Sunday, July 19, 2009

Farmer’s Markets in Chicago – Your One Stop Shop for Fresh Vegetables this Summer.

One of the reasons I love summer is the Chicagoland Farmer’s Markets - there are over 70 vendors selling natural and locally grown products at over 20 locations around the city of Chicago including right in the middle of the Loop.

According to the City of Chicago, the requirements for selling product at farmer’s markets include: Products are locally grown, have seasonal integrity and are of high quality, there is a uniqueness of products offered and each vendor needs to be able to communicate and educate consumers about their products and how and where they were produced (employees must be trained to answer questions, brochures and handouts with more details about the production process). It’s a step in the right direction for consumers as we get to know and decide where our food is made and how.

I found some lovely sweet snap peas and sweet baby bell peppers and decided my next recipe must include these crisp treats. Enjoy!

Sugar Snap Peas with Scallions and Baby Peppers
Serves 6

1½ pounds sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1 mini red bell pepper, cut in thin strips
1 mini yellow bell pepper, cut in thin strips
Kosher salt to taste

Place peas in a pot and add 1” water.
Add salt and sugar and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to simmer for 7-8 minutes, until peas are tender.
Strain peas and add to a bowl.

In a saute pan over medium heat add olive oil.
Add shallot and peppers and sweat.
Mix shallots and pepper with peas and plate.

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