Since I had a free morning on my birthday, I headed down to the Green City Market for the first time this spring. It was a crisp, but sunny day and the market looked glorious as usual. There isn't really that much this time of year but you can always count on mushrooms, asparagus, rhubarb and potatoes.
I was surprised to learn that the market validated parking has increased from $4 to $9 this year. That's pretty steep. Last year I would hit the Evanston Market on Sat and then the Green City on Wed. I like the chef sightings at GCM and Wednesday was the perfect middle of the week day for a market trip after Saturday. But at $9, on top of the pricey goods - I don't know how often I'll be going there this summer. There are plenty of other mid-week markets around the city (with cheaper, if not free parking) I will probably need to check out.
Now back to the good news: my first trip to the market netted me some gorgeous morels, asparagus, fingerling potatoes and several bunches of green garlic. We had just had a great side dish of sauteed asparagus and morels at Shaws Crab House the Saturday before; so I decided to make something similar. I started by sauteeing thinly sliced shallots until a little brown and sweet, then added the morels and finally the asparagus. I considered adding a touch of cream but then balked because I knew I would enjoy the dish without it. A nice fillet of salmon seemed the perfect accompaniment. We roasted the fingerlings (smaller than my thumb!) in garlic oil and herbs.
The green garlic was meant for a soup from James Peterson's Vegetables . I'm sorry to report that I made the soup and it was so strong that I could hardly eat it. I was afraid I would reek of garlic for days. It ended up down the drain.