What’s Cooking at the Old Town Farmers’ Market?

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MFV Rosa Lee Ford

Spring has sprung at Virginia Cooperative Extension and many of our programs are gearing up for a busy season. Master Food Volunteers began the market demonstration season at the Old Town Alexandria Farmers’ Market this past weekend. Fun fact: Did you know that the Old Town Farmers’ Market is the oldest in nation? It has been held in the same location for the past 260 years!


MFV and event organizer Kim Frey, MFV Anne Augusterfer and one of our newest Alexandria MFVs Rosa Lee Ford dished up servings of raw beet salad. You can find Master Food Volunteers preparing healthy recipes from fresh, in season produce on the last Saturday of every month through November. If you missed the demonstration, don’t worry. Just get some fresh beets on your next grocery or market trip and try out the recipe. It’s a healthy and delicious side dish for any barbecue or picnic.

Raw Beet Salad Recipe (courtesy of Food Network)

Ingredients (yield: 4 servings)

1 pound beets
1 large shallot
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, or to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or other good strong vinegar
About 1 tablespoon minced parsley, dill, or chervil; or about 1 teaspoon minced rosemary or tarragon

Peel the beets and the shallot. Combine them in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, and pulse carefully until the beets are shredded; do not puree. (Or grate the beets by hand and mince the shallots; combine.) Scrape into a bowl.

Toss with the salt, pepper, mustard, oil, and vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Toss in the herbs and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Mark Bittman’s THE MINIMALIST COOKS DINNER (Broadway, 2001) and Food Network

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