Check out this handy tool – the Charlotte Observer just published an interactive map of the farmer’s markets in the Charlotte area. The map includes hours of operation, directions and other details like the market’s website URL.
Why don’t you head out to your closest farmer’s market this weekend and pick up something fresh to make for dinner? Here’s a Fresh Focus recipe to inspire you. It’s something I made up for a brunch a couple of weeks ago, and I liked it so much that I made it again this week as a side dish. It makes for a pretty presentation. I’m partial to viola tricolor, but you can use nasturtium or calendula, as well.
Recipe: Pea Salad with Goat Cheese
- 1 1/2 lbs. sugar snap peas, snow peas, or a combination of both – I got mine from Fisher Farms
- ice water
- 1 spring onion, chopped on a diagonal – I grow my own from onion sets at Renfrow Hardware, but you can get them at local markets
- 1 lemon – separate zest and juice
- 8 mint leaves, sliced chiffonade
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs dijon mustard
- salt & pepper
- 2 oz. goat cheese – try my local favorite Bosky Acres
- 18 viola tricolor (heartsease) or other edible flowers – I grow my own; try Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Wash the peas; snap the ends and pull the strings off, if necessary. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain peas and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Add more ice if necessary, until the ice stops melting.
Make the dijon vinagrette by putting the dijon mustard in a small bowl and adding a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice and whisk to combine. Whisk in the olive oil until everything emulsifies and combines into a light vinagrette.
Drain the cooled peas, pat dry and place in a medium bowl. Add spring onions, lemon zest and mint. Pour in 1/4 to 1/3 C vinagrette. Toss to coat. Transfer mixture to serving dish.
Garnish with crumbled goat cheese and edible flowers. Serve within 20-30 mins.
Note: Be careful not to dress this dish with vinagrette too early before serving. The peas can turn from their bright green color to yellow-ish brown. If transporting to a friend’s house, bring the components with you and toss the salad on site.
(Sorry, the first version of this post accidentally left out the mint. But it is optional if you don’t like mint.)