Farmers Market Corner for 6/25/16

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Union Station Farmers Market

If you’re Denverite, or a Boulderite spending time in Denver, we invite you to stop by the Union Station Farmers Market.

The Denver market is located at the Union Station transportation hub in downtown Denver, 1701 Wynkoop street.  It will take place every Saturday from 9am to 2pm through Oct. 22nd.

Black Cat Farm market produce

 The Black Cat Farm booths at the Boulder and Denver markets will include the following produce on June 25, 2016:
  • Artichokes (Boulder only)
  • Beet greens
  • Beets (CSA only)
  • Broccoli (Boulder only)
  • Cardoons
  • Collard greens, Asian
  • Edible flowers (arugula, Chinese broccoli, mustard greens)
  • Fennel (CSA only)
  • Kale
  • Lettuce mix (Boulder only)
  • Mizuna
  • Peas, sugar snap (Boulder only)
  • Purslane
  • Spicy greens mix

Cornbread mix made with Black Cat Farm polenta, breakfast sausage, chorizo, and pork cuts will also be available at both markets.

Prepared food

We will also offer the following Black Cat Bistro frozen cooked dishes made with Black Cat Farm heritage pork:

  • Bacon marmalade: Our plum wood-smoked Mulefoot bacon cooked with shallots, sherry vinegar, brown sugar and spices.
  • Black pudding: A traditional sausage that uses blood, onion, garlic, egg and spices. Eric altered it from the norm by adding cherries poached in red wine to make it more approachable.
  • Bolognese sauce: Classic Italian meat-based sauce  originating from the city of Bologna, Italy. Often served with pasta.
  • Porchetta di testa: A traditional Italian salumi made from the meat from a pig’s head. It is brined, then spiced and rolled followed by a long poaching. Shaved paper thin, it is a delight.

Cardoons!

We usually just have cardoons in the fall. This year, we will have some cardoons at the market that overwintered. The word is that these specimens are impressively large, even huge. We have also planted a new crop for the fall.  If you are unfamiliar with cooking with cardoons,

The cardoons, the spiky cousins of artichokes, is also known as the artichoke thistle, cardone, cardoni, carduni, and Cardi. It is the uncultivated or wild variety of the same species as the globe artichoke. Unlike artichokes, where the flower and stems are edible, the long and spiny stalks of the cardoon plant are edible. You must prepare the stalks before you can eat or cook with them.

After you prepare them for use, you can treat them the same way that you do artichokes. Think cardoon dip, cardoon gratin, martinated cardoons.

To prepare cardoon stalks

Caution: Be careful how you handle the stalks. Avoid clutching the spiny sides.

1) Wash the cardoon stalks.

2) Use a paring knife to slice away the spiny sides of the stalks.

3) Use a vegetable peeler to remove the ribs. Rub a cut lemon over the cardoon surface to prevent it from browning.

4) Chop the stalks into pieces that you will fit into the pot that you will be using to boil the stalks.

5) Add water as well as a large squeeze of lemon juice and some salt into a pot. Place the pot on a burner and set the heat to high.

6) When the water is boiling, add the cardoon pieces.

7) When the pieces are tender (about an hour), turn off the heat and drain the cardoon pieces.

The cardoons are now ready for use. You can store the pieces in a container in the refrigerator for a week, or possibly longer.