Meatless Monday: Farmers Market Brunch (Including What’s Wrong with Ice Cream for Breakfast?)

I usually don’t eat breakfast. Yes, I know it’s “the most important meal of the day,” but I’m usually not hungry early in the morning and I don’t choose to eat when I’m not hungry. But when I do eat breakfast, or most commonly brunch by the time I get home, it’s usually after spending hours at my local farmers markets and being inable to resist some of the delicious fresh treats I find at the market.

For example, the above are three items from Sweet Arielle, a local bakery. They come to the Cary Downtown Farmers Market when they can, although they have been having staffing and other logistical issues this summer. But when they can come, they often sell out of stuff because their products are GOOD! For example, the three items shown above are their vegetable quiche, a gruyere croissant, and a peach bourbon hand pie (i.e., turnover). One week I bought all three, then split them with my son, augmented with some fresh blueberries I bought at the market:

What a great meal! That definitely filled me up until dinner.

This was another local bakery that sells at the farmers market. It was local tomatoes and caramelized onions in homemade puff pastry, along with some fresh blackberries from local Wild Oats Farm (also at the farmers market):

More often, I make yogurt and fresh fruit parfaits once I come home. I used to make my own yogurt, but haven’t been doing so lately although I should get back to that since the farmers markets sell lovely fresh local milk. My parfaits are usually whatever fruit is fresh, yogurt, and granola.

Here are my recent post-farmers market parfaits, featuring whatever fruits I got an hour or so before:

At the Cary Downtown Farmers Market, we have a vendor who sells granola, which I would LOVE to use so that, along with making my own yogurt again, this could be a completely local dish. The thing is that because they make their granola gluten-free and grain-free, they include nuts in their granola, and unfortunately I am allergic to nuts (like, anaphylactic, it could kill me me allergic). HOWEVER, for those of you who are NOT allergic, I recommend trying their granola in general, and especially for your parfaits. They are called KaLi’s Goodness, and sell gluten-free baking mixes (no nuts, so I’ve used them and they are great) and microgreens in addition to granola. I talked to them about this, and while they have many varieties, they particularly recommend their Maple Walnut Granola, which they thought would enhance rather than compete with the tastes of the fresh fruit.

Finally, this weekend I thought I should do something special since it was a holiday weekend. I wanted it to be more than just carbs and sugar, so I was looking for something with some protein as well. An obvious idea is eggs, but I’m allergic to them by themselves, although I can eat them when they are in other dishes; if they have some chemical combinations, I’m OK.

So I decided to make a cheese clofoutis, a French dish that is kind of like a pancake with cottage cheese, making it more like a custard. Now, I’m not a great fan of custards. However, I made the clofoutis, then served it with fresh peaches I had just gotten from the farmers market. The farmer also had home-made peach ice cream from his fresh peaches so I decided…Why not? Why not include ice cream in our 4th of July holiday weekend holiday brunch? And so I did.

This is the clofoutis baked on its own.

This is the cloufoutis buried under fresh local farmers market peaches heavily dusted with cinnamon and with some of the farmer’s peach ice cream on the side.

Bottom line? DELICIOUS!

So I hope maybe some of you will go out to your own farmers markets Saturday mornings to bring home ingredients for a fabulous fresh Saturday brunch.

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