As usual, this time of year I am obsessively shopping the farmers markets and filling my fridge with fresh goodies.
Although I have a great garden, brimming with lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, strawberries, and soon, raspberries and peas, I am still supplementing regularly with weekly trips to the People’s Market at Snow King and the Saturday market on the Town Square.
I love the new location of Wednesday’s People’s Market since it is so near my home. Because it is in the afternoon, you can grab a beer, snack on some homemade hummus, and maybe even bring home noodles for dinner from the Momo Shack.
But it is Saturdays where I do most of my damage. I like to get there early (exactly at 8 a.m. before the crowds). Though I would prefer to ride my bike, I often take my car instead so I can drag the heavy load home. Last week, I left with two dozen ears of corn, five pounds of shelling peas, some interesting jam, bread, cheese, onions, garlic, radish shoots and cherries.
I then went back, this time on my bike, for a freshly roasted ear of corn to eat for lunch and a few other snacks. Access to all this good food is my idea of heaven. But, it is important that you use the produce in a timely manner and make sure nothing goes to waste.
I often put portions away in the freezer. Last week I filled a zip lock bag with freshly shelled peas and corn, cut off the cob. I also made a pickled corn relish that I used in tacos one night.
I used peas in a fresh salad and made cream corn one night, along with roasted potatoes. I like to eat like that, and the veggies were enough for me, but if you preferred, the meal could go along with some sort of grilled meat.
To go along with the veggie feast, my mother had made roasted onions. She used to do this a lot, but I had sort of forgotten about this childhood treat.
The onions at the markets right now are huge and perfectly fresh. They are firm, and the flavor is not too sharp, either. Just right for roasted onions.
Making roasted onions is easy, and you wouldn’t believe how sweet they get. There are so many ways you could use these it is hard for me to narrow it down and list, but I will give you a few ideas: on top of anything grilled, added to a salad, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and pine nuts served with a green salad, chopped and served as something to top fresh bread.
This night we just had them added to our veggie plate. I ate them with the potatoes and salad, and I loved how the warm, sweet onions livened up the meal. If you are a meat lover, they would be amazing with a steak and potatoes.
The onions can be reheated and served again the next day if you don’t finish them all. They would work well as a sandwich topping too.
Recipe: Baked Onions
- 4 large, farmers market onions (red, white or both)
- 1 stick of butter
- salt and pepper
- aluminum foil
- Trim the outer layers of the onions and cut off the top. Make sure the bottom root has no remaining dirt.
- Score the onion into four large pieces, making sure you don’t cut all the way through but that you get almost to the bottom. Place about two tablespoons of butter in the middle of the onion and between the slices, and salt and pepper the onion generously.
- Wrap the onion in loosely domed aluminum foil, sealing the top but leaving room for a little bit of air. Place in a baking sheet and into a preheated 350 F oven.
- Bake for about an hour or until the onions are soft and completely cooked through. Unwrap, let cool for a few minutes and enjoy.
Preparation time: 1 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4