If you go
Boulder Farmers Market
When: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 21,
4-8 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 7
Where: 13th Street and Canyon Boulevard, Boulder
Longmont Farmers Market
When: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 21
Where: Boulder County Fairgrounds
Upcoming events: Celebrate National Farmers Market (Sunday-Aug. 8) with the Farmers Market. The market and Longmont's Aspen Moon Farm will host a Farmer Picnic and Book Reading from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday on Boulder Creek near the Boulder Public Library Main Branch, 1001 Arapahoe Ave. Space is limited, so RSVP at bit.ly/1gR6Qob. On Aug. 8, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Boulder Farmers Market will host the Stone Fruit Festival in celebration of peach, apricot and plum season.
In season now: This week, sweet corn, peaches, apricots, green beans, yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, kale, beets, potatoes, spicy greens, onions, chard, arugula and lettuce decorate the market, along with locally grown flowers like sunflowers, Canterbury bells and lilies. All season long, you will find honey, bread, baked goods, eggs, beef, lamb, goat, pork, chicken, cheeses, preserves, mushrooms and greenhouse produce such as tomatoes and cucumbers.
Lots of this, please: freshly picked varieties of mint, including spearmint and Kentucky Colonel (a cross between apple mint and spearmint grown by the Fresh Herb Co. in Longmont). If your farmers market browsing has never led to you to the fresh-cut herbs, I suggest picking a new one each week and discovering creative seasonal combinations.
The farmer says: Rod Brueske, of La Joyia Farm in Longmont, advises home gardeners that mint is an invasive crop that can encroach on nearby plants. He and his wife, Danielle McCann, have to keep a close eye on the mint and will pull up parts of the plants as they spread.
How to prepare: Lyle Davis, of Pastures of Plenty Farm in Longmont, prepared a simple but memorable dish of roasted summer squash with lemon juice and chopped mint for the Field to Vase farm dinner at The Fresh Herb Co. last week, and it paired wonderfully with the lamb chop entrée. Also try a summery Caprese Salad with peaches, tomatoes, mozzarella and mint. Chet Anderson, owner of The Fresh Herb Co., likes to cool down in the summer with a mint mojito made with Montanya rum, distilled in Crested Butte.
Goes with: summer squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, spinach, strawberries, snap peas, watermelon, lamb and pork.
How to store it: Rod Brueske recommends placing mint stems in a glass of water in the fridge when you get home from the market, which will rejuvenate the leaves and keep them fresh longer.
Good to know: This list represents a general overview of the week's harvest, not every item that is being produced locally. Some farms do not grow or have ready some items on the list.
Lamb Chops with Mint Chimichurri
For the mint chimichurri:
¼ cup mint
1 jalapeno (2 for more spice)
1 tablespoon red onion
½ tablespoon garlic
1 cup olive oil
Juice of 3 limes
1 teaspoon salt
For the lamb chops:
4 lamb bone-in chops (4 ounces each)
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon chile powder
2 tablespoons oil
Directions: After rinsing and drying all of the produce, finely chop mint, basil, and cilantro. Place cut herbs in a mixing bowl. Small dice the jalapeno, red onion and garlic. Place those ingredients in the same bowl. Finally mix in olive oil, lime juice and salt. Mix all of the ingredients together.
For the lamb chops: Lay out the lamb chops on a seasoning tray. Mix together the salt, pepper and chile powder. Season each one of the chops evenly on both sides. Heat a medium-sized pan, preferably cast iron, that can fit all four chops. Pour in the oil, coating the entire pan. Carefully place the seasoned chops in the pan. Sear each side for about 3 minutes. Look for the caramelization on each side. Remove the chops and let rest for 5 minutes. Place cooked chops on a plate or platter. Stir up the chimichurri and pour over the lamb. Garnish with a cut lime wedge. Enjoy!
Source: Kevin Grossi, chef de cuisine at Lola. loladenver.com