August 16th: Onions & Garlic & Shallots, Oh My!

Red Cippolini onions from Local Roots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons. Sure, there is other stuff at the Ballard Farmers Market this week. I'm just not sure I am going to write about it. Not when we've got all these cool onions and garlic and shallots to talk about. I mean, really, without these supporting, bulbous characters to compliment most of the other stuff we bring home from the Market each week, what would really be the point of eating, right? Take these absolutely beautiful red cippolini onions from Local Roots, for instance. Think of all the things that would turn from average to spectacular just by added some carmelized slices of them.

Give the gift of garlic, from Anselmo Farms. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Anselmo Farms grows about 60 varieties of garlic currently, though only about 3o will make it to Market this year. That’s because in order for the farm to build up its seed stock, it needs to take all of the other 30 and replant them for next year. The good news is that they have plenty of the 30 varieties coming to Market, and as there is no such thing as too much garlic, stock up. They'll grow more.

Chesnok red garlic from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oxbow Farm has some pretty spirited garlic of its own right now. Their Chesnok red garlic, above, is a strong, hard-neck red garlic that will put some umph into whatever you are cooking.

New harvest shallots from Anselmo. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Besides garlic, Anselmo grows a lot of shallots, as well. The shallots above are those lovely little clustering bulbs that really define what we think of as a shallot.

Young leeks from Boistfort Valley Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

How about some leeks, a sweet and versatile member of the onions family? These beautiful young leeks are from Boistfort Valley Farm. Again, just think of the possibilities.

Aisla Craig Scottish heirloom onions from Full Circle Farm. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

These Ailsa Craig Scottish heirloom onions from Full Circle Farm are sweet and mild, with a deep onion flavor. They make just about everything they are added to better. Well, except maybe ice cream, though I wouldn't put it past Empire Ice Cream to try it.

Local Roots shallots. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Local Roots has some fabulous shallots, too. These are a larger variety than those from Anselmo, up above. This is a seed shallot, which grows individually, instead of in a cluster.

Heirloom tomatoes and eggplant from Tiny's. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Rest assured, however, that there is still plenty of other deliciousness waiting for you at your Ballard Farmers Market -- waiting, in fact, for you to add to it some onions, garlic and shallots!

Nash's beans. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Beans love all three.

Viking purple potatoes from Olsen are perfect for Ballard. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Potatoes do, too.

Veggie display at Pa Garden. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Above, Walla Walla sweet onions and leeks cozy up with many of their favorite vegetables in a display at Pa Garden last week.

Various cherry tomatoes from Nature's Last Stand. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

And it goes without saying, though I am going to say it anyway, that tomatoes adore onions and garlic and shallots.

I know, I know. There is a lot more available at your Ballard Farmers Market this week. For a full accounting, click on "What's Fresh Now!" in the upper right-hand corner, and we'll see you today at the Market.