Up here in the mountains, we don’t have year-round farmers markets like our brethren in the lower altitudes (as a friend on Facebook reminded me last week). Our local purveyors, including the only health food store in South Lake Tahoe, handily located next to my office, and the larger supermarket chains, do have a reasonable selection of organic, seasonal produce. So we’re not exactly forced to suffer through a winter of cabbage and squash.
However, when June arrives and the hardiest of vendors appear at the first farmers market in South Lake Tahoe, it’s a hopeful sign of good food to come.
Inspired by Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I’ve tried to keep to seasonal organic produce the past year. As I have a black thumb and am unable to grow anything other than weeds, I convinced Nils that we sign up for South Shore’s first CSA. That won’t begin until mid-month, so last week I foraged among the few vendors who showed up, and came away with succulently violet fat spring onions, beautiful Swiss chard and plump sweet peas. The sweet peas disappeared very quickly on their own, but the onions I grilled until sweet and added them to a millet dish that contained the chard and blue cheese. Colorful, simple and flavorful. A perfect beginning to our summer of local eating.