Fresh From the Farm

We did it! The Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market kicked off Sunday. And without a hitch.

Nearly 2,000 people came for the opening day, bought us out of local produce and other foods, listened to the incredible music by Sergio Leal, talked with friends, learned about where their food comes from and had a great time.

It was magical, to say the least. Here's a few images that were thoughtfully captured by my friend, Karen Pirinelli of Luminosity Photography & Design.

Before I knew it, the vendors' tables were empty and the market was over. Really? It just flew by.

One of the benefits of working at a farmers market is that I get to go around to the vendors in the early morning and pick what I want. Well, that didn't happen on Sunday, though I still did manage to come home with a few goodies.

Fortunately, I was able to wrangle a few English and pickling cucumbers, two round squash and several heads of lettuce from 9-1 Produce Farm as well as a bag of arugula, a bunch of radishes and onion flower blossoms from Springfield Farm.

Onion flower blossoms are used as flowers,
but then you can crush a bit of the pollen
over any food that you want to taste like onion.
Beautiful, brilliant and resourceful.

David also picked up a few goat rib chops from Koch Ranches and a few pounds of grass-fed beef from Edelen Farms.

But since I am the chief veg-head, I was thrilled when I saw the gorgeous arugula on Rhonda and Bryan's spread at the Springfield Farm table. A few weeks ago I made a spectacular arugula salad and now I can make it again and share it with you.

The peppery greens are tossed with a lemon-olive oil vinaigrette and generously topped with shavings of fresh Parmesan. This is a sensational spring salad for any occasion.

Considering that we are still on Cloud 9 and celebrating the success of the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market, I'd say that's a pretty special occasion.

Hope to see you there one day. Soon.

Buen provecho!

Arugula Salad
The Cowgirl Gourmet

Print recipe

The orange zest in the dressing really helps to balance the flavors of this salad by adding a touch of sweetness.

Serves 2

2 big handfuls of fresh arugula (about half a bag from the farmers market), washed and dried well
The juice of 1/2 lemon and then a few squeezes of the other half
Zest of half an orange
A nice pinch of Maldon salt
3-4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese, shavings

In a big bowl, place the arugula and set aside.

In a small bowl, squeeze the lemon juice, add the sprinkle of Maldon salt and orange zest and whisk in the extra virgin olive oil. Taste the dressing for flavor, adding more lemon, oil or salt if necessary.

Pour half of the dressing over the arugula and, using your hands, toss the salad so the dressing coats the leaves. If you need to, add more dressing a little at a time and toss well.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan on top of the salad and toss well. Add a little Parm or a lot. This is entirely up to you.

Divide the salad in two and place on two plates. Add more shaved Parmesan on top for garnish.

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