Many regulars treat their trips to the twice-weekly Saratoga Farmers’ Market as opportunities to stock up on provisions for the week.
But going to the market also can be an opportunity to discover something new – an unusual fruit, an heirloom vegetable, a different kind of homemade sauce. To bring out that adventurous spirit, we asked our summer interns, Laura Kenny and Elizabeth Horgan, to explore the market and share their favorite finds. Here’s a short list of what they came up with:
1/ Lovage. Its flavor and smell can be described as a mix of celery and parsley, but with a higher intensity of both of those flavors. This herb is delicious in salads and soups. Find it at Otrembiak Farm.
2/ Lions Mane. This poofy mushroom sold by Mariaville Mushroom Men and Ramble Creek Farm is often equated to a steak or a lobster. Slice it thinly, cook it in a hot, unoiled saucepan for 3-4 minutes. Then add oil and seasonings of your choice. Turn off the heat and let it rest. It will taste a little like steak or lobster.
3/ Garlic Scapes. These green curlicues are the flower of the garlic. Farmers cut them off to help their garlic grow and invite you to enjoy them as a vegetable or meat seasoning, atop pizzas, in pasta sauces, pickled, or stir-fried.
4/ Celtuce. This Asian green is harvested usually in late summer for its stem. Its young leaves, however, also are delicious in a quick stir fry with oil, red pepper, and peanuts. Find the leaves at Squashville Farm.
5/ Salsa Gardens. If all the fresh food makes you want to grow your own, check out the salsa and pizza “gardens” that Balet and Burger nurseries offer. All you need in a single pot.
6/ Kettle Corn. The Proper Popper turns this fair-like treat into a weekly market affair. Find them Saturdays with the other prepared food vendors.
7/ Chickpea cheese dip. Vital Eats offers its So-Cheezy and Zesty-Cheezy vegan condiments on Saturdays. These flavorful sauces are nut, soy, and dairy free. Chickpeas and vegetables pack creamy, tangy flavor that’s full of antioxidants, and protein.
8/ Scallop squash. We often think of patty pan squash as small and yellow. But it can be big and multi-colored, as many vendor stalls attest. Small to medium scallop squash can be treated like zucchini. The skin is thin and the seeds are small enough you can slice and cook however you would like. You can pickle, saute, grill, or even bake this squash. Larger pattypan squash needs a little extra TLC, but they are the ultimate vessel for stuffing and baking.
9/ Spatzle. The Vermont Spatzle Co. offers a gluten-free version of this German specialty on Saturdays. Ask them for their list of recipes.
10/ And for that newborn, check out the hand-painted onesies at the Feathered Antler.
Of course, the interns made many more discoveries. We invite you to join them and explore.