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Spring Fling

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Spring Fling photo

Spring has sprung in Chicago. Buckingham Fountain was turned on this week and the city is alive with buds budding and blossoms blossoming. Green City Market opens next week and I am beyond excited!

Each spring, I make my produce plans with promises of meals to come and ingredients to play with. I can’t wait to watch the market go from some very basic radishes, spinach and spuds to eggplants of every color, peppers guaranteed to make your cheeks flush and berries that perfume the air.

We are blessed to live in a city surrounded by farmland and with enough people who purchase from farmer’s markets to keep them happily stocked. Before Passover, I taught some cooking classes in nearby states that are not as fortunate. I was surprised to hear that many communities not far from Chicago do not have such markets.

I am even more surprised when I talk to local Chicagoans and hear that they have never been to the markets. I am not sure why anyone would not support these markets, but here are some really good reasons why you should shop at the Farmer’s Markets.

Farmer’s Markets serve as a way for people to purchase locally grown produce and to connect with others in the community.

Farmer’s markets have the ability to shift the economy and change community dietary habits by providing seasonal produce.

According to Farmers Markets of America, customers drawn to farmer’s markets shop locally for three main reasons: food quality, better prices and a great social atmosphere.

There is no question that the food purchased at the market tastes better and is of better quality and just in case you were wondering what to do with some of that great produce, here is a quick and easy recipe adapted from Julia Child.

This sauce is perfect for asparagus or any vegetable you find at the market. Enjoy!

Adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I (Knopf, 1961)

½ pound unsalted butter
6 egg yolks
4-6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground pepper

1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until it begins to foam, 15-20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, put egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into the jar of an electric blender. Cover, and blend on high speed for 2 seconds; then, with the motor still running, gradually add melted butter in a slow, steady stream through hole in blender lid, leaving milky solids behind. Adjust seasonings.

3. Keep the sauce warm (I transfer the sauce to a metal bowl and put the bowl over a pan of WARM, not hot, water.

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