In last week’s post, we explored some of the Amazing Eats and Treats at the Bradenton Public Market. This week, we were super excited to chat with four more market vendors who shared their signature recipes that you can make with the fresh, local foods found at the market each week.
As with any public market, fruits and vegetables are central to the trade – but there’s so much more you can buy that’s fresh or homemade. The Bradenton Public Market features everything from organic poultry, meats, and fish to fresh-roasted coffee; ready-made salads; sauces; pickled vegetables; breads, microgreens; honey; jams and jellies, and more!
If you’re looking for some cooking inspiration, you’re in the right place! Let’s dive right in…
Jo started cultivating microgreens after mastering her own vegetable garden. What are microgreens, you wonder?
As the name suggests, they’re tiny seedlings of edible vegetables. They can be harvested in about 10 days after the leaves have developed, unlike regular-size vegetables that take weeks or months to grow.
There are about fifty to sixty varieties of these greens. Even though they’re much smaller than regular vegetables, they have a more intense flavor and have about forty percent more concentration of bioactive nutrients than their equivalent traditional vegetable. Some of the more popular microgreens include: Mustard Greens, Kale, Arugula, Spinach, Radish Greens, Peas, Cabbage and Basil.
Jo explained that these microgreens can be added to both sweet and savory dishes. They’re used to add flavor, color, and texture to salads, meats, sandwiches, and even smoothies. They can also be eaten raw.
Jo admitted that hot dogs are one of her favorite foods to add Mustard Greens to. Radish Greens are great with burgers and sandwiches and Kohlrabi Greens are great for salads with their turnip and broccoli flavors. Add them to tacos, pizza, soup, or pasta and make every meal healthier and more flavorful.
Jo is growing her business one step at a time. She’s currently at the market on Saturdays during this, her first season, and works part-time the rest of the week. She dedicates time to growing microgreens for the market as well as special orders.
Jo has become such a local expert on microgreens that some of the finer restaurants in the city have noticed. Right now she’s a provider for Chateaux 13 Restaurant and will be expanding her list very soon. She says she couldn’t do all this work without the help of her two daughters, Madison and Karisa, who are great helpers and are learning the trade at a very early age.
JoGrows Microgreens Recipe:
Parmesan and Ricotta Cheese Pizza with Pistachio and Microgreens
1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Pepper, Fresh Ground
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 Cup Pistachios, Chopped
1/2 Cup Microgreens of choice
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Prepare the dough and sprinkle a small amount of cornmeal on a pizza stone or baking pizza pan to prevent the pizza from sticking.
In a bowl, combine together the Ricotta, Parmesan, Olive Oil, Sea Salt, and Pepper.
Mix well, then place the mixture atop of the prepared pizza dough.
Next, layer with half of the Pistachios.
Bake the Pizza for 14-18 minutes until the dough is browned. Before serving, garnish the pizza with the remaining Pistachios and the Microgreens.
Green Leaf Produce
You could say that Lukas is the smiliest guy at the market. His disposition and friendliness can only be matched with his knowledge of agronomy. He’s not only a good farmer and businessman, but he’s also a graduate of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.
He was born in Woodstock, NY and basically grew up farming and being a part of several agricultural co-ops. This is his second season at the Bradenton Public Market. He currently lives in an area that allows him to cultivate approximately one and a half acres of Sustainable Agriculture, Hydroponics ( growing plants using a water-based nutrient solution rather than soil), Koi Fish Farming, and a Greens Floating Table Harvesting.
He also collaborates with other growers in the area. In addition, one of his loyal customers pointed out to me that he donates fresh produce every week to local families in need.
When it came time to share a favorite recipe, Lukas chose a Mexican Zucchini Boat.
Green Leaf Produce Recipe:
Mexican Zucchini Boats
4 medium or 3 large zucchini
1 medium onion
1 red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 lb ground pork and beef, or just beef
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh corn
Salt and pepper to taste
Lime juice optional
Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise.
Use a teaspoon to carefully scoop the flesh out of the zucchinis.
Dice the bell pepper and onion, chop the garlic very finely.
Heat the crushed tomatoes in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
When hot, add the bell pepper and onion.
Cook, stirring from time to time, for about 3-4 minutes, or until the onion is soft.
Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
Add ground meat and cook for a couple of minutes over high heat or until the meat is no longer pink.
Fill the zucchini boats with the filling (veggie or meat).
Place the zucchini in the saucepan, cover, and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Sprinkle the zucchini boats with cheese and lime juice and enjoy!
Pure Florida Apiary
Pure Florida Apiary’s collaboration with the Bradenton Public Market goes back some fourteen years to a time when the market was run by another organization and was at another location.
Adam is originally from New Jersey and moved to Florida about ten years ago. He came into the honey business by way of his brother-in-law, who is a full-time beekeeper. He started helping out with the bee hives, bottling honey, and maintaining the equipment. Now he runs their market business.
He explained to me that their honey is pure, has no other ingredients, and the only process that they put the honey through is basically filtering through a cheesecloth to pull out the pieces of hive that fall into the honey during collection.
All their honey is Manatee County Honey. Manatee County has several varieties of honey and each is labed by its main source of pollination. For example, Palmetto Honey is pollinated when palmetto trees are in bloom. To get this honey, bees are transported to areas with a high concentration of palmetto trees to pollinate.
Some other varieties you’ll find here iinclude Blueberry Honey, Mangrove Honey, Orange Blossom Honey and more. Every variety has a unique flavor, since the tree and pollination influence the flavor of the honey production.
When I asked Adam about his favorite recipe to make with the honey, he couldn’t pick just one. Some of the delicious-sounding recipes he mentioned included a Honey Baked Ham made with pure honey, apple cider, vinegar and placed straight into the smoker; a homemade Honey Butter Spread and Honey BBQ Sauce. We finally settled on this Honey Sandwich, made with fresh baked bread, Pure Florida Apiary Honey and homemade peanut butter.
Pure Florida Apiary Recipe:
Honey & Peanut Butter Sandwich
¼ cup of fresh-made peanut butter
4 tablespoons of Pure Florida Honey
2 thick slices of fresh-baked bread
Slather the bread with peanut butter
Drizzle with honey
Hot or Not Jams & Jellies
Pat is the owner of Hot or Not Jams & Jellies and is a four-season veteran of the Bradenton Public Market. She’s originally from Ohio, where she learned how to make jams, jellies and canned goods with her mother.
Pat says of the reasons she joined the market is the sense of community it provides, which was especially important to her after she retired from her day job about eight years ago. Her trajectory from Fort Myers Beach to Lakewood Ranch brought her to our market. She mentioned that many of her regular customers use the Habanero Jam for meatballs and also love the Peach Jam on roast pork. Then she started telling me about the Traffic Jam. Not the vehicular kind – but the one that she makes with strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, peaches and cherries. So fantastic!
The Traffic Jam is the sweet potion that she uses in her Traffic Walnut Thumbprint Cookies.
Hot or Not Jams & Jellies Recipe:
Traffic Thumbprint Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of Traffic Jam
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixer bowl on medium speed.
Add the egg yolks one at a time and mix until well combined after each.
Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough is just well combined. Do not over mix.
Create golf sized balls of cookie dough.
Gently roll into a ball, then roll in additional sugar, then set the balls on the baking sheet and chill.
Use the end of a spatula to press the cookies down.
Bake for a few minutes.
Put your thumbprint on it and fill the centers with jam.
Bake the cookies until the edges just begin to brown.
Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes.
More Local Vendors to Explore
There are SO MANY amazing vendors at the Bradenton Public Market who can help you cook, bake, or juice at home using fresh, LOCAL ingredients. Here are some others you’ll want to visit soon!
(Click on each image below to learn more!)
The Bradenton Public Market is open every Saturday between October and May and is located at Historic Main Street between Manatee Ave. and Second Street. This article has been created in collaboration with Realize Bradenton