It is an exciting time at the farmers market!

By Judy Delperdang

It’s an exciting time at the farmers market! More produce is coming into season!

There’s still the early spring vegetables, like lettuce, asparagus, and radishes, as well as spring/summer fruits like rhubarb and strawberries.

You can shop for your favorites, or branch out and try something new.

My go-to cookbook this time of year is “Minnesota’s Bounty: The Farmers Market Cookbook” by Beth Dooley. It’s a treasure-trove of information, allowing me to be brave and adventurous in my shopping. It lists every food item you’d find at the market, from fruits and vegetables to herbs and meat. There’s generally a description of the item, a cook’s note, quick serving ideas and a couple of recipes.

If you’re on the hunt for radishes, you might find Easter egg radishes, French breakfast radishes or daikons. For a quick idea, Dooley says to shred a daikon, toss with sesame oil and season with rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper and chopped cilantro.

One of my favorite ways of preparing radishes is to roast them. It gives them a more mellow flavor, with a little less bite. You can also save and saute the radish tops.

Roasted radishes:

2 bunches radishes, de-stemmed and cleaned

1 Tbsp olive oil

¼ tsp salt

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and carefully add radishes. Sprinkle with salt and cover. Hold the pan’s handle and lid with potholders and “shake” every minute or two (like popcorn). Cook for 15-20 minutes until browned on the outside and tender on the inside.

Find your favorites from your favorite vendors. But get there early – before they sell out!

The Clear Lake Farmers Market is open from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Surf Ballroom parking lot. You can also find us online at, as well as Facebook and Instagram. The Mason City Farmers Market is Tuesday and Friday from 4:00-6:00 pm in downtown Mason City on the corner of 1st NE and Delaware Ave. Find us on Instagram and Facebook as well as on our webpage.

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