This week we took a detour from our usual haunts and ventured to the Longmont Farmers' Market (9595 Nelson Road), also run by Boulder County Farmers' Markets
, in Longmont. The chef scheduled couldn't make the tour, so I decided to take matters, er, vegetables, into my own hands and shopped for a family-friendly farm dinner. September is one of the best months to peruse the stands; most of us think of fresh produce as a spring and early summer thing, but the end-of-summer harvest proves best with a bounty of garlic, chiles, radishes, so many tomatoes, green beans, squash, apples and the last of the stone fruits.
Aspen Moon Farms' colorful display of cherry tomatoes.
My dinner goal included grilled cheese with chiles, summer succotash with pesto, and a pot of tomato sauce, which wasn't for dinner that night but would be enjoyed during Sunday supper. Over the course of an hour I picked up sweet corn from Full Circle Organic Farms
; spaghetti squash and basil from Aspen Moon Farm
; Honeycrisp apples from Masonville Orchards
; Chesnok Red garlic at WeeBee Farms
's arugula pesto; Buttercup cheese from Haystack Mountain Creamery
; green beans from Emerald Acres; filone bread from Izzio Artisan Bakery
; Big Jim green chiles from Pope Farms Produce
; and tomatoes from Ollin Farms
Full Circle Organic Farms in Longmont picks its sweet corn in the morning before bringing it to the market. It's so good, you can eat it raw right off the cob. Best part, it's only $1.50 for three ears.
In the market we sampled pierogi, dips, tamales and pretzels. I also got a stunning pot of white and red chrysanthemums from Blue Ribbon Farms
for a measly $12. These beautiful blossoms are also in season right now.
This farmers' market visit involved a hungry toddler who demanded one of the giant cinnamon pretzels from Styria Bakery.
At home I roasted the squash at 400 degrees for 40 minutes and then scooped it out of the skin and combined it with quartered and steamed green beans and freshly shucked corn kernels. A tablespoon of butter got melted into the pot and mixed with a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper. Then I topped it with a spoonful of the arugula pesto. For the sandwich I put a whole roasted chile in between layers of cheese and then added some of the sweet and crisp apple to the side to help counteract the spice.
Cleavers aren't just for meat! Try using yours to cut into a big squash like this spaghetti squash.
While the final dinner spread didn't turn out as glamorous as some of the dishes we have featured in this column from professional chefs, it sure tasted good, and my three-year-old ate her whole sandwich and tried the veggies. In my book, that equals success. It was also great to see how big and bustling the Longmont Farmers' Market is in comparison to the Union Station market. If you get a chance, go visit this location before the end of the season.
Ta-da! I made a light succotash with roasted spaghetti squash, beans, a little bit of butter, salt and some raw sweet corn. Then, to tie it all together, it got a dollop of pesto on top.
Family dinner for three with all of the food from the Longmont Farmers' Market save for the wine, butter, salt and pepper.
For more photos, see our complete Longmont Farmers' Market slideshow
. Also take a peek at our farm-fresh photos with the chefs of Vesta
, Black Cat Bistro
, the Regional