Chef at market is unsung jewel

Most of us know that all parts of Swiss chard are edible, but many recipes direct you to cut off the thick stalks. Most beet recipes never had the beet greens in mind when they were written. When you buy a whole, fresh and beautiful vegetable at the Homer Farmers Market, it seems a pity to let any of it go to waste.

That is why Ruth Lavrakas made hummus and spring rolls at the Chef at the Market demonstration a couple of weeks ago. The spring rolls (which were delicious) incorporated the greens of Swiss chard while the hummus actually used chard stalks instead of garbanzo beans — a tasty reminder that nothing needs to go to waste.

I almost missed it. As I walked into the Market I was focused on food booths, not the table up front by the music. But then I ran into a friend (who cooks at one of Homer’s finest restaurants) and he told me, “You gotta try the hummus. Don’t miss the hummus.”

The Chef at the Market is one of the most unsung jewels of the Market. In the tent right up front every week someone is sharing an inspired recipe or cooking concept. Last week Mandy was showing how to prepare miso glazed turnips. Not sure you would like that? Taste it and find out.

You may just find your new favorite form of preparing veggies or discover a new veggie that you never prepared.

And if you have a recipe or cooking demonstration you would like to share, give Margarida Kondak a call at 229-1525. The Market pays for the veggies you purchase from Market vendors for your demo and throws in a little stipend for your time. Demos start usually around noon or 1 p.m., depending on the musical guest that day.

This week Margarida will be sharing her Market Veggie Frittata. Make sure you swing over and grab a sample and a copy of the recipe. That way when you are down at the Market this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or on Wednesday from 2-5 p.m., you can make sure to pick up the veggies for your favorite new recipe.

Kyra Wagner is the coordinator of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fan.