01 October 2009

Farmers Market Inspirations


Yesterday was the last day of the 2009 Camas Farmer's Market. It has been a great year, tasting delicious food, listening to good music, visiting with friends and talking to vendors on Wednesday afternoons. I have been inspired this season by tips and techniques I picked up at the cooking demonstrations and by the enthusiasm of vendors and shoppers over some great discoveries.

One discovery was this beautiful flatbread creation from Truly Scrumptious, a boutique bakery based in Camas. As you can see, this flatbread is topped with an appealing combination of caramelized red onion, gorgonzola cheese, sliced figs, rosemary and crushed red pepper. I have tasted similar combinations before without being all that impressed but this flatbread was extraordinary.

Maybe it is the change of seasons that make these earthy flavors so appealing to me this week. Or maybe it is the balance of quantities and seasoning as the savory flecks of rosemary and red pepper, along with the caramelized onion, ground the tension between the sweet figs and the tangy cheese. Whatever it is, I found this lovely combination of flavor and texture inspiring. If you can find fresh figs this is definitely worth trying at home.


Another great find at the market were these wild huckleberries gathered on Mt. St. Helen's. I had never even eaten a huckleberry before. Tasting one yesterday was a thrill and a revelation. When I got home and looked them up I discovered that the huckleberry is a relative of the blueberry. It grows only in the wild and at high elevation. I learned that it is a favorite fall treat of hikers and grizzly bears and is another unique culinary asset of the Pacific Northwest. Now that I have a small stash of my own I look forward to finding a great way to use them in the coming week.

It's been a fantastic season at the Camas Farmer's Market. I'm already looking forward to what it will bring next year!

11 comments:

Theresa said...

What a "sweet" post. It makes me sad I didn't get to the market this year....

kate said...

I skipped the Camas Farmer's Market yesterday and now I'm really kicking myself. The flatbread looks amazing!

noble pig said...

Huckelberries have always amazed me, their elusiveness that is! What a find.

Cathy said...

It's sad to see the market season come to a close. Mine goes through October and some of my favorite produce is just coming in. Love the toppings on your flatbread.

Minda Coombs said...

The flatbread, along with the Jumbalaya from Gumbo Goddess, was one of my favorite things from the market. It is sad to see the season end, but I am looking forward to an even better season next year! Great post!

Mini Baker said...

mmm this looks delish! I love flatbread!

Cindy said...

yum, that flatbread looks amazing! I love figs. Never thought about pairing them with gorgonzola, but it sounds like a delicious combination.

Huckleberries are wonderful little gems aren't they? They always remind me of a pie my husband's grandmother made for us several years ago. She was 80 something. She had picked the huckleberries herself. A dangerous adventure for sure.

Lisa said...

Theresa and Kate - I would have loved to see you there! There are other local markets that will be open for at least another month. Try the Vancouver Farmers Market for some great fall finds.

Noble Pig - I am always thrilled to find something at the market I have never tried before. Huckleberries are amazing!

Cathy - Hopefully I can get out to some other markets. October is such a great harvest month.

Minda - Thanks for stopping by. I have yet to try the Jambalaya. I'll have to make that a future priority. I am looking forward to an even better market season next year!

Mini Baker - I would love to make the flatbread at home, especially in the off season. Now if I can just find some figs...

Cindy - That pie sounds wonderful. What a gift! I'm not sure I'm likely to encounter huckleberries in the wild, but knowing more about where they grow really makes me appreciate seeing them at the market that much more. Thanks for sharing you story!

Barbara said...

That picture of huckleberries is fabulous! As a child, we used to pick them in northern Michigan. I remember them being slightly smaller than blueberries and a little more tart. My mother used to make us the most delicous huckleberry pies!

Michelle said...

Love gorgonzola cheese. I love flatbread with Gorgonzola and red grapes but never thought to try figs!

Allison Jones said...

Your market ends so early! That's such a bittersweet day, because it means another successful harvest for our farmers but a long stretch of market-less days ahead. I'm not looking forward to the last market of PFM this year. At least we have until mid-December. I was inspired by your flatbread photo and made some rosemary foccacia today. Yum!