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12 May 2007

the offerings of spring

the fresh offerings of spring

When I woke up this morning, I saw the sunlight shine on the Chef's closed eyes for a moment. When the warmth on his eyelids woke him up, he turned toward me and kissed me. "I love you," he said, which are the first words he utters every day. And then he turned toward the windows and saw that blue-sky day outside.
"We get to go to the market today!"

Saturdays are special around here. It's a work day for both of us. He's cooking all day, and I'm writing and running errands for us. But now, Saturdays are back to spectacular, because the University District farmers' market is open for the spring season.

Early this afternoon, as we walked around, we sampled goat cheeses, ogled the fat jars of honey and fiddlehead ferns, and wondered if we should buy more tulips. I could have walked up to nearly every stand and said, "Yes, please!" (Not the one selling bread made of ancient emmer wheat, however.) Everything looked vibrant and alive.

This is my favorite way of shopping. A handful of radishes, a small bunch of fresh chives with the blossoms still on them, the first cilantro of the season, and a clutch of mizuna leaves. With that, and the ball of local goat cheese I bought from our favorite stand, we are going to have one kick-ass salad tonight.

Spring is clearly, definitively here. And these images are all I need to make me feel grateful.

Farmers' market salad

This is what we will be eating tonight, along with roasted pork belly and mashed potatoes. Of course, you should feel free to substitute any fresh vegetables and greens you have at hand. Try the ones you saw at the farmers' market this morning.

1 clutch of mizuna, shredded into bite-size pieces
1 handful baby arugula leaves
1/4 head radicchio, diced
10 baby carrots, peeled and diced
1 small bunch baby cilantro, chopped fine
1 small bunch fresh chives, minced
2 ounces local fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
chive flowers for garnish

Throw the mizuna, arugula, radicchio, carrots, cilantro, and chives into a large bowl. Mix. Dress with balsamic vinaigrette (see recipe below). Toss and taste, to make sure the salad tastes vibrant on your tongue. Portion out the salad. Top with the goat cheese, sunflower seeds, and chive flowers. Serve.

Feeds 2 people hungry for greens.

Balsamic vinaigrette

1/3 cup high-quality balsamic vinegar
1 medium shallot, fine diced
1/2 teaspoon each of kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Put the balsamic vinegar, shallot, salt, and pepper into your blender. Turn it on and let it whirl around. Slowly, add the canola oil to the mixture as the blender runs. Next, add the olive oil, as slowly as possible. You will hear the pitch of the blender drop when the vinaigrette has emulsified. Run for one minute more.

Makes enough for five salads.


At 5:36 PM, Blogger maddie said...

Your intro paragraph so reminded me of Bic Runga's lyrical "When I see you smile" ..."When I see you smile first thing in the morning, it raises curtains on my lazy eyes, Could it be that you and I have the greatest love to ever be - how could this have ever been before?" I wish I could attach this song for you - I think you'd love it. If you're ever thinking of buying some new music, I'd recommend this album by a beautiful New Zealand songstress. It'd be great for a wedding too ;-)

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

We just got home from the Ballard farmers market, our bag laden with eggs, cheese, asparagus, rhubarb... Have I told you that new Queen Anne farmers market opens on June 28?

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Girl Upstairs said...

I've been meaning to mention that the latest issue of Delicious magazine (May) here in the UK is all about Italy and good food! Of course, they are not worried about gluten free, but there is a host of great stuff in it. Don't know if you have access to it in the US. But it is a really nice magazine with great articles. And a friend of mine was recently in Italy on vacation and said that all the restaurants that she went to were lovely when they realized that she couldn't eat gluten. She ate quite a few risottos, but was so happy that people were friendly and accommodating that she didn't mind!

At 3:47 PM, Blogger Chrissy said...

I second that comment, the whole album is awesome, definitely worth buying :)

I also love your blog i just need to find the flours, as my dad has coeliac and i would love to make him some of your recipes.

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Mardel said...

I love your posts and reading your blog although I have been remiss about writing. Reading your writing made me try baking again after I had given up on gluten free baking, and the joy in what you do comes through each post. I have always loved food and loved cooking and you helped me through a rather sad period where I was ready to give up on all of it. Keep up the joy.

Our own farmer's market just opened for the season today and I know it heralds six months of pure joy for me.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Karianne said...


I just nominated you for a Thinking Blogger Award in my latest post!


At 4:47 AM, Blogger T.M.K. said...

such lovely images.

At 1:02 PM, Blogger David said...

I love radishes!

In fact, I ate two bunches tonight (although my tummy's rebelling...they sure were good!)

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Mystic Indigo said...

You have one of the most beautiful food blogs I have ever seen...wonderful writing, pics and love you commentary on your once in a lifetime romance...

At 6:49 PM, Blogger Shauna said...


Thank you for the recommendation! I’ve never heard of Bic Runga, but now I have to try to find her. And as for the wedding, well we already have a crazy, eclectic mix. Why not add one more to the fray?


Oh the Ballard farmer’s market! And the Queen Anne one opens soon! I’ll definitely meet you there, my dear.

Girl Upstairs,

I don’t see Olive here very often, but now I’m going to go seek it out. I’ll have to do an update on the honeymoon soon, but it’s all going swimmingly. In fact, I think we have it all planned, and I want to swoon with the joy of it. I think eating will be fairly easy. And I’ll be sure to report on it afterwards.


The flours should be available. They are reaching wider audiences every day. Please tell your dad I said Good Eating!


Thank you. I am so glad that I could inspire you to bake again. It’s a joy I wouldn’t want anyone to miss. And the farmers’ markets! May really is the beginning of the year.


Thank you so much! I’m honored.

Tiffany et al,

Thank you. I was tempted to post them without any words. But I just couldn’t resist.


I adore radishes as well. I just can’t eat enough of them. Well, apparently you have, for the moment!


Thank you. That means a lot to me.

At 7:18 PM, Blogger Karen said...

I am so glad I found your blog! It helps me get excited for opening of the market close to my home. I am a fellow gluten free bogger,and look forward to reading more of your posts on the future.


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