Farmer’s Markets are winding down. Today was the final day until next Spring for the one I visited this morning.
This makes me sad because there are great bargains to be found at the Farmer’s Market. Today I spent $3.50 and bought a beautiful baking pumpkin, about 3/4 pound of lovely turnips, a bag of shelling beans, and three ears of end-of-the-season sweet corn.
But even when I don’t buy anything, I just love to stroll through the Farmer’s Markets. Where I live, there’s at least one every day of the week from spring until autumn.
All farmer’s markets are different, yet they are all the same. There’s the hectic bustle in the big produce tents contrasted by the serenity of the flower salesman, his wares splayed colorfully on the ashpalt. The plain Mennonite women in their bonnets selling homemade breads and sweets, next to entrepreneurs hawking jewelry, gym memberships or timeshares.
I often see the same two older gentlemen sitting at a folding table selling jars of suspect honey, chatting with passersby. I’ve never actually seen them make a sale, although they must sell something to afford the space rental.
In summer, children run in bursts between the aisles and down the midway, excited by the colors, smells and sounds. By autumn, the kids are safely back in school and their parents return alone or in pairs to pick efficiently through the produce, taking a brief respite from their busy days.
Day after day, month after month, year after year.
Here’s a recipe for one-pot pork roast I made with some of the produce I bought today. It’s an quick and easy dish to prepare on a quiet autumn afternoon. The quantities are purposely vague so that you can use whatever you have or don’t have on hand.
See you next year, Farmer’s Market! Sigh.
One-Pot Pork Roast
3-4 lb pork roast
1/2 TBS sea salt
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 TBS onion powder
1/2 TBS granulated garlic
1/2 TBS dried thyme
2 TBS EVOO
1-2 white onions, rough chop
3-4 carrots, peeled and rough chop
3-4 white turnips, peeled and rough chop
4-5 red potatoes, quartered
2 cloves garlic, smashed but not crushed
1 cup beef stock (or chicken stock)
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
Put cast iron pan over heat. Meanwhile, season pork roast liberally with salt, pepper, onion powder, granulated garlic and dried thyme. When hot, pour TBS EVOO into skillet. When smoking, sear pork roast on all sides until dark brown.
Put large pot over heat. When hot, add TBS EVOO. When smoking, add onion, carrot and turnip. Cook until slightly brown, about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add stock and bring up to boil. Add potatoes, garlic cloves and bay leaf. Place pork roast directly on top of vegetables, throw rosemary and thyme sprigs on top, cover and place in 350F oven for 35 minutes.
Remove from oven, remove roast to cutting board and and let rest, uncovered, 5 minutes.
To plate, spoon vegetables in heap in center of pasta bowl. Slice pork into medium slices and place on top. Spoon a little of the liquid over the top of the pork. Garnish with parsley or fresh herb sprigs.