When the farmers’ markets open in the spring, a bike ride out to Bogert Park or the fairgrounds for some morning air and conversation with friends is a favorite activity. Talented young musicians serenade the crowd with violins. Artists sell everything from paintings and stained glass to soy candles and clever woodwork. You may even find a climbing wall to play on. The markets are a vibrant celebration of the life-sustaining beauty of this valley, and nowhere is this more evident than in the abundance of locally produced food that graces the folding tables of the many vendors. Baby spring vegetables, herbs, and a cornucopia of delicious fresh foods are available from Matt and Jaycee at Gallatin Valley Botanical or the Hutterite colony’s stand. The Miller Family Farm has some of the best pork products you’ll find anywhere. And don’t forget to buy some fresh flowers to surprise your sweetie. If you’re looking for a quick lunch, grab a mixture of lettuces: arugula, dandelion, red oak, or even whole leaves of basil, three shallots, a few new potatoes, and some parsley and thyme. Swing by the fish market on the way home for Alaskan halibut fillets and season them with this simple glaze.
Honey & Mustard Glaze
1/4-cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2-teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
For the full meal, bring a small pot of water to boil and gently cook the potatoes until they are soft, about 25 minutes. Wash and dry the lettuces. Finely chop the shallots, slice the still-warm potatoes, and toss with extra-virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, and salt and pepper. Combine all ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Remove the skin from the fillets and turn them in the glaze to coat them. Sauté them in oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side (about 8 minutes total per inch of thickness). Serve immediately with the potatoes, the mixed greens, and a little more salt, pepper, vinegar, and oil for the salad.
Steve Kuntz is the chef for Rainbow Ranch.