farmers' market eating

One of the things I was most excited about when we moved to the metro Detroit area was Eastern Market. I had been there many times before with Vintage Blonde, and I remember being so thrilled after every visit. It truly is a remarkable version of a farmers' market, situated in a unique surround of restaurants and small businesses.

And yet we ended up being pretty lazy about visiting since we moved here, especially considering how relatively close it is to our apartment and so very easy to get to. Thankfully, we finally fixed that earlier this summer; and yum, did we do it well! In fact, we enjoyed our purchases so much that we decided to sign up for a CSA share. And so, in preparation for my upcoming looks at our weekly farm bags, I thought I'd look back at the tasty dishes for which we used the bounty from our last trip to the market:

First to be used was this delicious, fresh buttermilk blue cheese that we purchased from Zingerman's. It was creamy and tangy and just right as a topping on a big chef salad with slices of toasted sourdough from the bakery down the street.

The wedge of blue cheese was large enough for us to use it in a second dish, along with one of the red bell peppers we picked up at a veggie stall. This isn't something we make often, since the steaks are a bit on the indulgent side for our budget; but the balsamic reduction, sauteed red peppers and blue cheese make for a rich blend of flavors that is worth the indulgence from time to time (especially with fresh ingredients).

One of my favorite purchases at farmers' markets during the summer is fresh corn on the cob...the kind you have to shuck before you cook it. It made a perfect side for shredded chicken barbeque and a large scoop of potato salad. (And yes - I have to acknowledge that, as much as we enjoy fresh foods, we do use store-bought shortcuts, especially when it comes to potatoes - be they mashed or in salad.)

With the extra corn, I made an earthy brown-butter corn pasta that I topped with leftover baked chicken. It was a really nice lunch to enjoy outside on the lawn on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Another awesome discovery was Corridor Sausage Company. (That's one of their tasting boards in the photo at the top.) With such a variety of flavors available, we had a difficult time choosing; but eventually, we selected the Apple, Sage & Pork sausage; and it was a perfect pairing with some simple roasted sweet potatoes. As much as I love sausage, I've really struggled with the list of ingredients in most brands available at the grocery store. To find this local company felt like a real score.

Last on the list of delicious meals was a big tray of chicken fajitas - that I was so ready to eat I forgot to take pictures of the final product. However, I will say that these fajitas had never tasted better as they did with fresh bell peppers.

Here's to a summer of fresh eating!


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