Market News

In Season: Green Peas & Summer Squash

With the recent stretch of sunny days we’ve been having (yay summer!), all kinds of delicious fruits and veggies are starting to appear in stalls around the markets. One sure sign of warmer weather is the arrival of summer squash, those beefy, green and yellow gems that make a budget-savvy addition to your summer pastas, salads, and BBQ fixings.

Summer squash varieties include (l to r) zephyr, costata romanesco, cousa, patty pan, zucchini, and eight ball. Photo: Abundant Acres Family Farm

Cara Abrahams from Abundant Acres Family Farm in Chilliwack recommends marinating the squash with oil, vinegar, and garlic for 30 mins before cooking it on the barbecue in a grill basket. She and her husband Andy grow several varieties of summer squash, which they sell at their stall on Thursdays at the Downtown Farmers Market.

One of her favourite ways to preserve the abundance of these famously productive plants is by pickling them, mixing the different varieties in a single jar to make for an attractive display in your winter larder.

 

Snap pea harvesting at Sole Food Street Farms, currently North America’s largest urban farm project. Photo: Sole Food Street Farms

Next up on the seasonal roster is green peas – those amazing morsels of summer sweetness that taste best when you pop them straight out of the pod and into your mouth.

“I’m lazy and I like to eat them raw, ” says Andrea Wilkins y Martínez, farm director at Sole Food Street Farms. Among many other crops, Martínez and her team grow sugar snap peas just a couple blocks away from where they sell them each Wednesday at Main St. Station Farmers Market.

Whether you prefer English, snow, or snap varieties, green peas are amazingly versatile and packed with nutrients. North Vancouver-based holistic nutritionist Vanessa Vorbach uses shelled peas she sources from the markets to make a fresh pea hummus that’s a nice change from regular chickpea dips.

“I have a lot of clients who complain that chickpea hummus makes them bloated, so this recipe offers a great alternative,” says Vorbach. “Green peas are also rich in protein and compared to chickpeas, have less carbohydrates, fat and are overall lower in calories. On top of that, you get plenty of Vitamin A, C and minerals, such as Manganese and Magnesium”. She also recommends adding fresh peas to smoothies for a sweet and creamy protein boost – pow!

© Vanessa Vorbach

Fresh Pea Hummus

by Vanessa Vorbach

Ingredients

2 cups fresh shelled peas

3 Tbsp olive oil

4 Tbsp lemon juice

¼ cup of your favourite fresh herb. Dill, parsley, cilantro, basil or mint work great!

1-2 gloves of garlic

salt, pepper to taste

Optional: Dijon mustard

Directions

1.    Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add peas. Cook for about 2 minutes, drain and rinse them with cold water.

2.    Add all ingredients in a food processor and pulse for about 30 minutes. Add a bit of water or oil if you like the consistency on the creamier side.

3.    Adjust seasoning to your liking. Add more garlic, salt, or lemon to taste and some pepper

Serving options:

–        as a dip with sliced cucumbers, carrots, celery, apple

–        for sandwiches or lettuce wraps on a flatbread with grilled vegetables

–        as a pesto with zucchini noodles, olives and capers

–        on a sweet potato toast with sliced avocado

For more seasonal, market-inspired recipes, make sure to check out Vanessa’s blog or follow her on Instagram @vanessavorbach!

Looking for you closest neighbourhood farmers market? Visit our homepage for a complete listing of our seven summer location!