Farmers' Markets

At the Farmers' Market With Chef Linda Hampsten Fox of the Bindery

Saturday's chef's demo at the Union Station Farmers' Market starred Linda Hampsten Fox of the Bindery.
Saturday's chef's demo at the Union Station Farmers' Market starred Linda Hampsten Fox of the Bindery. Linnea Covington

As The Bindery's chef/owner, Linda Hampsten Fox, made her way around the Union Station Farmers' Market this past Saturday, she stopped and talked to all the vendors while perusing their goods. Getting to know food producers and purveyors is one of her favorite aspects of the market, and while she shopped for EatDenver's weekly chef's cooking demo, she left with a few business cards as well as armloads of bread, tons of tomatoes and bundles of fragrant fresh thyme.

click to enlarge Rows of tomatoes and cucumbers at the Union Station Farmers' Market. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Rows of tomatoes and cucumbers at the Union Station Farmers' Market.
Linnea Covington
"I love everything, absolutely everything, from the freshness to the quality of product to the passion of the farmers and craftsmen here," Fox said. "At the Bindery, we are all about the craft of cooking, and everyone here is here for that reason."

The market's vegetable of the week turned out to be summer squash and zucchini, and it became apparent at stands like ACRES at Warren Tech and Micro Farms that the crops are growing strong this summer. The chef selected some bright-green samples from Micro Farms, where she also picked up an impressive bouquet of herbs.

click to enlarge Chef Linda Hampsten Fox of the Bindery ponders produce at Micro Farms. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Chef Linda Hampsten Fox of the Bindery ponders produce at Micro Farms.
Linnea Covington

"Summer squash is coming into season, and a lot of people get overwhelmed by the abundance," Fox noted. So she decided that the day's demo dish would center on the vegetable in a panzanella-puttanesca salad, using chunks of bread from Raleigh Street Bakery. The chef also picked up a loaf of ciabatta from Hinman's Bakery to give her creation contrasting bread flavors and textures.


click to enlarge Zucchini and summer squash are the vegetable of the season right now. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Zucchini and summer squash are the vegetable of the season right now.
Linnea Covington
"Panzanella-puttanesca — it's marrying Naples and the Tuscan area, since it's a combination of the two recipes," Fox added, explaining that puttanesca sauce is usually added to pasta. "Originally puttanesca was made to lure fishermen into the beds of women of the night."

click to enlarge So much beautiful bread from Raleigh Street Bakery. - LINNEA COVINGTON
So much beautiful bread from Raleigh Street Bakery.
Linnea Covington

Along with zucchini and summer squash, Fox added striped German, Pink Beauty, cherry and beefsteak tomatoes from Rocky Mountain Fresh, as well as the grower's English cucumbers. Pungent bunches of purple and sweet basil from Cure Organic Farm and pickled garlic from Cajun Pickles, a market newcomer, were also procured. The special Spanish olive oil, Calabrian chilis, cured Kalamata olives and flaked sea salt all came from Fox's LoHi restaurant.
   
click to enlarge A beautiful table is part of chef Linda Hampsten Fox's charm. - LINNEA COVINGTON
A beautiful table is part of chef Linda Hampsten Fox's charm.
Linnea Covington
As she ripped bread, sliced tomatoes, tore basil and drizzled in olive oil, the chef talked to the audience about life in Italy (where she lived for many years), world travel, her personal cooking preferences and her daughter, who's now in college. She gave step-by-step instructions to the crowd who had gathered in the sunny spot on that hot market day, noting the complete instructions could be found in her new cookbook that's currently available online but will soon be sold at the Tattered Cover.

click to enlarge Making a panzanella-puttanesca salad during the chef's demo at the Union Station Farmers' Market. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Making a panzanella-puttanesca salad during the chef's demo at the Union Station Farmers' Market.
Linnea Covington
"It's super-simple and really fun, plus you can decide which vegetables and pickles you want to put in it," she explained of the panzanella, adding that the salad gets better the longer it sits, and making it proves a handy use for old bread. "It's a great idea for a picnic or a home barbecue, too."

click to enlarge The finished panzanella-puttanesca salad. - LINNEA COVINGTON
The finished panzanella-puttanesca salad.
Linnea Covington
The audience left with a great idea for a flavorful salad and a new way to use summer squash; and the chef walked with some new connections for her restaurant. All of the samples were gobbled up by the hungry crowd, even quicker than the just-in Palisade peaches over at the Morton Orchards booth.


click to enlarge Some young food lovers pepper the chef with questions. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Some young food lovers pepper the chef with questions.
Linnea Covington
click to enlarge A perfect stack of english cucumbers. - LINNEA COVINGTON
A perfect stack of english cucumbers.
Linnea Covington
click to enlarge Pickled garlic from Cajun Pickles. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Pickled garlic from Cajun Pickles.
Linnea Covington
click to enlarge Saturday's chef's demo in Union Station Farmers' Market featured Linda Hampsten Fox of the Bindery. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Saturday's chef's demo in Union Station Farmers' Market featured Linda Hampsten Fox of the Bindery.
Linnea Covington
click to enlarge Chef Linda Hampsten Fox purchases baguettes from Raleigh Street Bakery at the Union Station Farmers' Market. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Chef Linda Hampsten Fox purchases baguettes from Raleigh Street Bakery at the Union Station Farmers' Market.
Linnea Covington
click to enlarge The panzanella-puttanesca salad was a great refresher on an already sweltering morning. - LINNEA COVINGTON
The panzanella-puttanesca salad was a great refresher on an already sweltering morning.
Linnea Covington
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Linnea Covington moved back to Denver after spending thirteen years in New York City and couldn't be happier to be home, exploring the Mile High and eating as much as possible, especially when it involves pizza or ice cream.
Contact: Linnea Covington