Farmers Markets can be found in many places and in various sizes across the USA, but not all are created equal. My husband and I have been to a few, and in different states. I like to go and look at the local culture as well as taste local foods. My husband goes, because I want him to experience these things as well. The vote is still out on if he enjoys going or not. Either way, he does seem to enjoy the food we cook based on the things we find at the market.
Being from Kansas, the things we can find at local markets are limited in their uniqueness, but if we travel to a more “hipster” location such as Lawrence, Ks as we did today, we can find a better diversity and not just field corn and tomatoes.
As we wandered around the market, and I ate my Orange blossom Creme brulee from Torched Goodness (one of my favorite food trucks ever!!)
We contemplated what to have for dinner. Brandon had found a Salmon filet packaged in a pineapple sauce on a cedar plank at our local grocery store the week before, and he wanted to thaw that out and give it a try today. So it was up to me and the Lawrence farmers market to come up with a side that I would like, just incase I didn’t like salmon and needed to fill up on sides. Potatoes and corn are always a crowd pleaser and very filling, but I can make that from a grocery store and it will likely taste the same as home grown after I add all my cream, butter and salt to it. So in the light of eating healthier, we settled on a vegetable dish.
We wandered the market about 3 times around until we were set on an Idea. I had seen green beans at one booth, and my husband had spotted the booth with shiitake mushrooms, of course. So, garlic green beans with mushrooms, again? Fresh yes, but something I already make often, why? But then my husband remembered he saw a stand with something called, red yard long beans, or red noodle beans. We talked to the booth owner and she informed us they were like green beans, but they have more flavor and are a slightly different texture. We bought a bundle of beans, a bag of mushrooms and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and set off for home to make dinner in a few hours.
After a nap, some internet surfing, some outside play and an hour with the new kittens, it was finally time to make dinner. While Brandon was tending to the grill, and grilling the salmon, I made the side dish.
I chopped the shiitake mushrooms and the rosemary while 4 tablespoons of olive oil heated on the stove in a pan. Once heated, I added 2 tablespoons of minced garlic clove to the pan, until browned. I removed the cooked garlic from the pan and placed it to the side and added the mushrooms with rosemary.
While they cooked on low, I cut the beans into nice sizes and added them to the pan with a TBS of water and the garlic.
I placed a lid on the pan for 3 minutes to steam the beans.
After they were tender I tossed them in the pan and added salt and pepper to taste and then served them along side the salmon.
The whole side dish was better than I expected. The mushrooms were nutty and earthy, while the beans were crisp and clean tasting. The texture was different than a regular green bean, they were more crunchy and they were oddly squeaky when chewed, but overall tasty and the texture wasn’t off putting.
After our healthy dinner, we treated ourselves to a small piece of pumpkin spice coffee cake that I had made Thursday night for bible study.
I hope you are inspired to shop local and try something new! Once I can remember how I made the pumpkin spice coffee cake, I just might share it. I tend to make things with random handfuls of ingredients and then never write it down. Wish I would have with this one, It is so good!!