Sunday, October 20th: Hat-Shaped Pasta, Trees of Brussels, Fancy French Pears, Bitter Italian Greens & Other Stuff Not From Europe!

Carrot-Spinach cappellacci from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons. This week's installment of all things localicious at your Ballard Farmers Market has a decidedly European feel, but trust me, it's all local! For instance, above, you see carrot-spinach cappellacci from Pasteria Lucchese. "Cappellacci" means "small hats" in Italian, and this lovely filled pasta looks like little hats, ergo, its name. They have this charmingly delicious pasta this week, as well as pumpkin cappellacci, chard ravioli, beef-porcini ravioli, smoked salmon ravioli, bolognese sauce and a bunch of their basic pastas.

Treviso radicchio from One Leaf Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Treviso radicchio is named for the Italian city of Treviso. Grown by One Leaf Farm along the Snoqualmie River in Carnation, this most stunning of chicories is wonderfully bitter, with a hint of sweetness once cooked. It is terrific grilled simply with olive oil or sautéed with your favorite farmers market bacon. It loves a nice, strong finishing salt to help cut its bitterness, and if you like it a little sweeter, try drizzling some balsamic vinegar on it.

D'Anjou pears from Booth Canyon Orchards. Photo copyright 2010 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These D'Anjou pears are Booth Canyon Orchard's bread and butter, and they are excellent long keepers when stored well. They've got them by the box, all packed for storage for you to pull out later in the year and enjoy. Of course, right now, they also have a number of their heirloom varieties of pears, ripe and ready to eat now, like White Doyenne, Conference, Comice, Gourmet, and Magness.

Winter squash from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Have you yet had your first kitchen-warming roasted winter squash of the fall? I did this past week, and oh, how satisfying it was. The wonderful sweetness. The beautiful texture. The heat of the oven. The simplest way to enjoy winter squash is to roast it in the oven. Just scoop out the seeds (and roast them separately!), give the squash a good rubdown with olive oil, place it in a nice baking dish and slide it into a 375-degree oven. Once it is nice and soft, you will enjoy how roasting it dry, versus with water in the pan or steaming it, intensifies its flavor and sweetness. This lovely collection of winter squash comes from Boistfort Valley Farm.

Fall flower bouquets from Mee Garden. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

We've still got plenty of gorgeous flower bouquets at your Ballard Farmers Market to brighten your home, or the day of someone special. Enjoy the colors of fall in autumn varieties of flowers, like these from Mee Garden, up at the 22nd Ave end of the Market.

Arctic Snow nectarines from Tiny's Organic Produce. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It may be the end of October, but we still have these Arctic Snow nectarines hanging around for you to devour. Sweet and juicy and ready for you to slobber all over your shirt, these lovelies are just one of the many organic tree fruits available today from Tiny's Organic Produce at your Ballard Farmers Market.

Brussels sprouts trees from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Money may not grow on trees, but Brussels sprouts do... well, sort of. We call them trees, but they are really big, hardy stalks. The important thing is that Brussels sprouts season is back, baby! Woohoo! I, for one, would be happy to eat them all year long, so I relish this time of year. But if you are one of those people with doubts about them, perhaps you've never had them prepared right. I like sautéing them with shallots and bacon, and then I finish them off by deglazing the pan with a nice white wine. The wine reincorporates the caramelized bits of bacon and shallot on the bottom of the pan into the sprouts and adds a nice sweetness as it tenderizes the sprouts. You can omit the bacon, if you must. Brussels sprouts also roast well in the oven, too! These trees are from Alm Hill Gardens (a.k.a., Growing Washington).

Wines from Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Photo copyright 2013 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Eaglemount Wine & Cider will be sampling their wines and ciders today at your Ballard Farmers Market. They have a wide selection of amazing wines and ciders, like these three big red wines, above. Try them out to find the flavors that you like best, and don't be afraid to try something new.

Daily Bird Pottery. Photo copyright 2012 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Today, we welcome back another one of our food-related artisans, Daily Bird Pottery, from Port Townsend. They produce naked pottery, which means it is not glazed. That means that the chemical properties of the pottery are able to interact with foods and beverages, reducing bitterness and enhancing flavors. This is not new technology, as naked pottery has been used by societies around the world, from India to Mexico, for millennia. Indeed, there is nothing quite like sipping mescal from clay cups, or whatever your poison of choice, as once you get one of Daily Bird's sipping cups, you can enjoy your whiskey or tea from it, too.

There is plenty more local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Please remember bring your own bags every Sunday, as Seattle’s single-use plastic bag ban is now in effect. Also, please take note of our new green composting and blue recycling waste receptacles throughout your Ballard Farmers Market, and please make an effort to use them correctly. Each container has what’s okay to put in it pictured right on the lid. Please do not put the wrong materials in, because that drives up the cost of recycling and composting, and it can result in the entire container being sent instead to a landfill. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.