The balmy weather in Scottsdale provided a beautiful background for the bigger and better Farmers Market held in Old Town Scottsdale on the corner of Brown and 1st Street.
Visiting the Farmers Market early on Saturday mornings has become a ritual. My first stop is always at McClendon’s Select section. One of the largest booths at the market, it is filled with a huge selection of fresh organic vegetables from their local farm. I’ve never been disappointed in any produce I’ve purchased here.
This trip I bought a new (to me) vegetable called the golden beet that was recommended to me by a fellow shopper. I parboiled them, then sliced up and tossed them in my new bacon flavored olive oil I purchased at the Queen Creek Olive Mill booth. Fifteen minutes in the oven and they were delicious! It was a milder flavor than the traditional red beet and my next dish will be to prepare them in a beet salad along with red beets and a little goat cheese.
I was thrilled to see the Queen Creek Olive Mill booth this year. I had read about their new “bacon” flavored olive oil and was planning to drive down to their store to do some tasting. Having the booth at the Farmer’s Market was great as it saved me a 75 mile round trip from my home in North Scottsdale.
The Scottsdale Farmer’s Market has added an entire new section of booths and expanded into another part of the municipal parking lot they use. Also coming back this year to the market was entertainment – a lovely young woman strumming her guitar and singing ballads. Quite a hit!
I, of course, had to visit two of my favorite vendors – Decio pasta and Pickled Perfection’s home-made pickles of all sizes and shapes. They have been at the Scottsdale Farmer’s Market for a number of years and are always a favorite of the crowd.
There are also some smaller booths from family-owned organic farms. I always visit their booths as they continue to surprise me with vegetables I’ve never seen before. In particular was a carrot called “Paramek.” It has an unusual shape and I’m told it is delicious and sweet to the taste. Next trip, I am getting some to try.
One of the most fun parts of my Saturday morning visits is to enjoy the crowd filled with babies, strollers, lots of dogs of different breeds, local residents and visitors to Scottsdale. I always finish off my trip to the market by dropping my purchases off at my car and then strolling down the promenade leading to the Scottsdale Performing Arts Center, where I can enjoy the flowers and artwork that dot the landscape.