Pike Place Market $15 Bag of Surprise Goodies

I came in from lunch yesterday to find this bag (see pic) filled with a lovely assortment of yellow, purple and orange carrots, shallots, beets (with beet greens), fragrant basil and a pretty bunch of flowers. It was compliments of Pike Place Market; starting this Friday in Occidental Square -- and running through September 20th -- you can catch a free lunchtime concert in one of many Pike Place offshoots. Add $15 and you can get your own “Farm to Go Tote” filled with seasonal produce.

I’ve been in food co-ops before and eventually tired of trying to figure out what to do with piles of greens (or worse, tons of turnips in winter). Eat ‘em til you hate ‘em? Freeze them and have little green baggies falling out of your freezer for months? Try yet another strange variation on Pesto? Or the ultimate no-no: throw them away?

But this bag of food feels like just the right amount -- perfect for a summer weekend afternoon get together with a few friends. The shallots would be great grilled with steaks, the carrots are so fetching I’d slice them up raw for a salad (in which the beets could play a role too, lest I opt to pickle them). That leaves the basil -- I’ll just peck from that all week. The bag will join a slew of others in the trunk of my car for grocery store (er, farmer’s market) runs. For more on the Out to Lunch Concerts, go to www.pikeplacemarket.org.

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