Green City Market – 6/16 Visit
|June 18, 2012||Posted by jcogswell1 under Breakfast/Brunch, Chicago Young Foodie Spots|
One of my favorite parts of summer time is the abundance of farmers’ markets in Chicago. You can find a local farmers market almost every single day of the week full of farmers who bring their produce in from Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa and southern Illinois.
Fresh Butter Lettuce
While I like to visit a few different markets, my absolute favorite is one located on Lincoln and Clark street called Green City Market. Green City Market is unique because of its emphasis on sustainability and organic produce.
Red, Pink and French Breakfast Radishes
I love that I don’t have to search for vendors that utilize no spray or organic practices because this is requirement for being part of Green City.
Red and Purple Beats
I also find the prices to be so reasonable for local (as local as you can get!) and organic produce.
As the label says – Fresh Michigan Strawberries
In addition to seasonal produce, there are many vendors who offer pastries, cheese, meat, eggs, fish and flowers.
Peonies that were $5 dollar a flower. As much as I wanted them, I couldn’t justify it!
One of my favorite stands incorporates produce that they have purchased that day into made-to-order crepes – another post on that!
I have been known to go way overboard at the farmers’ market. Sometimes there are just too many amazing looking goodies not to buy a little of everything. That definitely happened during my trip this weekend after a two week hiatus from visiting. In addition to the pictures I have included above, some of the other highlights included:
Tomatoes – $4 a pound, but well worth it
White, Orange, Purple and Red Beets
Raspberries, Sweet and Tart Cherries
These were among the various beautiful offerings from the farmers. I was very excited to incorporate many of them into my meals for the following week. The whole spread I purchased looked like this:
In total I purchased:
- Yellow beets (these were enormous and had a huge bunch of beet greens attached to them which is such an added bonus – all for $3. You can use beet greens like you would any dark leafy green.);
- Colored beets;
- Pink radishes (if you have only tried the red ones, try and venture out to the pink ones, I think they have a little bit more spiciness to them);
- Squash blossoms;
- Red swiss chard;
- Cheese curds;
- Red and green head lettuce;
- Tart cherries;
- Mixed mushrooms – oyster, shitake and porcini;
- Pre-shelled English peas.
While I wanted to incorporate all of this produce into breakfast, snacks, lunches and dinners, I also wanted to systematically meal plan so that these would be the basis for my dinners in the following weeks.
Here is what I came up with:
1. Pappardelle pasta with mushrooms, English peas and beet greens in a truffle butter sauce served with caprese salad to start;
2. Ricotta stuffed fried squash blossoms with fresh tomato sauce;
3. Fish, sweet potatoes and sautéed swiss chard;
4. Salad with roasted beets and goat cheese served with sautéed pepper pasta;
Although I was excited to make all these dinners, I also wanted to get started cooking with my new food goodies. I decided to incorporate the cheese curds, mushrooms, beet greens and basil into an omelet for my Saturday morning breakfast.
Wild Mushrooms, Beet Greens and Cheese Curd stuffed Basil Flavored Omelet – Serves 2
I made one giant omelet for Kate and me. It was a great Saturday morning brunch item. I used some full eggs and some egg whites only. Don’t worry if the omelet doesn’t fold perfectly – mine hardly ever do – you can always turn this into a scramble. Even if it doesn’t look as pretty, it will taste just as delicious.
- 3 egg whites and 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup basil, sliced
- 1 cup beet greens, sliced
- 6-8 mushrooms, sliced
- 1/3 cup cheese of choice, shredded or chopped
- S + P to taste
Heat a nonstick pan, sprayed with cooking oil, over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes. Add salt and pepper towards end of cooking process. Salt can tend to make mushrooms spongy if added too early in the cooking process.
Remove mushrooms from pan. Spray with cooking oil again and added sliced beet greens. Cook for 2-3 minutes until green are slightly wilted. Remove from pan and add to plate with pre-cooked mushrooms. Chop or shred cheese and add to plate as well.
Re-heat pan and spray with cooking spray. While pan heats, crack eggs into large bowl, add salt and pepper and whisk for one to two minutes to add volume to eggs. Add chopped basil.
Add eggs mixture to pan and move eggs around for 1 minute.
Cover pan with lid and cook on low heat for 5-6 minutes until the bottom is set and the top of eggs are just barely runny. Add beet greens, mushrooms and cheese to one half of the omelet.
Flip the other side of the omelet onto the ingredients and cook for 2 minutes until cheese is melted. Slide omelet onto plate or cutting board.
Cut omelet into two and serve with toast, fresh fruit and some iced coffee.
This was the perfect summer breakfast and was consumed in short order because I couldn’t seem to get enough of all the fresh produce tastes.