Strawberries, Squash Blossoms, Salmon & Saffron Ice Cream

Holy skip from winter right straight into summer, Batman, look at what we have this week at Ballard Farmers Market. Let's start with strawberries. You heard me right. Strawberries from Eastern Washington. I guess they finally figured out that they can grow them there, so now we don't have to wait until late June for them anymore. Find them at Collins Orchards and Tiny's Organic Produce, but get there early, as they are sure to go fast. Speaking of going fast, if you got to the Market too after 11:30 a.m. last week, you missed the salmon and halibut at Wilson Fish that is so fresh, they like to say it is "from the future," and you missed the saffron ice cream from Empire that uses Washington-grown saffron from Phocas Farms in Port Angeles. Don't make that mistake this week. Oh, and Empire is bringing back its famed beet sorbet this week, too!

Full Circle Farm has first of the season baby zucchini with squash blossoms. Chefs and gourmands, beat a path to Full Circle for these little lovelies, and then pick up some fresh goat cheese to stuff in those blossoms. Yum! Oh, and Full Circle has baby carrots now, as well.

How about some magnificent collard greens from Oxbow Farm, while you're at it. Sauté these beautiful, tender greens with some bacon from Sea Breeze or Skagit River Ranch, a little green garlic from any number of farms, like Anselmo or Alvarez, and a little salt, pepper and olive oil until just wilted, and you are good to go. No need to cook them to death or over-season them like they do in the South. And collards are one of nature's true super foods, too.

Alm Hill has got fava beans and broccoli, and Nash's even has basil. So don't you dare miss the market this week, as you never know what you'll find.

Hadley Mollman, a kindergardener at West Woodland Elementary, apparently found this bird at the Market. Photo sent in by dad, John Mollman, but taken by mom, Kimberly Andrews, on May 17th.