I went to my local farmers market a little before 10 last Saturday morning, and, much to my disappointment, most of the fresh-picked goods were gone.
Normally the tables don't clear until close to closing time, but, after a few folks walked by wearing numbers on their shirts, I realized what happened: A race full of runners had come by and snapped up all the fruits and vegetables. The nerve!
Honestly, I was excited to see so many people had shopped at the market. The more we support our markets, the more they can serve us. It’s a simple example of economics at its most basic.
I was triumphant, however, in nabbing the last two pints of strawberries for the day (I lurked behind a customer praying she wouldn't buy them all). Thankfully there will be more available on the next market day. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, strawberries are my favorite, and they are irresistibly sweet this year!
For those of you who may have given up desserts for Lent, this sweet Strawberry Mint Salad will help ease your cravings. I used a few precious orbs of citrus I had left in the fridge to add a tart twist. Mixed with cool mint and silky honey, a cup of this light salad is just perfect for an after-dinner treat.
Today's column also features a recipe for Garlic Shrimp Pasta, which made a wonderful Sunday supper. The large, Gulf shrimp are sautéed in a light oil and butter sauce, then I added some fresh cherry tomatoes and flat-leaf parsley to give the dish color and depth. You’ll want to put this very quick and simple dish in your meal rotation for busy weeknights or Fridays during Lent.
So, while a few tables emptied sooner than usual at the farmers market, I take it as a sign that the market is healthy and will be there when I come back. Maybe a little earlier next time.