Brookside Farmers' Market

I visited the Brookside Farmers' Market in Kansas City, MO for the first time in June of 2016.  I had been shopping at farmers' markets during the growing season for most of my adult life...but there was just something very special about this market...I was completely drawn in.   The market is all local (everything comes from within 100 miles), all organic, and vendor run.  You are not allowed to set up a stall if you are not the grower....  I love this.  It is a pleasure and privilege to be able to talk to the people who actually grow the food.  If you live in the Kansas City Metropolitan area and you have never visited Brookside Farmers' Market, you should make it a point to do so.  I predict you will return again and again.  

I am excited to say that I am now the official market chef for this amazing market.  During the growing season I will be developing recipes using produce from the market.  I will post these recipes here on my blog.  Additionally, all of the recipes I develop for the Brookside Farmers' Market will be cataloged here on this separate page.  Along with the links to the recipes, I will include a short note about the vendor who grew the featured ingredients so that local market shoppers will be able to use the same ingredients should they wish.      

Late May 2017--Kale, Young Carrots, Green Garlic & Spring a Savory Grain Pilaf

Last spring I posted a recipe for a spring freekeh pilaf featuring kale and peas. (If you've never cooked with freekeh, check out my intro post from a few years ago.)  When I posted the recipe I emphasized that it was really just a template for making a pilaf with whatever you had on hand or or had brought home from the market.  Recipes like this are foundational for cooking locally and seasonally.  I reemphasized this point when I posted the same recipe again in the fall with a whole other palate of flavors and ingredients--the constant between the two versions being the style of the pilaf  and the Red Russian kale. 

One of my favorite items to get from the local markets is Red Russian Kale.  (It is easier to clean than curly kale...and I find it to be a bit more tender than Tuscan kale--although I use Red Russian and Tuscan interchangeably in most recipes.)  When I think of Stony Crest Urban Farm's stall at the Brookside market, one of the things I think of is a beautiful display of greens--lettuces, spinach, chard, collards...and kale of all kinds.  I have to stand and think carefully about what to buy because I would like to buy them all...but I know we would never be able to eat so much in a week.  I usually get at least one bunch of chard or kale.  Both are excellent in pilafs and grain bowls.

Besides greens, Stony Crest has had beautiful young carrots for several weeks now.  I posted a recipe using their carrots (along with the tops!) a couple of weeks ago.  I thought their carrots would be pretty fine in my spring freekeh pilaf in place of the peas...and they were.  I have posted the details of my early spring variation at the bottom of last year's post.

A Freekeh Pilaf for Early Spring


May 2017--Asparagus, Green Garlic & Spring a Pizza

I have not been officially introduced to many of the growers at the market yet (I've only interacted with them up to this point as an avid shopper!), so I don't have a lot of background information on many of them to share.  But I can tell you that they all produce beautiful and amazing food.  And as the season progresses and I get to know each of the growers better, I will, I hope, be able to tell a little bit more about each of them when I post recipes that use their produce. 

The asparagus in this pizza was purchased from Brooke & Dan of Urbavore Urban Farm (located in the urban core of Kansas City, MO).  I have been purchasing local asparagus during asparagus season for more years than I can account for...but I have never found any asparagus quite like theirs.  I have always preferred medium (1/2-inch thick or so) spears of asparagus (and they grow varieties of this size—it's what I used in the pizza)—but they also grow big, fat, beefy spears of not only green, but also purple asparagus.  I am in love.  They grow green garlic too...but the green garlic (and the spring onions) that I used in the pizza recipe came from Ki Koko Farms in Kansas City, Kansas.  In addition to a gorgeous array of spring onions (in a wide variety of sizes) and garlic, you will also find beautifully pristine and perky herbs and greens at their stall right now.  

Pizza with Green Garlic Cream, Asparagus & Mushrooms


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