Farmer’s Market Finds

On Sunday I went to the Coventry Farmer’s Market, and was in absolute foodie HEAVEN. I entered the premises and was first confronted with an Agave cart selling tacos and burritos. Yes please! I got in line for one before realizing that, duh Caitlin, what other foodie opportunities await you here, especially when you have an Agave LivingSocial deal to use and can go there in Hartford any old time?

So I entered the rest of the market and was blown away. I got to try tons of amazing and unique samples. I had the chance to chat with vendors about their products, personally compliment them on their amazing offerings, and best of all, support them by purchasing some of the tasty treats. No, I don’t know how much money I spent, but I’d say it’s worth it for local stuff that is of a good quality that’s hard to find in the grocery stores. I must have looked pretty goofy, this chick in sweaty workout clothes and bright pink sneakers, walking alone through the muddy fields of the farmer’s market with what was probably a ginormous grin on my face, but I couldn’t help it – this place just made me smile! I highly recommend this market to any CT resident.

Oh and in case you are wondering, after I filled up on samples I ended up settling on a spinach pocket from a Yantic, CT-based Lebanese restaurant owner – soft, pillowy dough filled with spinach, lemon juice, thyme, and other spices. So good, and my cheapest option after I’d already dropped too much of the other kind of dough on the following finds:

Beltane Farms: chive goat cheese!

The guy at the Beltane Farm booth was so nice, and was kind enough to let me know about their wine and cheese tasting happening this Sunday! He let me sample this chive flavor, as well as a dill-wasabi that was out of this world, on some wheat thins. I’ve never cooked with spreadable goat cheese, only crumbled, so I’m curious – anyone got any recipes involving goat cheese in this form? It seems harder to use when you can’t crumble it on top of or into a dish!

Yummy Hummy: pico de gallo

The woman at the Yummy Hummy booth had lots of great samples. They  had already sold out of the pumpkin spice hummus unfortunately but I hope to catch it at my next visit. She sampled her hummuses (hummi?) on veggie chips which was awesome because I’m addicted to them, I buy them in bulk at TJ’s whenever I can. I tried an awesome chipotle hummus as well as a garlic hummus. The chipotle was very unique and the perfect amount of spiciness – I hope to pick some up next time. The garlic was pretty good but not interesting enough or any better than Cedar’s for me to consider getting some. But this salsa really won me over. It was so fresh and chunky, just the way I like my pico. Had to get some!

Christine's Community Kitchen: kosher dill chips!

If you don’t already know, I’m a pickle addict. I’m also a garlic addict. Imagine my delight when Christine’s Community Kitchen’s tent was sampling both pickled garlic and garlic pickles! And then…the guy in front of me bought the last jar of pickled garlic. Thanks, guy! I tried it though, and it was pretty awesome. The garlic pickles however, were meh. I couldn’t get enough garlic flavor! So I went with a jar of the classic dill chips, perfect for my daily lunchtime salad beast.

Mariah's Chow Chow Relish: sweet n' spicy!

Mariah’s Chow Chow Relish is available in four different flavors and was sampled on what looked to me like Food Should Taste Good chips. This was the first flavor I tried (the flavors go in order from sweetest to spiciest and this is the second sweetest) and I jumped on it right away as soon as the woman at the tent said that it goes great in baked potato skins. I am a baked potato addict and frequently fill my skins with salsa or pico of any kind. I tried this relish in my potato skin last night and this woman (Mariah herself?) wasn’t lying – holy crap it was wonderful! I can’t wait to see what dishes I could whip up with this relish too. Any ideas for recipes that call for a sweet n’ spicy condiment?

Capa di Roma Roasted Garlic marinara sauce

Finally, I purchased this Capa di Roma marinara sauce specifically because a) I love garlic, b) the sample of the regular marina was amazing and I knew garlic could only make it better, and c) I knew a spaghetti dish was on the menu that night at home. Their both also had samples of their balsamic vinegar, which I fell in love with, but didn’t purchase since it was a bit out of my price range at $14.

Sunday night dinner

We absolutely loved the sauce, but unfortunately the whole jar was gone after one meal! My mom mixed with with browned ground turkey and veggies, and we served it over whole wheat spaghetti. The garlic flavor was phenomenal!

Steamed broccoli, plenty garlicky too.

My favorite side dish to have with Italian dishes is broccoli! I went back for seconds of that, as well as seconds of the sauce and meat combo. This was one awesome meal – thanks to the Coventry Farmer’s Market for making it even more memorable! And for making last night’s dinner memorable too with that relish!

What’s the best find you’ve come across at a farmer’s market?

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