Fall at the Farmer’s Market
Seasonal goodness comes in lots of forms
By Lynn Cline, the Gourmet Girl
Fall brings a bounty of seasonal ingredients to the Santa Fe Farmers' Market, a veritable harvest that marks the end of the year's biggest growing season. Stroll through the market stands and admire the vibrant colors of autumn, from the bright red and green apples—Red Delicious, Winesap, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Rome and other varieties—to the gold and green hues of winter squash, the purple and crimson colors of the season's potatoes, the green of fresh roasted chile and much more.
Now is the time to shop for an autumnal feast and also to lay in your food supplies for the season. Whether you're a carnivore, a vegan, a vegetarian or a paleo-eater, you'll find an impressive array of seasonal foods to fit your diet, from organic beef, buffalo and chicken to mushrooms, mustard greens, arugula, and goat cheese. Below you'll find ideas for ingredients items that could come in handy this fall, followed by a few suggestions for restaurants serving seasonal fare made with farmer's market ingredients.
Farmer's Market Finds
Honey is like nectar from the gods, golden, sweet and delicious whether you use it in baking, sauces, tea and even straight from a spoon. Buckin' Bee Honey's Steve Wall has been beekeeping for more than 20 years, producing honey in Santa Fe from his local hives. His fragrant, flavorful honey has long been a staple for locals and visitors alike. I love it on toast, with a bit of butter for elevenses, the way Winnie-the-Pooh liked his honey, or try it with peanut butter for a sweet sandwich. Then again, this honey is so good, you can simply eat it from a spoon.
High up in the mountains near Tierra Amarilla, Anthony and Molly Manzanares raise organic grass-fed lamb that's so flavorful, once you've had it, you'll never be able to eat any other lamb again. Back in the summers of the late 19th-century, hundreds of sheepherders raised flocks of more than a thousand sheep each. Today, the Manzanares tend the last remaining flock, producing Shepherd's Lamb, along with churro wool, yarn and more. The rack of lamb and leg of lamb make a delectable fall feast. Pair it with fingerling potatoes or red bliss potatoes from Romero Farms, also known for its world-famous chile.
Garlic and lamb go perfect together, so pick up some of Stan and Rosemary Crawford's world-famous garlic, grown on their El Bosque Garlic Farm in Dixon. The Crawfords were among the original vendors of the Santa Fe Farmers' Market, and their garlic and shallots are packed with flavor. They're perfect for baking as well as roasting, then serving on home-baked bread. The bulbs will last in your kitchen for so much longer than any store-bought garlic. To learn more about what it takes to grow garlic in northern New Mexico, get a copy of Stan's classic book, "A Garlic Testament: Seasons on a Small Farm."
You can get a dazzling array of produce from Abiquiu-based Malandro Farm, where Lisa Anderson and Jim Benson grow squash, parsnips, turnips, beets, onions and so many other items. Why not roast a leg of Shepherd's lamb with any of these root vegetables and throw in an onion and some potatoes? You'll end up with a delicious plateful of comfort food.
If you don't feel like cooking, be sure to visit Crumpackers Bakery, as Amy Fagan and Keegan Crumpacker's baked quiche, chicken pot pie, tea breads and fruit pies are out of this world. Try the corn-green chile quiche or the poblano-leek with bacon and artichoke pesto quiche. Either one makes a perfect dinner, paired with a salad, or a nice dish for brunch.
To see how creative chefs around the city are using fresh, seasonal ingredients from the farmer's market, check out these restaurants.
You've likely seen regular Matt Yohalem of il Piatto Italian Farmhouse & Kitchen shopping the Santa Fe Farmers' Market. He's such an avid supporter of our local farmers that he received a 2018 Farmers All Star-Special Honors award from the Santa Fe Farmers' Market. You can savor what he's purchased in such dishes as Italian Pot Pie, a combo of New Mexico beef, mushrooms, baby carrots, red pepper flakes and puff pastry. Mary's Organic Roast Chicken is grilled with lemon and rosemary and served with roast potatoes and vegetables.
Louis Moskow of 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar has just launched his new fall menu and it includes a hearty organic winter squash soup made with farmer's market ingredients and served with cold-pressed pumpkin seeds and rye bread croutons. Butternut squash ravioli, a classic autumnal dish, is made here with wild mushrooms, toasted pine nuts and served with sage brown butter. Carnivores will want to dig into Duck Two Ways with braised greens, local winter squash, shallot confit and mustard sauce, or try the local bison bourguignon, cooked with red wine, baby roots, cous cous and topped with gremolata.
Try some farmer's market favorites at the Inn and Spa at Loretto's Luminaria Restaurant and Patio. Executive chef Jason Stewart has put together a few dishes featuring local ingredients, including blistered shishitos with poblano green goddess and feta, and a chile relleno with green chile, local cheddar jack, roasted corn and red chile. Parisian gnocchi made with baby squash, English peas, heirloom tomatoes and brown butter is another farmer's market dinner winner.
If you hurry, you might just make the last of the season's tomato dishes at Joe's Dining. Owner Roland Richter is one of the restaurateurs who shops the most at the Santa Fe Farmers' Market and folks line up for his Caprese salad and pizza margherita, made with house-made mozzarella and local heirloom tomatoes that are sun-ripened, soil-grown and organic. Today, by the way, is the last day you can order one of these. You could also try one of Joe's famous burgers, made with Beck & Bulow's buffalo meat or Shepherd's Lamb organic lamb burger. Top it it with Tucamcari feta, New Mexico chile, house-made fresh mozzarella and lots of other options. For dessert, apple pie a la mode is definitely in season.