Please Pass the Mustard...

Mustard Greens and other cool season crops are in abundance at local farmers markets this month.

Mustard Greens and other cool season crops are in abundance at local farmers markets this month. by Linda Cottin

It’s officially fall and with fall comes the true bounty of the harvest. Storage crops and fresh winter greens are in abundance at your local farmers market. Chestnuts are not quite ready for roasting, but peppers are ripe and ready to be roasted. You will find Avery Lominska roasting peppers at both the Saturday morning Lawrence Downtown Farmers Market and at the Thursday Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market.

Avery Lominska roasting peppers at Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market.

Avery Lominska roasting peppers at Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market. by Linda Cottin

Even though a fair share of the country is still experiencing drought conditions, the past few rainfalls coupled with cooler temperatures have put area summer crops to rest and enticed leafy greens to practically pop out of the ground overnight. Chard, Kale, Arugula, and Mustard Greens are overflowing the farmer’s tables. Looking around at various market booths you will see a wide variety of mustard greens. Though common in Southern cuisine, mustard greens have yet to become a staple in the average American diet. For those liking pungent, peppery flavors the versatility of these seasonal greens is delightful.

Fresh, crisp mustard greens can be found in abundance at Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market.

Fresh, crisp mustard greens can be found in abundance at Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market. by Linda Cottin

Mustard greens are best – nutrient and flavor wise – when lightly sautéed in a small amount (5 or 6 tablespoons full) of vegetable or chicken broth. For a quick dish, separate the leaves from the stems. Chop the stems into bite size pieces and sauté them for a two minutes before adding the torn mustard leaves. Cover the pan and allow the greens to cook in the broth for 5 minutes. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and a dash of vinegar.

Great recipes for mustard greens can be found on various internet sites, including this one for garlicky mustard greens from Simply Recipes.

Great recipes for mustard greens can be found on various internet sites, including this one for garlicky mustard greens from Simply Recipes. by Linda Cottin

Add sautéed mustard greens to any pasta dish or add fresh greens to your tossed salad. If you are not a regular mustard green eater, you may want to start with smaller quantities, as the taste is robust and spicy. For a quick meal, make a mustard green frittata with this Food & Wine recipe from Gabe Thompson:

Mustard Green Frittata

1 large onion, diced

1-1/2 pounds mustard greens

16 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Separate stems from mustard leaves. Dice stems and set aside. Tear leaves into bite size pieces. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in an ovenproof skillet. Add onions and mustard stems. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add mustard greens and sauté until wilted. Stir egg mixture in with the sautéed greens. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about three minutes, lifting edges of the frittata to allow uncooked eggs to run beneath the cooked eggs. When the bottom is set, but the top is still runny, sprinkle with cheese and place skillet into pre-heated oven. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until frittata is set. Serve warm for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Scott Tichenor and Bill Crahan play regularly at Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market.

Scott Tichenor and Bill Crahan play regularly at Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market. by Linda Cottin

This week at Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market you will find lots of mustard greens, along with potatoes, squash, mushrooms, peppers, radishes, turnips and more. Mr. Bacon BBQ will be the hot food vendor, serving up pulled pork sandwiches, pig or chick pie and more. Scott Tichenor and Bill Crahan will provide the entertainment with their talented and enjoyable acoustic strumming on mandolin and guitar. There will also be a lemonade/bake sale booth to raise funds for juvenile diabetes.

Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market runs through the end of October in the back parking lot of Cottin's Hardware & Rental.

Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market runs through the end of October in the back parking lot of Cottin's Hardware & Rental. by Linda Cottin

Plan your day and join the fun at Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market this Thursday, October 4, 2012 from 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm. Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market is located in the back parking lot of Cottin’s Hardware & Rental, 1832 Massachusetts Street, Lawrence.

Winter squash, potatoes and peppers overflow Avery's Produce tables at Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market.

Winter squash, potatoes and peppers overflow Avery's Produce tables at Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market. by Linda Cottin

Tagged: Cottin's Hardware Farmers Market, Scott Tichenor, Bill Crahan, Mustard Greens, Mr. Bacon BBQ

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