Farmers Markets, That Is!

Kimberly with Author Nina Planck at Smart Markets in Oakton

Kimberly with Author Nina Planck at Smart Markets in Oakton

I went to the Oakton, VA farmers market this Saturday, an all winter farmers market that I have added to my shopping routine. Many of our area farmers markets are sponsored by Fairfax County. Smart Markets is different, in the sense that it is a non-profit endeavor.

Free Samples for Foodies!

Jean Janssen, the manager of the not for profit,, which runs the market and numerous others around Northern Virginia, had quite a spread at her booth. She had a pasta ravioli dish in one chafing dish, slow roasted pork butt appetizers served in a tortilla shell, and a beautiful soup, all free for the tasting. Jean really knocks herself out at her markets, sharing recipes, doing tastings of food sourced from her farmers. She is a foodie, extraordinaire! She makes a trip to the farmers market better than going to Costco or Whole Foods!

ho_jamie-oliverJean Loves Home Cooking

One weekend, she was telling me of a wonderful dish she created at home the night before. I begged her for the recipe to share with you. Here it is!

Tangerine Carrots

This recipe is loosely adapted from Jamie Oliver’s, Jamie at Home which describes this method for roasting carrots and beets in the oven.

For each small bunch of Heritage Farm and Kitchen carrots, blanch them whole, trimmed and washed, in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes until just tender. Drain and place in a bowl with one or two smashed garlic cloves, a “glug” of very good extra-virgin olive oil, a few sprigs of chopped rosemary, the juice and grated peel of two tangerines and the juice of ½ lemon and a good grating of black pepper.

Place in a shallow baking pan and roast in a 425-degree oven for 30 – 40 minutes until tender and beginning to color.

With more carrots, just use more of the flavoring ingredients.

You will need a good grater for thin-skinned tangerines but after 40 years in the kitchen I finely bought a really good one and highly recommend that every cook do so much sooner than I did.

The other Winter Markets in Northern Virginia

For those of you closer to Falls Church, the Fairfax County market is also open all winter.  Keith and I also like this much larger market, and it is worth the trip from Reston, when we have the time.  There are several sustainable growers there, and it is a lot more crowded.

Smart Markets announces the launch of a new market!

Purcellville, Va., is the site of a weekly, year-round market in the parking lot of Purcellville’s Town Hall, at 130 E. Main St., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At Jean’s Smartmarket, the farmers are not so busy and have more time to explain their products and philosophies, which is really great.  Now that this market has opened we love the convenience, and plan to visit her most Saturdays.