Market Fresh 2

A Saturday at Marietta Square Farmers Market

The great thing about spring is that it inspires us to venture outside. Whether to play catch at the park or to dine alfresco, spring is also a great time to check out your local farmers market. 
Marietta Square Farmers Market, located in the heart of Marietta, vibrates with an energy that will inspire the foodie in all of us. Open 9 a.m. to noon every Saturday and Sundays, May through October, the farmers market offers options that cater to both health conscious and indulgent eaters alike—making it no surprise why it is named the No. 1 farmers market in Atlanta. Visit MariettaSquareFarmersMarket.com for hours and a full list of vendors.

For some, the day cannot begin without a great breakfast and, for me, a hot and toasty pastry is always a favorite. Seven Sisters Scones, located in Johns Creek, offers an array of flavors that excite the palate. Chef and owner Hala Yassine—who coined the name because she is one of seven sisters—takes a nontraditional approach to the scones, making each one moist and packed with flavor. Its best-selling item is the fig and goat cheese scone, which I was lucky enough to grab one of a few left. It is the perfect balance of sweet and savory, and the scone is so buttery you can eat it without the worry of making a crumbly mess. Its fragrant lemon poppy scone is another major hit as well as its classic cranberry scone, which sold out within the few minutes I was there. Seven Sisters also sell delicious soups, salads and desserts, which are available online at SevenSistersScones.com and its store location. No doubt these Sisters are welcome favorites at the breakfast, brunch and lunch tables.

Scone and Lamb Sandwich

  • 10-15 Seven Sisters fig and goat cheese scones
  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) leg of lamb
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. With the point of a knife make small slits, about 1-inch deep, in the fat side of the roast. In each slit, stuff 1/2 clove of garlic.

3. Rub the rosemary, salt and pepper over the roast. Place the roast over a bed of mirepoix or in a roasting rack. Cook for 30 minutes.

4. Lower the heat to 250 degrees. Continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees, about another 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

5. Remove from heat and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve as an open-faced sandwich with two slices of lamb with Dijon mustard. (Full recipe: FoodNetwork.com)

I wanted pasta for my dinner menu, so a fellow shopper recommended I stop by Mary Alicia’s Artisan Pasta, where the pasta is made fresh to order and features ancient grains like farro. With its selection ranging from spinach to golden butternut squash pasta, the lemon artichoke pasta is its standout star. It is tart, refreshing and light, which is perfect to eat on a cool evening. Mary Alicia’s also sells ravioli and sauces for all pasta needs, and owner Mary Blanford will happily make pairing suggestions if you need one. Mary Alicia’s is a market favorite, often selling out early, so it’s a good idea to visit this stand first. Visit the shop online at Facebook.com.

Easy Goat Cheese with Greens

  • Mary Alicia’s pasta of choice
  • 2 handfuls of greens of choice (spinach, kale, collard, turnip, etc.)
  • Goat cheese (flavored or unflavored)

Take a couple handfuls of chopped greens and add them to your pasta water for the last four minutes of cooking. Before draining the pasta, save 1/4 cup of water from the pasta. Drain the pasta with the greens in it. Mix the reserved water, and about 1 ounce of cheese per person. Mix well. (Full recipe: MaryAlicias.Wordpress.com)

I was nearing the end of the market when my nose led me to the smoky grill of Sausage World, Inc. The small butcher shop run out of Lilburn is a market staple—and for good reason. At first, the selection of meats can be intimidating, and your decision may get more difficult after each sample, but the all-around favorites are the Dracula and Cajun andouille sausages. The Dracula sausage, which is available in pork and chicken, is savory and has the perfect amount of fat to keep the sausage (particularly the chicken) from drying out. The andouille is spicy and smoked. I bought several for dinner that night, feeling like I struck gold. For shop info and deliveries, visit SausageWorldInc.com.

Andouille Sausage Corn Fritters

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely diced Sausage World Cajun andouille sausage
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cayenne, paprika, salt, pepper and sugar.

2. Add the sausage, corn, eggs, milk and thyme. Stir in the melted butter and combine well.

3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the canola oil and evenly coat the pan. Ladle 2 to 3 ounces of batter into the pan and shape into a mini pancake.

4. Repeat to fill the pan. Cook for two minutes before flipping and cooking the other side. Repeat with remaining batter.

5. Transfer to a serving platter and serve. 
(Full recipe: FoodNetwork.com)