This Week at the Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

Keith & Nealy Frentz displaying the Lola Deux Food Truck
Keith & Nealy Frentz displaying the Lola Deux Food Truck

Hi, friends and Happy Wednesday!
It looks like another fine day at the market today. So grab your friends and head on over for a fabulous lunch! Hot tamales, traditional egg rolls, smoked chicken salad, crispy raw salad with a cool refreshing soup, freshly picked veggies, peanut brittle, banana nut bread, homemade granola – it is market day, after all. Get out and enjoy a glorious afternoon with us.
The music has been truly wonderful at the market over the past few weeks and this Saturday will be no different with Joe and Julie Manuel in the gazebo! So grab a delicious cup of coffee and mosey on over to the Lola Deux Food Truck to see what incredible morsel they’ve prepared for us this week. You may as well get some Parmesan White Truffle French Fries while you’re there; if not, you know you’ll be back later.
Last Saturday, Serapil (Nur’s Kitchen) showed me the eggplant that she had purchased. She said she would fry them and dip them in a yogurt sauce. I supposed my face showed my astonishment (Turkish people fry foods???) because she laughed, then elaborated. She said she loosely peels the slender Japanese eggplant and slices them into thirds lengthwise. You can do the same with zucchini, bell pepper (no need to peel), and yellow squash. Deep fry in hot oil very quickly – just about two minutes – drain them on paper towels and season with salt and black pepper. Place the slices overlapping each other onto a plate alternating eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper…you get the idea. Then simply dollop a spoon or two of Nur’s Tatziki on top or make your own sauce by smashing several garlic cloves with a little salt until you make sort of a paste and combine with Mauthe’s yogurt. How easy is that?!
At this moment my table is adorned with a vase of bright yellow marigolds I bought from Nancy about 10 days ago. I can’t believe they’re still smiling and happy and spilling sunshine all over my kitchen. Who knew they’d last so long! With all that sunshine spilling over from Nancy’s flowers, it’s no wonder that John’s garden is overflowing with tat soi, bok choy, kale, mustards, arugula and lettuce. In fact it seems to have spread through all the market gardens bringing bell peppers, kale, collards, Asian greens, sweet potatoes, okra and even zucchini and yellow squash.  If you’re lucky, you’ll find a few persimmons as well.
Lettuce, arugula, Asian greens, green onions, peppers, all spell one thing – SALAD! What would a great salad be without sprouts? That’s right, you guessed it, sprouts have returned to the market! Sam (Sprout Station) had an assorted box of clover, radish, chia and broccoli sprouts. He won’t have that blend again for a couple of weeks but the selection next week will include green peas, chickpeas, red & green lentils, adzuki and mung beans. So happy, so healthy, so perfectly Farmers’ Market.
Now you’ll need to dress that salad with something special, such as one of Jennifer’s basil vinaigrettes – tomato, raspberry, Thai, red pepper… simply bursting with flavor. Believe it or not, jelly also makes a wonderful vinaigrette – a couple of tbsp of jelly, 2 tbsp of vinegar, 2 tbsp of light olive oil (one of Nuccio’s are sure to go nicely) and a dash of Dijon mustard, whip it together and Voila! Althee has some incredibly unique flavors to try, such as quince, grapefruit marmalade, tomato (yes! Tomato jelly, you have to try it!) and Robin’s fabulous pepper jellies include blackberry, pineapple rum, cabernet… Top that with roasted chicken breast or boiled shrimp, add one of Southy’s tasty soups, and you have a meal. Is it just me or is the promise of tremendous taste tempting you as well?
Don’t forget Gina’s famous Bechac’s Bleu Cheese or Roasted Garlic Tomato dressings or Honey Creole Vinaigrette. Her inventive customers have used the Roasted Garlic Tomato as a remoulade sauce for shrimp (Mr. Two has those whoppin’ fat ones) or grilled veggies, and the Honey Creole for chicken. Just coat your chicken pieces in the dressing, then roll in bread crumbs and bake! I know…my mouth is watering, too. Finish your meal with a Windowsill Pie and sit back – full and satisfied.
The end of October is quickly approaching and Greg Miller has gorgeous plump pumpkins to fill your fall needs. You’ll find honey on his table as well, the perfect accompaniment to warm sliced bread (7Grain, Windfield Farms). The best part is you don’t have to go far. We’re right up the road so don’t be a stranger!
Lots of love,
Charlene LeJeune
Abundant Life Kitchen

The Covington Farmers’ Market is open each Wednesday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire and every Saturday from 8a.m. to 12p.m. on the side lawn of the Covington Police Station, 609 N. Columbia St. Call (985) 892-1873 for information or visit