country Salts salesman stopped by to issue an invitation. "Mom says come pick out a salt," an offer I'd never refuse! Chefs and cooks everywhere need to know about these spice and wine-infused salts, and I chose the Bavarian flavors of their Gerwurzsalz for the day's dish.

Morning was a'wasting so it was time to get down to business......


(Pork &) Cabbage on Cabbage
Serves 4

1 package Smith & Smith Farms fresh Pork & Cabbage sausage
2 tablespoons water, or beer if desired
1 bunch Gray Gardens scallions, sliced
1 tablespoon Pogue Mahone stone ground Dill Pickle mustard
1 tablespoon Round Rock Honey, Reserve Bourbon Barrel honey
2 tablespoons water, or beer if desired
1 head Flintrock Hill Farm cabbage, shredded
1 bag Gray Gardens fresh spinach, roughly chopped
Hill Country Salt Gerwurzsalz seasoning salt, to taste


In a skillet over medium heat, cook sausages, turning to brown on all sides. Add water as necessary to avoid sticking. Remove from skillet and reserve.

Add scallions to pan, sauteing until limp. Stir in mustard and honey, mixing well. Add cabbage and spinach, folding to coat with dressing. Add water, or beer if using. Cook down, covering greens are wilted below surface of the skillet. Steam until fully limp.

Nestle sausages into greens. Cover and steam until sausages have warmed. Serve.

The following market day at TFM Mueller, I adjusted the recipe to reflect the vendor product and farmer produce available on Sunday.


Fresh Pork Links & Smothered Collard Greens
Serves 4

The following market day at TFM Mueller, I adjusted the recipe to reflect the vendor product and farmer produce available on Sunday.

1 package Smith & Smith Farms fresh Pork & Cabbage sausage
2 tablespoons SoCo Ginger Beer, original
1 bunch Gray Gardens scallions, sliced
1 bunch Gray Gardens young garlic, greens minced (whites reserved for another use)
2 bunches JBG Organic young collard greens, sliced
1 bag Gray Gardens baby spinach
1/8 cup SoCo Ginger Beer, original
Hill Country Salt Midori Fi seasoning salt, to taste
Byccombe Farm arugula lettuce flowers, to garnish

In a skillet over medium heat, cook sausages, turning to brown on all sides. Add ginger beer as necessary to avoid sticking. Remove from skillet and reserve.

Add scallions and young garlic greens to pan. Saute in sausage drippings until limp. Add collard greens, spinach and ginger beer to pan. Stirring occasionally, allow greens to become tender and limp. Season to taste with seasoning salt. Return sausage and nestle into greens, reduce heat to low and cover. Heat until warmed through. Garnish with arugula flowers.


Not just for St. Patrick's Day, my healthy eating goal is to keep it green every day of the week. While some greens like kale and chard are available year-round in most temperate climates, be certain to take advantage of the cooler temps of Spring, before it gets too blazing hot (!), to eat collard greens, mustard greens, cabbages and lettuces while they are crisp and sweet and their herbal-ly best. As soon as temps start climbing, you'll find field grown greens become bitter, and bolt, going to seed to start the cycle a'new.


To learn more about the vegetables in season and the best way to prepare them, check out my monthly guide, The Seasonal Plate | March, and come on out to the Texas Farmers' Markets next weekend, March 24 & 25, for a taste of the best the month has to offer.
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