If you’re dedicated to seeking locally sourced food when possible, your market basket will be decidedly green this week.
Get your fill of local mixed greens now, because the onset of triple-digit temperatures will see their demise, said Laurel Loew, co-owner of Agua Linda Farm in Amado.
“We still have them, but when the temperatures get to 100 degrees, they start bolting and get bitter,” Loew said.
Agua Linda sells every Sunday at the Tucson Farmers’ Market at St. Philip’s Plaza, 4280 N. Campbell Ave., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at its Farm Store in Amado. Currently available are lettuce, cabbage, kale, swiss chard, Asian greens, turnips, snow peas and sugar snap peas.
A trek the other direction from Tucson to Our Garden in Catalina will have you choosing from radicchio, kale, chard, spinach, bok choi, turnips, radishes (white and red), lettuce, onion thinnings and asparagus. Open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon, Our Garden is about 10 miles north of Tucson at 16500 N. Stallion Place.
In another month, Our Garden will be harvesting onions, garlic and 40 rows of corn, said Jesse Petty, whose family owns and farms Our Garden.
Back in town, the Food Conspiracy Co-op, 412 N. Fourth Ave., features produce from a variety of local farmers, including Leo Mercado of Tanque Verde Gardens, whose location allows him to stretch his harvest of fragile greens, said Torey Ligon, outreach coordinator for Food Conspiracy.
“He’s way out in this little bowl in the Tanque Verde Wash, so he gets cooler temperatures,” Ligon said. “Last year, he was growing lettuce into June.”
Four different farmers are still bringing greens to the co-op, with grapefruits and some oranges and lemons also still available, Ligon said.
“We’re kind of right at the change point where the seasons start shifting,” she said. “We’ll be getting carrots, turnips, beets and radishes, and once you get into June, that’s when you start to see onions and garlic.”
Roasted Kale with Sea Salt
Tougher than most greens, kale is usually stir fried or boiled. This easy recipe, comprised of just three ingredients, yields kale with a crispy texture and salty flavor.
4 cups firmly packed kale
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon good-quality sea salt, such as Maldon or Cyprus Flake
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash and trim the kale: Peel off the tough stems by folding the kale leaves in half like a book and stripping the stems off. Toss with extra virgin olive oil. Roast for five minutes. Turn kale over. Roast another 7 to 10 minutes until kale turns brown and becomes paper thin and brittle. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings.
Sauteed Swiss Chard
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
2 large bunches Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
Melt butter with oil in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chard; stir to coat. Cover; cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Transfer to bowl and serve.
LOCAL PRODUCE SOURCES
• Agua Linda Farm, I-19, Exit 42, south on East Frontage Road in Amado, 520-398-3218, agualindafarm.net
• Our Garden, 16500 N. Stallion Place, Catalina, 825-3861, ourgardencatalina.com
• Community Food Bank Farmers’ Market, 3003 S. Country Club Road, 622-0525, Tuesdays 8 a.m. to noon.
• Farmers’ Market at the University of Arizona, Main Gate Square on University Boulevard between Park and Euclid, 319-9868, Fridays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market, 1352 W. Speedway Blvd., 622-0525, Thursdays 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• Tucson Farmers’ Market, St. Philip’s Plaza, 4280 N. Campbell Ave., 918-9811, Sundays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Food Conspiracy Co-op, 412 N. Fourth Ave., 624-4821, foodconspiracy.org, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.