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Market Inspirations

Jamyla Krempel

It's probably pretty easy to figure out where we get a lot of our ideas for Radio Kitchen. All it takes is a visit to a weekend farmers market and we walk away with topics galore. Jerry and Al made their regular visits to Baltimore's farmers markets recently, and came away inspired. Click on the picture for some ideas they culled from the market.

Giant young spring onions are out there. These look life the leaves of a leek attached to a super sized spring onion bulb, about the girth of a cue ball. These onions come in white and purple, and have very little papery skin to peel.

Al likes to trim the ends, then slice them down the middle. Try marinating them in a blend of lime juice, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Grill them in tin foil or bake them in the oven for 30 minutes at 400°. Serve as a side dish.

Bok choi cabbage is an essential ingredient for many Chinese stir fry recipes.

This flavorful cabbage can be cut up and tossed into the wok as a healthy and tasty addition to the dish.

Green and yellow summer squash are in season now. And so are green squash with a yellow end (or vice versa). These are so easy to enjoy on the grill.

Cut them in half lengthwise, season with salt, pepper and herbs, and grill first skin side down, then face down for grill marks. Al likes to slice them up on the bias, and cook them with sliced onions in a little tin foil tent. Toss in a little white balsamic vinegar for steam, and you have any easy dish. Season with herbes de Provence and a dollop of sour cream.

One veg I always keep my eyes open for are yellow "green beans," a.k.a wax beans. They look just like green beans, except they are pale yellow.  The flavor is different, a little milder and perhaps a little creamier in texture. 

Trim them then steam them up and serve with butter, salt and a lot of pepper.

One odd little vegetable is available currently, and the is the garlic scape.  This is the long curly stalk that grows above a garlic bulb.  They are harvest when tender, and can add a delicious mild garlicky taste to a salad. 

They also can be tossed into a soup, stew, or even grilled.

Farm such as Woolsey Farm and Liberty Delight are featuring rack of lamb ribs this summer.  These tidy little rack have eight ribs apiece, and are perfect for an upscale cookout. Some butchers will offer to "French" trim the bone ends, but we prefer the succulent morsels of meat to be left in place.  

Mix up a paste of olive oil, finely chopped parsley, bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese to coat the back of the rack. Keep this side elevated as you grill over a long low flame.

Peaches are coming in by the truck load now.  One of our favorite ways of enjoying them is also one of the easiest.  Just whip up a peach cobbler.  The recipe couldn't be simpler.  

First, melt two tablespoons of butter and pout it into a small baking dish. Make a flowing batter of eggs, milk, flower and sugar and pour that over the butter. Skin and slice up your peaches, drop them onto the batter and stick it in a 325° over for about 40 minutes, or until the batter has browned and bubbled up and surrounded the peaches. That's it!

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
As General Partner of Clipper City Brewing Company, L.P., Hugh J. Sisson is among Baltimore's premier authorities on craft brewing and a former manager of the state's first pub brewery, Sissons, located in Federal Hill. A fifth generation Baltimorean, Hugh has been involved in all aspects of craft brewing.