• Here are the recipes from this year’s first two Chef Demos.

    Evanston’s best chefs aren’t just the best because of their fantastic food. They are also incredibly generous when it comes to visiting the market and sharing that food with literally hundreds of folks.

    This season, we’ve already been visited by Deb Evans of Peckish Pig and Feast and Imbibe’s D’andre Carter. They were warmly received by marketgoers, of course. They brought along recipes to share, but for those who did not obtain them at the events, we’re going to share them right here!

    The funny thing is, one recipe is 5 lines long, and the other is over two pages. We guarantee, however, you’ll want to make both!

    Roasted Beets, Burrata Cheese, Bourbon-Soaked Blueberries and Honey Basil Salad

    presented by Deb Evans of Peckish Pig


    • One medium sized roasted beet diced
    • 1 cup of fresh blueberries that have been soaked in bourbon over night
    • 1 8oz piece of Burrata cheese, chopped
    • 3 basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade


    Mix together in a bowl and serve.


    Cauliflower Hummus Garden Pot

    presented by D’andre Carter of Feast and Imbibe

    Cauliflower Hummus


    • 2 Cups Chopped Cauliflower
    • 1 Can Chick Peas (strained and rinsed)
    • 3 Tbsp Tuscan Olive Oil
    • 2 Clove Garlic
    • 1 large Onion Chopped
    • 1 Table spoon Butter
    • Kosher Salt – add as needed to taste
    • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
    • 1/2 cup water


    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a non-stick pan. Once the butter is melted add in the chopped onions. Cook the onions down until they are soft and translucent. Take the onions off the heat and let cool.
    • In a small mixing bowl, toss the Chopped Cauliflower, a pinch of kosher salt and olive oil together.
    • Put cauliflower on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until soft. Let cool.
    • In a food processor put cooked onions, garlic, chick peas, cauliflower and tuscan olive oil. Blend until smooth. Add Salt and pepper to taste.

    Pumpernickel Dirt


    • 1 Loaf Pumpernickel
    • Kosher Salt – add as needed to taste


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut Pumpernickel bread into 1/2 inch cubes. Put the diced cubes on a baking sheet and put in the oven for about 15 minutes or until bread is hardened.
    • Once the bread is done, let cool. When the bread is cooled off, put the dried cubes into the food processor and pulse until it resembles a fine powdered texture.
    • After it comes out the food processor, put through a fine strainer. You can store the fine ground pumpernickel up to 30 day in a dry cool place.

    Lemon Curd


    • 3 Lemons
    • 1 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/4 pound unsalted butter
    • 5 Large Eggs
    • 1/2 cup lemon juice
    • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher Salt


    • Using a vegetable peeler, zest 3 lemons. Try your best to avoid the white pith. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.
    • Cream the butter in a mixer and add the eggs 1 at a time.
    • Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and salt, mixing until combined.
    • Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below a simmer.
    • Remove from the heat and let cool or place in refrigerator.

    Lion Head Asparagus


    • Pencil Size Asparagus
    • 1 cup Salt
    • 1 cup Sugar
    • 4 quarts Water (boiling)
    • 3 quarts water (iced with 1 quart ice)


    • Cut asparagus 2 inches from the top. With a vegetable peeler, lightly peel the asparagus downwards, making sure you don’t dig too deep into the stem.
    • Bring a pot of water (4 quarts) to boil. Add salt and sugar.
    • Place Asparagus in the pot for 10 seconds and put in ice water for 10 minutes.
    • Dry off with a paper towel.

    Dried Beech Mushrooms


    • Vegetable Frying Oil
    • Beech Mushroom
    • Kosher Salt


    • Cut off the base of the mushrooms so that each beech mushroom will be separate instead of a clump. (You may have to pull some apart.)
    • Fill medium pot with vegetable oil half way. Heat oil up to 365 degrees.
    • Fry the beech mushrooms until they are almost crispy.
    • Put the mushrooms in a dehydrator overnight.

    Assemble the Garden Pot


    • Lemon Curd
    • Cauliflower Hummus
    • Pumpernickel Dirt
    • Prepped Lion Head Asparagus
    • Dried Beech Mushrooms
    • Sunflower Sprouts
    • Micro Parsley


    • Layer 1 tsp of Lemon Curd at the bottom of the garden pot, followed by 3 tbsp of Cauliflower Hummus.
    • Sprinkle the Pumpernickel dirt over the hummus until it coats the hummus, and shake off the excess.
    • To build the garden, place one of each of the Lion Head Asparagus, Dried Beech Mushroom, Sun Flower Sprouts, and Micro Parsley into the the dip so that they are standing up.

  • Friends Finds Fresh Eyes and a New Voice to Explore Our Market

    We’ve been reporting on and writing about the Farmers Markets in Evanston for more than six years now, and it is a pleasure to welcome a new writer to our fold.

    Anna Wittcoff is a rising sophomore at ETHS who is a dedicated student and enjoys learning. When she is not swimming or playing badminton, Anna enjoys playing the cello in orchestra and participating in community service. She is extremely excited to be writing for Friends of the Evanston Farmer’s Market this summer as she has been attending the farmer’s market since before she could walk and talk.

    We have asked Anna to explore the market for us–to speak with vendors and shoppers and learn their stories, and to put into words the impressions she has fostered from literally a lifetime at the market.

    Anna began her submissions with a verse, and we think it’s a delightful way to begin our acquaintance with her writing. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to see all of Anna’s reports. But read her poem first!


    A Farmer’s Awakening

    By Anna Wittcoff

    Crystals of snow-covered ice

       Evaporating from the ever rising sun.

    Revealing frost ladened grass underneath.

    Icicles dripping

      Buds blooming

        Blossoming under feet of tar rich dirt.

      Anxiously awaiting the sun

    Ruffling its amber rose wings.

         Surfacing to open up to the sky above

           Accepting the new day to come

    And fondly remembering days before.

      As winter turns to spring and

        Spring turns to summer

          The soil keeping beat with the rhythm of the Earth

          Orbiting showers of light

       Beams of pure goodness.

      Then comes the rain

    Beads of hydrogen with dashes of oxygen

      Hydrating lush greens and grass below

    Giving life to anything and everything.

      Waking the plants out of slumber

    Coaxing animals from hibernation

         And awakening the farmer from his slumber.

      To grow and nurture

    To slice and dice

      To glean and preen

    Their works of nature

    To present to people like you and I

         Bringing light to our lives

    Shedding light on the essence of human life and

        The importance of

          The farmer’s awakening.

  • The Downtown Evanston Farmers Market returns on May 6 to start its 42nd season

    42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything (according to Douglas Adams). It was Jackie Robinson’s number. 42 is a number with significance.

    That’s more true than ever as the Downtown Evanston Farmers Market begins its 42nd consecutive season on Saturday, May 6.

    All of the nearly 60 farms, ranches and artisanal producers likely won’t be at the first few markets, but the property at University and Maple will fill up rapidly with purveyors of fruits, vegetables, meat, flowers, cheese, eggs and bakery items.

    Nearly all of last year’s vendors are returning, and there are seven new farms and artisanal vendors to serve up exquisite wares:

    • Broad Shoulders BBQ
    • Windy City Greens
    • Tastebudz
    • Sherwood North Nursery
    • Roedger Bros. Blueberries
    • Wisconsin Fermentation
    • Master Gardeners/U of I Extension!

    Indoor market shoppers will recognize some of these names from this last season, and we all welcome their participation in the big market.


    The Downtown Market accepts Illinois Link cards, so low-income shoppers can utilize SNAP benefits when they shop the market. Friends of Evanston Farmers Markets have matched SNAP dollars since 2011. You can find details about this year’s matching program by clicking here.

    Get information on location hours and parking by clicking here. See a full list of this year’s vendors by clicking here.

    Keep visiting this site for information, recipes, links and reporting about issues that impact both the farmers who make our market so exceptional and the customers that depend on the market for fresh, local, healthy products every week.

  • Evanston Considers Changes to Farmers Market Ordinance.

    The ordinance that establishes rules and regulations governing activities at the City of Evanston’s Farmers Markets has recently been reviewed and revised. Friends provided input, as we have in the past, and we are pleased to see the clarity that the revised ordinance brings to all the details that make our market a great place to shop, as well as a safe and fun place to bring the whole family.

    The significant updates involve language about farmer cooperatives and explicit permission for non-Evanston producers of baked goods to participate in Evanston markets.Farmer cooperatives allow a vendor to offer products grown by other farmers at our market, as long as certain specific rules are followed. The matter of non-Evanston bakers was a subject of some controversy during the past year, and the new language clarifies who is permitted to sell baked goods at our markets.

    You can check out the revised ordinance; just click here to download a pdf of the proposed revision.

    There are two important dates where the revision will be on the table, and citizens of Evanston are encouraged to attend. The first is the monthly meeting of the Human Services Committee, scheduled for Monday, December 5, at 6 pm (according to the City’s website). The ordinance will be discussed, and citizen’s will be able to address concerns.

    The City Council will review and (presumably) approve the revised ordinance at their meeting on Monday, December 12. There is no scheduled time for this meeting on the City’s calendar, but we believe it will begin at 6:30 pm.

    Both meetings will be held at the Civic Center at 2100 Ridge Ave, Evanston, IL 60201.

    It is the hope of the City and Friends of Evanston Farmers Markets that anyone who shops at our Farmers Markets will take a few minutes to review the updated ordinance and show their interest by attending the meetings that will result in its passage.

  • ILC Thanksgiving Market: What Was Last, Now is First

    Immanuel Lutheran Church, at 616 Lake Street (Sherman and Lake) here in Evanston has been holding a Pre-Thanksgiving Indoor/Outdoor Farmers Market for many years.

    In writing about it, our lede has always been centered around the fact that this market was the final hurrah for most of the vendors until the next year’s Spring. Since last year, that’s no longer the case.

    The market, which will be held on Saturday, November 19 from 8 am to 1 pm, is now the first of 11 markets that will be held at the church throughout the Fall, Winter, and early Spring. Along with the weekly Ecology Center Farmers Market, that makes for a lot of options for those who want to continue eating seasonal produce and supporting local farmers and artisans.

    The Pre-Thanksgiving market is a bit different than the others. It’s an indoor/outdoor affair, for one. As of this moment, the extended forecast puts the temperature at around 50 degrees for most of the morning, with moderately high winds. Rain is forecast for later in the day. Last year’s forecast was similar the week before the market, and things got a little more brutal once the day arrived. Hopefully, this year, Winter will wait until after we all get our sweet potatoes, turkeys, and all the other seasonal options.

    Regardless, there will be lots to choose from. Here’s the roster of farms and artisans who will be at the market on November 19:

    Immanuel Lutheran Church
    Pre-Thanksgiving Farmers Market

    Saturday, November 19, from 8 am to 1 pm
    616 Lake Street, Evanston, IL  (Sherman and Lake)
    • City Press Juice & Bottle
    • Elko Farm
    • Endless Greens
    • Green Acres
    • Heartland Meats
    • Henry’s Farm
    • Katic Breads
    • Kinnikinnick Farm
    • Klehm Orchids
    • Lake Breeze Organics
    • Metropolitan Farms
    • Mint Creek Farm
    • Morlock and Girls
    • Morsels Patisserie
    • Nichols Farm & Orchard
    • Organic Pastures
    • Patz Maple & Honey/Frosty
    • River Valley Ranch
    • Sunny Lane Farm
    • The Cheese People
    • TC’s Mixes
    • Tomato Mountain
    • Whimsical Acres