Thursdays are the days when the Farmer’s Market booths line Nicollet Mall between 5th and 9th Streets. It was shoulder-to-shoulder shopping that day during the lunch hour in downtown Minneapolis. Excited shoppers rush along carrying beautiful bundles of brightly colored flowers. Others look as if they are being weighed down by their many packages. Most everyone seemed to be in a big hurry to find their favorite vegetable, fruit, or jar of honey. The smell of nuts being roasted in cinnamon filled the air.
Photo Courtesy of Minneapolis Farmer’s Market
Since my refrigerator was plumb full of fruit, but needed lettuce, I scanned the booths for that leafy vegetable. My friend thought that all the lettuce would be gone by the time we got there. We found Swiss chard and kale at the first booth we visited, but no lettuce. I never ate kale before, and I am pretty sure I never heard of it. I held it up and found that it looked thick and course and as if it would involve a lot of chewing. The saleslady said that kale is good to eat if you crunch up the leaves and make it like a Caesar salad. I still wasn’t sure about it, but the thing was that shoppers could buy three bunches of greens for $5.00. We got two bunches of kale and a bunch of Swiss chard and decided to split up our shares later. We wandered farther down and found tomatoes to share too. After carrying around all these veggies, we found the fresh lettuce that I had been searching for. I bought some to add to the load, and worried if we could possibly eat all these greens. After finding and tasting a sample of the cinnamon nuts, I realized the roasting always smells better than the tasting. No nuts were purchased that day.
After we divided up the kale and Swiss chard, I found a recipe on-line for an Apple-Walnut Kale Salad which just so happens to call for Swiss chard! The ingredients sounded great, and since the whole family was going to be home that coming weekend, the next day I ventured out to get the rest of the ingredients. On Saturday night, I put the salad together to go with our Saturday night meal. It quickly disappeared. Everyone liked the blend of flavors and didn’t even complain about all the chewing! You can find the recipe here.
Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine
I enjoy visiting the Farmer’s Market and wish that I would more often. The merchants are so welcoming, and it’s nice to buy fresh, local produce. Kale led me to Apple-Walnut Kale Salad. When I shop at the grocery store, I only buy something different after I find a new recipe. For once, I found the recipe after I bought the kale which is totally out of my routine. Doing things in reverse can get a person out of a rut! Plus, not one morsel of greenness was left to waste.