Cornman Farms Heirloom Harvest #3

tomatoes_basket$45 / dinner
Special Dinner #79

James Beard-nominated Chef Alex Young began a garden 5 years ago as a way to spend more time with his family and also make really great food. They way he describes it, there was an added excitement in serving a food to guests which you not only cooked, but also grew, yourself. Today, Chef Alex’s Garden is a full-fledged farm, growing over 130 varieties of more than 27 types of vegetables. What began as a plot of heirloom tomatoes has doubled in size each year and now includes livestock such as pigs and cattle.

Cornman Farms has a passion for full-flavor and taste plays a big part in what plants are chosen to grow. Varieties are chosen for their complexity of flavor and ability to thrive in Michigan’s climate and then nurtured in a way that embraces the concept of organic.
Throughout the growing season, vegetables are prepared and served just hours after being picked.

The late summer season brings us favorites like late harvest Provenzano, German Red Strawberry and Aunt Ruby’s German Green tomatoes; Italian roasting peppers like Lipstick and Italia; other peppers such as Hungarian hot wax and Hinklehatz; Bintje and German Butterball potatoes; yellow, orange and purple heirloom carrots and lots of spinach, arugula, Cherokee red lettuce and radishes will make a comeback. As days grow shorter, our menu will reflect gleanings from the autumnal field.

Reserve a Seat!

Menu

Appetizers

German Red Strawberry & Aunt Ruby’s Green Tomatoes

Feta & Mint Stuffed Italia Peppers

Tomato, Bread & Roasted A2 DiFranco Garlic

Salad

Bloomsdale Spinach & Cherokee Red Salad

French Breakfast Radishes

Entrees

Dry Aged Grilled Angus Steaks Grilled

Wild Striped Bass Stuffed Padron Delicata Squash

Lamb Stuffed Hungarian Hot Peppers

Albacore Tuna Stuffed Provenzano Tomatoes

Sides

Green Mountain Potatoes Anna

Roasted Tri-Color Carrots

Twice-Baked Burbank Russet Potatoes

Braised King Richard Leeks

Dessert

Sweet Potato Pie

(There may be last-minute change to the menu the day-of the dinner)

Westside Farmers’ Market

Every Thursday in the Roadhouse Parking Lot!
3-7pm

The Westside Farmers’ Market (WSFM) is in its fourth season this year! With an increase in vendors and supporters, thiswestsidemarket season continues to be both vibrant and energetic. Located outside in the Roadhouse parking lot, the WSFM allows westside Ann Arborites the opportunity to source farm-fresh fruits and vegetables in their own neighborhood! Join us every Thursday from 3-7pm for flavorful food, fun and community.

2nd Annual Native American Dinner: Traditions of the Native Peoples of the Michigan Territory

sold out low res
$45/dinner
Special Dinner #80

We’ll explore the history and culinary traditions of the Ojibwe, Potawatomi and Ottawa Indians, known as the Three Fires Confederacy, or Anishinaabe peoples in the Great Lakes Region and learn how those traditions live among the people today. With a menu that highlights the history and foodways of the Great Lakes during the early years of the republic (when the entire region was known as the Michigan Territory) and a talk by our special guests, UM Professors Margaret Noori, Michael Witgen, Howard Kimewon and Phil Deloria, this evening promises to be a lively and full-flavored encounter with the living history of Michigan’s earliest inhabitants

The Menu:
Appetizers

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Fried Corn Hominy

Bread

Traditional Fry Breads

Soup

Rabbit Succotash with Puffed Wild Rice

Entrees

Roasted Duck
Corn Flour Batter Fried Walleye

Sides

Wild Rice Stuffed Pumpkin

Dessert

Maple Sugar Candy
Dried Berries

Cornman Farms Heirloom Harvest #4: Pickled!

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$45/dinner
Special Dinner #82

The Heirloom Harvest dinners have been so popular over the past few years that we’ve agreed to feature four across the growing season!
Cornman Farms is a pet project of Chef Alex’s that began with a field of heirloom tomatoes and has grown to a multi-acre farm growing a wide variety of flavorful, heirloom produce to serve on Roadhouse plates! Each dinner will be designed to focus on what Chef Alex and Farmer Mark are harvesting at the time. As we follow the growing season, the menus will vary to reflect the different vegetables being served at that moment. The series of Heirloom Harvest dinners will culminate with a menu reflecting the preservation of foods for sustenance over the winter months.

This dinner will sell out, so give us a call to reserve your spot. 734.663.3663 or use our new online form.

Reserve a Seat!

Menu
Appetizer

Pickled Shrimp, Green Tomato and Egg Napoleon with Farro Noodles

Bread

Bakehouse Pumpernickel

Soup

Borsht with Cabbage, Beets and Pickled Cucumbers

Entrée

A Trio of Organic Scottish Salmon with a Pickled Beurre Blanc, Pickled & Smoked Local Chicken and Pickled Beef

Cornman Farms Heirloom Harvest #2: Tomatoes!

$45 /dinner
Special Dinner #78
sold out low res

The Heirloom Harvest dinners have been so popular over the past few years that we’ve agreed to feature four across the growing season!

Cornman Farms is a project of Chef Alex’s that began with a field of heirloom tomatoes and has grown to a multi-acre farm growing a wide variety of flavorful, heirloom produce to serve on Roadhouse plates! Each dinner will be designed to focus on what Chef Alex and Farmer Mark are harvesting at the time. As we follow the growing season, the menus will vary to reflect the different vegetables being served at that moment. The series of Heirloom Harvest dinners will culminate with a menu reflecting the preservation of foods for sustenance over the winter months.

This dinner, the original harvest dinner, the Heirloom Tomato Dinner, features a buffet of dishes using the peak mid-summer harvest vegetables from Cornman Farms and includes a raw, heirloom tomato bar showing off the nuanced flavors across tomato varieties.

This dinner will fill up, so reserve your seat today! Call 734.663.3663 or use our new online form.

Check out the Menu:

Appetizers and Salad

Alex’s Favorite Heirloom Tomatoesheirloom_tomato
Handmade Mozzarella, Basil, Olive Oils, & Sea Salts
Green Garlic Bruschetta
Salsa Cruda
Curried Eggplant Crostini
Tuscan Bread Salad
Three Bean Salad
Roasted Onion Salad with Goat Cheddar
Roasted Beet Salad

Breads

Garden Breads from Zingerman’s Bakehouse

Entrees

Lamb Stuffed Peppers
BBQ’d Salmon a la Green Tomatoes
Chicken Adobado Flutas
Spicy Sausage Cannelloni
Stuffed Delicata “Casino”
Patty Pan Bolognaise

Sides

Roasted Carrots
“Twice Baked” Heirloom Burbank Potatoes
Green Mountain Potato Gratin
Grilled Bok Choy
Creamed Kale

Dessert

Peach Cobbler with Zingerman’s Creamery Gelato
Chilled Custard with Roasted Grapes

Cornman Farms Heirloom Harvest Dinner #1

alex-for-web$45 /dinner
Special Dinner #76

The Heirloom Harvest dinners have been so popular over the past few years that we’ve agreed to feature three across the growing season!
Cornman Farms is a pet project of Chef Alex’s that began with a field of heirloom tomatoes and has grown to a multi-acre farm growing a wide variety of flavorful, heirloom produce to serve on Roadhouse plates! Each dinner will be designed to focus on what Chef Alex and Farmer Mark are harvesting at the time. As we follow the growing season, the menus will vary to reflect the diferent vegetables being served at that moment. The series of Heirloom Harvest dinners will culminate with a menu reflecting the preservation of foods for sustenance over the winter months.

Check Out the Buffet Menu:

Starters & Salad:

Sliced Heirloom Tomato Bar w/ Handmade Fresh Mozzarella, Olive Oils & Sea Salts

Spinach Salad with Kelly’s Golden Eggs & Bacon
Grilled Scallions & Zingerman’s Creamery Goat Cheese
Bread Salad with Heirloom Cucumbers, Tomatoes & Capers
Roasted Detroit Dark Beets with Maytag Blue Cheese
Radish Tea Sandwiches

Breads:

Garden Breads from Zingerman’s Bakehouse

Entrees:

BBQ Organic Salmon with Garden Sofrito
Green Tomato Lasagna with Farro Noodles
Spring Lamb with Mint and Rhubarb
Coffee Spiced Local Plymouth Rock Chicken
Low Country Risotto with Heirloom Tomato Jus

Sides:

Roasted Spring Carrots
Col. Nancy Newsom’s Beans
Buttered Turnips
Steamed Irish Cobbler Potatoes

Desserts:

Gelato Sundae Bar with Local Peaches, Blueberries, Strawberries, Bourbon Caramel, Scharffenberger Chocolate Fudge Sauce and Cream

Makin’ Better Bacon: A Bacon Dinner & Book Signing to Benefit Southern Foodways Alliance

$75/dinner
Special Dinner #77

Southern Foodways Alliance (www.southernfoodways.com) is a non-profit organization whose mission is tobacon-piece document and celebrate the diverse food cultures of the South. Their research has helped bring Roadhouse staples such as Eastern North Carolina pulled pork barbecue, Mason Tennessee buttermilk fried chicken, Anson Mills grits to Ann Arbor and even Edwards’ bacon to Ann Arbor.

Sam Edwards, whose bacon will be served at this dinner, will be our special guest. He’ll share stories from his almost-century-old family business, and talk about putting the flavor back in bacon! (Check the recent article in the New York Times.)

The dinner, crafted by James Beard-nominated Chef Alex Young, and excerpted from Ari’s latest book, Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon, will feature bacon from beginning to end. Starting with appetizers, bacons hailing from all around the country will be the star of each course, including dessert. With vastly different flavor profiles (think olive oil here) these bacons represent the nuanced flavors of the better bacon being made by passionate individuals like Sam Edwards!

Join us for a fun and flavorful look at one our country’s most beloved foods: Bacon!

Appetizers:sam edwards portrait

Angels, & Devils on Horseback,
Date with Bacon
Edwards’ Aged Country Ham Plate

Bread:

American Fried Bread

Salad:

B.L.T.: Edwards’ hickory smoked bacon with heirloom Cornman Farms tomatoes & lettuce

Entrees:

Lex’s Roast Chicken: with bacon and coffee spice rub
Carolina Fish Muddle

Sides:

Oyster & Bacon Pilau
Spaghetti a la Carbonara
Cabbage & Irish Bacon
Bacon Fat RoastedCornman Farms Vegetables

Dessert:

Bacon-Apple Pie
Mini-Buttermilk Biscuits with Chocolate-Bacon Gravy

Check out the Makin’ Bacon Flyer!

Fresh Fish: Portuguese Influences on Coastal Cuisine

$45/dinner

Around the turn of the century, large groups of Portuguese immigrants settled on the East Coast, some in the Cape Cod area. With them they brought their language, seafaring traditions, and recipes, which centered on the marine harvest.
James Beard-nominated Chef Alex Young will craft a menu which explores traditional Portuguese recipes, which were combined with the ingredients available to them.

Dinner Menu

Appetizers:

  • Clam Fritters
  • Linguica & Bread Stuffed Shrimp

Bread:fish1

  • Portuguese Sweet Rolls

Soup:

  • Oyster Stew

Entrée:

  • Cornmeal Wolffish marinated in wine vinegar and saffron, dusted in organic yellow cornmeal

Sides:

  • Rice with Quahogs & Pork
  • Horse (Fava) Beans
  • New England Baked Beans
  • Turnip Tops

Dessert:

  • Dreams & Sighs (Cookies)
  • Sweet Rice Pudding

Make Reservations for this very popular event! It will sell out – save your seat by calling 734.663.FOOD(3663)

Fresh Fish Dinner Menu

Annual BBQ Dinner

$45 / dinner
Special Dinner #75
bbq-man-standing

Chef Alex pulls out all the stops with a down-home barbecue buffet! This annual event features our favorites of the barbecue world served with authentic sides prepared with fresh veggies from Cormnman Farms. Don’t miss out on Zingerman’s Bakehouse pies to finish off this regional tour of an all-American foodway. With both indoor and patio seating, this is one of our biggest events of the year! Don’t miss it! (Bon Apetit named Zingerman’s Roadhouse as one of the Top Ten BBQ Restaurants in the country!)

Call for reservations! 734.663.FOOD (3663)

Check out the Menu:

STARTERS & SALADS
Tamales Bay BBQ Mussels
Red & Yellow Watermelon Skewers
Bartlett Blue Cheese Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes
Martelli Macaroni Salad
Grilled Romaine Lettuce Rolls
Cornman Farms Radish & Cucumber Salad

BREAD:
Wood-Fired Breads from the Bakehouse

ENTREES:
Pit-Smoked Local Duroc Ham (slicing station)
Coffee Spiced Pit-Smoked Heritage Turkey & Bourbon
Dry Rubbed Texas Short Ribs
Kentucky Mopped Spring Lamb
Back Strap Smoked Organic Salmon

SIDES:
Pit-Smoked New England Beans
Grilled Cornman Farms New Potatoes
Steamed Corn on the Cob
Grilled Bok Choy

DESSERTS:
Key Lime Pie from the Bakehouse
Michigan Peach Cobbler w/ vanilla gelato
Local Strawberry Shortcake w/ pound cake, short bread biscuits, whipped cream, and chocolate fudge sauce

BBQ Dinner Menu

Madeira Party! A Dinner Celebrating a Complex & Historically Popular Wine

madeira2$45 / dinner
Special Dinner #73

Madeira, while not strictly American, was a staple beverage from as early as the colonial period of our nation’s history. (Thomas Jefferson loved it!) Madeira parties, very popular in the 19th century, are among the first documented wine tastings that occurred, allowing guests to sample from various vintages and note their flavor differences.

Join the Roadhouse as we explore the place that Madeira has played in our nation’s history, and taste some of the best examples around. James Beard finalist Manny Berk of the Rare Wine Company in California will be the special guest for this event. He’ll share his passion for this historically rich beverage. James Beard-nominated Chef Alex Young will craft a menu using Madeira throughout the meal.

Need reservations for this event? Call the Roadhouse at 734.663.3663.

Check out the menu for this event! Madeira Party menu

Greek-Jewish Foods in America

$45 / dinner
Special Dinner #72
sephardic-drawing

Jewish food history is a fascinating subject because of the myriad ways that Jewish people used their dietary laws as guides while incorporating into new culinary dialects the dishes and ingredients at hand.

Our Jewish foods dinner this month takes us to a Greek-Jewish community, whose food tradition reaches back all the way to Spain. In Salonika, Greece, until the past hundred years-or-so, there was a large population of Jews. They arrived in groups, but the largest influx came as a result of the Inquisition in Spain. The new Sephardic Jews brought with them the flavors and customs they had developed in Spain, as well as their dietary laws. Over time, their culinary repertory included the dishes and flavors of Greece as well as those of Spain.

When groups from Salonika immigrated to the United States, their complex and flavorful history came too. Alan Saltiel, the director of the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan, whose family is Greek-Jewish and settled in the United States from Salonika, will share family recipes from his grandmother, aunts and parents.

James Beard-nominated Chef Alex Young will craft a menu reflecting the fascinating flavors of the Greek-Jewish community in the United States.

Call 734.663.3663 to make reservations!

Check out the Menu for this event! Greek-Jewish Food Menu

Beer & Cheese Tasting with the Brewmaster

NOW TAKING NAMES FOR THE WAIT LIST!

$20 / beer & cheese tasting

Beer and Cheese … what could be better? goose-logo

Zingerman’s Roadhouse will host an intimate discussion of beer and cheese with Greg Hall, the owner, brewmaster & cheese connoisseur from Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery. We will taste 5 Goose Island beers along with hand selected artisanal American cheeses from Zingerman’s Creamery and around the country. Zingerman’s cheese experts will be on hand to add to the learning and tasting experience.

One of our house favorite draft beers at the Roadhouse is the Goose Island Matilida. Greg will discuss what makes this beer so special. Come hear the story & inspiration for this flavorful beer!

To make reservations, please call: 734.663.FOOD (3663)

Brunch with Ari: An Inside Look at His New Book

NOW TAKING NAMES FOR THE WAIT LIST!

$22 / brunch (excludes tax & gratuity)
aabf_logo_web
Join us for a brunch & book event co-sponsored by the Ann Arbor Book Festival and Zingerman’s Roadhouse.

This event will feature dishes from the forthcoming new book, Bacon, penned by Zingerman’s co-founder and food writer, Ari Weinzweig. Ari will lead you through the process of putting this book together and share a few unique recipes – you’ll be the first to try them!

Also featured at this brunch will be a guided bacon tasting!

Flavors of Ireland Dinner

ireland-w-food-kerrygold

SPECIAL DINNER NO. 71

The influence of the Irish has been huge in pretty much every area of American life from politics to pubs, potatoes to poetry. Join us for a special dinner exploring the roots of traditional Irish cookery in American cuisine. Our menu will take us to southwest Ireland this month as we explore classic Irish cuisine.

James Beard-nominated Chef Alex Young selected many of the dishes featured on the menu for this full-flavored event to shed light on the current rediscovery in southern Ireland of traditional and local culinary roots. We are also excited to feature Kerrygold Irish butter – the sweet, rich and flavorful butter produced in the centuries-old Irish dairy tradition.

MENU
Appetizer
Cashel Blue Cheese Cheesecake: Made with a Tellicherry black pepper crust and served with red wine pickled pears

Soup
Traditional Irish Stew: Beef stew with Cornman Farms farms root vegetables and herbed dumplings

Bread
Irish Brown Soda Bread: from Zingerman’s Bakehouse

Entrees
Smoked Salmon with Boxty: Housemade hot-smoked salmon served with boxty (Irish potato pancake) pickled cabbage and a whiskey mussel sauce
or
Minted Lamb Chops: Hand-picked local lamb from the Chelsea Fair served with carrot and swede (rootabaga) puree and a Kerrygold butter stout sauce

Sides
Trio of Spuds:
•Cork Apple Mash: Mashed apples and potatoes
•Dublin Coddle: A north version of a southern Irish dish with pan-roasted potatoes, bacon and carrot
•Champ: Potatoes and greens

Desserts
Trio of Sweets:
Goody: A stewed bread dessert
Boston Irish Delice: Layered mousse cake
Sticky Toffee Pudding

$45 / dinner (beverages served a la carte)

Flavors of Ireland Dinner Menu

The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook with Author Amelia Saltsman

Recently, I spoke with accomplished author Amelia Saltsman, whose energy and passion was evident during our phone conversation. Check out the answers to some questions about her new book, The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook. The Roadhouse will host Saltsman on June 26 @ 5:30pm. Check out our events page for more information.

What is your book about?
In a nutshell, great flavor, simple cooking, and the importance of supporting your local farmers.

Why did you write the book?
When was the last time you had a truly luscious strawberry or tomato, sweet-tart and juicy all the way through? Farmers’ markets are treasure troves of flavor, but shoppers are often overwhelmed by all the choices. My first goal is to remove the intimidation factor and help people discover how easy it is to find and use these fresh ingredients and enhance their busy lives through great flavor.
And, with all the talk today of locally grown, sustainable, and organic, I want to tell the stories of how our food is grown and show what it takes to get completely ripe ingredients to market within 24 hours of harvest. When we take the time get acquainted with the growers at our local markets, we gain a better sense of the need to be good stewards of the land.

Why a Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook? Is it only about Santa Monica?
The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook certainly celebrates this extraordinary market and its farmers, but the bigger message is: Get to a farmers market and take advantage of the local ingredients you’ll find there. That’s the joy of farmers’ market shopping and cooking; you really get a sense of place. The recipes, cooking techniques, and shopping and storage tips are helpful no matter where you live or visit.

If you could use just one word to describe your book, what would it be?
Flavor. It all starts with taste. Everything we look for when we shop — good nutrition, easy cooking, sustainable growing practices, locally grown — falls into place when the raw ingredients taste great.

What kind of recipes will I find in the book?
There are more than 100 recipes in the book, and all of them showcase the natural flavors of each ingredient in the simplest ways possible. With just a few easy techniques, you can turn everyday ingredients into something absolutely delicious in no time at all.

The book contains everything from appetizers to desserts — because a great farmers’ market is so much more than an extra stop for just fruits and vegetables! You’ll find recipes like Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine, Nettle and Potato Frittata, and Pan-crisped Filet of Sole with Green Garlic Topping. And, if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you can make most of the recipes exactly as written, and many of the rest with tiny adjustments.

Where do the recipes come from?
These are the recipes I’ve developed over many years of cooking for my family and friends. They also stem from conversations with the farmers and chefs I meet at the market. Farmer Bill Coleman, for instance, taught me to use unripe green tomatoes in tart sauce for Black Cod with Green Tomatoes. Chef Suzanne Goin of Lucques and A.O.C. Restaurants shared her tip for turning nasturtiums into a peppery, colorful topping for fish, and Chris Kidder of Literati II gave me the idea for fresh Meyer lemon relish. These are the voices in the book: the chef, the farmer, and mine, the home cook.

Is the book suitable for beginners, or do I have to know how to cook to use it?
The book is perfect for novice and experienced cooks alike. Really, the only requirement is that you enjoy shopping for and using farm-fresh ingredients. There simply aren’t a lot of extra add-ins or fussing required when your basic ingredients have incredible flavor, variety, and freshness.

How is the book organized?

The book is organized by the traditional divisions of starters, soups, salads, and so on. But, within the chapters, each recipe is clearly labeled with the season(s) in which you are most likely to find its ingredients, and there’s a handy “Recipes by Season” appendix at the back of the book.

We’re so busy these days. Can it really be that simple to get dinner on the table?
The secret to getting dinner on the table quickly is to start with great tasting ingredients. When ingredients are at their peak level of freshness, it takes much less time and effort to assemble a delicious meal.

Why should I shop at a farmers’ market? Does it really make a difference?
Yes! There is a big difference when you purchase just-harvested, fully ripe produce. The farmer’s market offers ordinary foods with extraordinary flavors: strawberries, melons, potatoes, carrots, onions, tomatoes, green beans. To me, this is the most exciting part of shopping at the farmers’ market — everyday ingredients that really sing.

The farmers’ market also offers wonderful surprises people might not be used to seeing. In the summer, for instance, you might find green (young) chickpeas on the stalk or lamb’s quarters, an old-fashioned wild spinach that is delicious sautéed with sweet walla walla/maui type onions and folded into warm tortillas with a little crumbled queso fresco. Or exotic fruits, such as sapotes and cherimoyas, which are wonderful broiled with a little brown sugar and lime juice for dessert.

In terms of cost, how does farmers’ market produce compare with that offered by a local supermarket?
During the more than 20 years that I’ve been shopping at farmer’s markets around the country, I’ve found that farmers’ market produce is often half (or even less) the cost of that found at the supermarket! It’s local, it’s in season, and extra shipping and storage costs aren’t being passed on to the consumer. Value for dollar is also an important consideration.

Am I getting my money’s worth when I shop? Take summer fruits—plums, peaches, nectarines—if I have to discard a lot of my bargain purchase because it won’t ripen, I haven’t saved any money at all. It pays to be an aware shopper.

Not too long ago, an e coli outbreak forced stores to remove bagged spinach from their shelves. Talk a bit about the safety of food sold at the farmer’s market.
Farmers who grow for their own families and for direct selling often have a great sense of accountability in the field. It’s not anonymous and it’s not centralized — two of the greatest perils to responsible farming. Whether or not a farmer is certified organic, he or she is likely to use practices that far exceed the minimum criteria for organic. For most growers who choose this way of life, farming is a passion and they want to excel.

Can you give us a quick tip for shopping at the farmers’ market?
Use all your senses. Look at the colors, smell the aromas, feel for ripeness, taste the sweetness, and listen to the farmers — they know their crops well. They cook them at home for their own families, and they learn tips and tricks from all the chefs.

Many people opt for one major trip to the grocery each week. You, on the other hand, buy most of your food at the farmers’ market. How hard is it to cook well from the farmers’ market?
Not hard at all. In fact, I think it’s incredibly easy. Remember, a good farmers’ market can provide most of what you need — carefully raised or caught meat and fish, handcrafted cheeses, fresh eggs. What’s more, shopping at the farmer’s market can actually simplify your life, as fresh, ripe, seasonal foods require little technique and a minimal amount of pantry items or equipment.

Can you give us a few quick tips for finding flavor?
Here are my five easy steps to great flavor:
1. Buy the freshest, tastiest ingredients you can find, and you’ll be steps ahead.
2. Use simple cooking techniques that bring out flavor and texture, such as roasting, searing, and chopping.
3. Go for contrasting colors, flavors, textures, and temperatures.
4. Season your cooking in stages to add depth of flavor.
5. Keep it simple.

Diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease. Americans are grappling with health concerns related to obesity and poor diet. Do farmers’ markets make a difference?

One of the greatest perks of shopping at the farmers’ market is that our cooking naturally tends toward lighter, healthier meals. Healthy cooking happens without even trying. When you want your main ingredient to shine, you’ll need less butter, oil, flour, sugar, etc. Desserts are a perfect example. That’s where you’ll really find that less is more: there’s simply no need to add loads of sugar to already sweet fruit.

How local is local?

If a farmer can drive produce to market for same-day sale, I consider that local. We have to be realistic, as many of us live in urban areas where farmland is more than a stone’s throw away. The important thing is to buy seasonally and locally whenever possible.

Can I really expect my child to embrace market meals?
I think so. Kids know what tastes good and will surprise us, if only we let them. The key is to offer variety. I have three grown children and a young granddaughter; everyone has had their likes and dislikes.
What’s with all the new-fangled foods — purple asparagus, artichokes, and potatoes, orange cauliflower and watermelons, white beets, baby broccoli?

Actually, these aren’t new inventions at all, but old varieties, many of which have been around for centuries. (Purple Peruvian potatoes, for instance, are directly descended from a 10,000 year-old spud!) Because small farms can grow a just row or two of different varieties of a crop, the farmers’ market system has given us a chance to get reacquainted with diversity in our foods.

How can I locate a farmers’ market in my area?
Do an internet search by typing in “farmers’ market” and your city or region. Many regions or states have umbrella organizations listing local markets. Just make sure that what you find is really a growers’ market. Key clues are words like certified, organic, and locally grown. If the main selling points are pony rides and caramel corn, you haven’t found the best of the best.

Rockin’ at the Roadhouse 2008

Rockin at the Roadhouse

MAY 21 Treetown Swingtette
MAY 28 Sari Brown
JUNE 4 Annie & Rod Capps
JUNE 11 Royal Garden Trio
JUNE 18 Dave Boutette
JULY 2 Jon Milan & The Brakemen
JULY 9 Jamie Sue Seal
JULY 16 Billy Mack
JULY 23 Five Guys Named Moe
JULY 30 Bill Bynum
AUG 6 Annie & Rod Capps
AUG 13 Royal Garden Trio
AUG 20 Treetown Swingtette
SEPT 3 Jon Milan & The Brakemen
SEPT 10 Jamie Sue Seal
SEPT 17 Billy Mack
SEPT 24 Dave Boutette
OCT 1 The Flying Latini Brothers
OCT 8 The Royal Garden Trio