Spring Greens by Ginger Johnson

Ginger Johnson of Women Enjoying Beer

Ginger Johnson of Women Enjoying Beer

The Growers and Farmers market across the country, and globe for that matter, are magical places. The people bustling around, the vendors answering questions and selling goods, the locations usually packed with folks.

I love it all. And I’ve liked these markets from the first time I went. It was a very large outdoor farmers market in Minneapolis, Minnesota. My memory is a bit fuzzy since I was still in the single digits yet I clearly remember a few things. The seemingly endless rows of stands, vendors and booths. The brilliant colors of a mid summers selection of grown goods. And the enormous caterpillars that love dill!

Today these markets are still a marvel to me and one I’m thankful for. Having been and continuing to be a vendor at select events across the continent, I know how much work is involved. Early mornings, full days where you greet everyone for the first time each time, and the methodical tear down. Only to repeat it the next day, weekend or month.

The markets in my area are plentiful and much anticipated by the communities they service. On Tuesday of this week I headed to one of my markets, known as a Growers Market, as it launched into the season. Being still cool and certainly at the beginning of the growing year, the selection of fresh veggies was tight – and an impressive array nonetheless from those who grow them in protected structures.

Delicious Fresh Spring Greens

Delicious Fresh Spring Greens

I went on Tuesday to scout and hopefully procure fresh spring greens for a TV segment I do monthly with a local station. The theme for this week’s program, which the host and I agreed on, was fresh greens. 

So what might this have to do with beer? Glad you asked.

Long after the TV spots are over, the greens will still be faithfully growing. They offer a remarkable serving of nutrients and minerals. Beer in fact does have some very solid nutritional value. Vitamin K, silicon, and Vitamin B for starters.

One of the things I’ll be doing more of is developing dressings for salads of all sorts (green and otherwise) that will be complementary. Beer has a mild acidity that works well with various oils to make vinaigrettes. You can cook beer down to get a thicker consistency sauce to use in making various dressings and drizzles. It’s a very versatile ingredient, just as your spring greens are.

I figure combining two winning ingredients – beer and spring greens – will only yield tasty, refreshing and healthy dishes.

Till the next glass ~ g

Go here: Search out fresh markets – searching online will offer numerous results, like via USDA and Local Harvest. Contact Chamber of Commerce’s as well as Visitors Bureaus – they want to help you find what you want and support local businesses.

Try This: Use beer in vinaigrettes by replacing the vinegar with beer. Be aware of what flavors you’re after and the bitterness as well as the sweetness of the beer + the end food that will be carrying the dressing for best results.

If you have questions about the beer industry, food pairings, speaking engagements and events, you can find Ginger at WomenEnjoyingBeer.com or Ginger@WomenEnjoyingBeer.com

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