Sunday, July 13, 2014

Portland Farmer's Market: A Foodie's Happy Place

Take everything you've heard about the Portland Farmer's Market, dial it up a few notches, add some goat cheese and you will be close to imagining how great this farmer's market is.

This is the market for every kind of food lover. 10 kinds of fresh mushrooms - check. Organic beef - check. Fresh squash blossoms, ready to stuff - check.

We thought that it would be a fun place to meet up with Dan's cousin and family who live in the area and we ended up spending 3 hours walking around the market, eating, talking and catching up.  What a great way to spend a Saturday in June.
I took a million pictures and I'll highlight a few of my favorite ones together in this post.  The only photo I didn't get? A selfie with Martha Stewart.  No joke! She was in this farmer's market at the same time I was and I never saw her. I just kept hearing people talking about seeing her and showing me their pictures of her. When I tweeted that Martha was at the market too, my followers thought I was kidding. Nope, Martha and I run in the same circles. Ha!
It was the height of peony season and it was all I could do to walk past these pink puffs of delight.  I admired them for a while and got a dose of visual vitamins.  I wanted to buy a wagonful and pull them around all weekend - look at the shades of raspberry and pink!
Then I happened upon Verde Cocina's massive burners loaded with chickens, bacon and vegetables from the market.
I was lured their booth by the sight and scent of this gorgeous pile of fresh vegetables cooking on a giant griddle! I ordered the Buenos Dias breakfast for $10.  It has "Two eggs scrambled with veggies over white bean garbanzo mash, topped with more veggies, ranchero salsa and locally grown and smoked bacon with a homemade tortilla on the side." Un-be-lievable!  

My husband was one happy guy when I handed him our plate.  We shared it and then I realized that I hadn't snapped a photo to show you.  A kind patron let me photograph her plate - mine was similar, except imagine lots of browned pork belly bacon chunks instead of the braised pork. 
It was fresh, loaded with flavor and absolutely wonderful.  I kept thinking "how did they do this?" as I devoured spoonfuls.  The ingredients are simple and the effect is steller. Plus everything tastes better outside!

The Portland Farmer's Market is a great blend of farmers (vegetables), specialty food producers (goat cheese, charcuterie) and bakers/cooks (pies, salad dressings). I love how more and more markets are expanding to include ready-to-eat food.

You could buy a beautiful pies...
Or stock up on organic duck breast, chicken eggs or salami from the Deck Family Farm.
My posse spent so much time sampling and admiring the pate at Chop's booth, I was relieved when we each bought a container of their fresh pate. We bought the Chicken Liver Bourbon Mousse and it was divine.
Somebody make some pickles! Look at these beautiful cucumbers!
Yes, we ate again. Do me a favor and pretend that more time passed than it really did.  We sat on a bench and enjoyed shredded chicken tamales from Salvador Molly.  This is food made with care. Delicious!
When I saw this wagon, loaded with products from the market, I asked the owner if I could take a picture. "That's quite a haul!" She was proud of the bounty she had accumulated and couldn't wait to get home and cook.  Such fun! I look forward to doing this at my own farmer's market when I get home. This year I want to can peaches.
Dan's cousin insisted we try the delicious cookies at Two Tarts Bakery and she was raving about their selection as we walked up to the bakery counter. The baker just looked at me and smiled.  She didn't blow my cover, but she could have. You see, I'd already stopped at her booth when I was wandering the market and eaten one of her lemon bars in the bottom left of this picture. A butter crumb topped lemon bar that really tasted like lemon. Oh yes, I this was a display that I couldn't pass by. 
It isn't hard to take great photos at this market, everything is bright and fresh and ready to eat! If you are ever in Portland on a weekend, you must wander this farmer's market. It really is a good thing.

No comments: