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Houston farmers market becomes a hot scene: Chef mingling, great food and people watching

Houston farmers market now a hot scene: Great food and people watching

For hundreds of Houstonians, a recent break in the city's dreary weather in December and January meant one thing — it was time to pay a visit to Urban Harvest's Saturday morning farmers market. 

With more than 60 vendors selling everything from local produce to a global array of prepared items, the market offers something for any food lover. First time shoppers shouldn't miss macarons from Maison Burdisso, cheese from Blue Heron Farm or Tavola pasta.

 Beyond the food, the people watching is epic. Even people who just buy a cup of coffee and wander from stall to stall will find plenty of entertainment.  

Beyond the food, the people watching is epic. Even people who just buy a cup of coffee and wander from stall to stall will find plenty of entertainment. Families with small children, couples holding hands and a host of Houston chefs populate the market.   

Despite the winter weather, the market offers lots of fresh options for cooking experiments. Want to do more with winter citrus than simple peel and eat (not that there's anything wrong with that)? Chef Ara Malekian sends along this recipe for a citrus panzanella salad that would make a light starter for a group gathering.

Not saying it's going to pop up on anyone's Super Bowl party menu, but it would be a healthy alternative to chicken wings.

Citrus Panzanella Salad

Ingredients:
•Tomatoes (cut each tomato into 16 wedges)
•Red onions (julienned)
•Seasonal citrus (peeled and sliced)
•Oven-toasted bread, seasoned with olive oil and garlic, cut into 3/4" cubes
•Chopped kale
•Balsamic reduction

Directions:
•Layer of kale, tomatoes, red onions, citrus, bread and drizzle with balsamic reduction.
•Repeat layers until desired height is reached in a large salad bowl.

Balsamic Reduction

Ingredients:
•2 cups Balsamic vinegar
•1/2 cup brown sugar

Directions:
•Whisk vinegar and sugar.
•Reduce 50 percent on low heat.

Urban Harvest cauliflower farmers market
Cauliflower is in season right now.  Urban Harvest/Facebook
Urban Harvest logo large
The Urban Harvest farmers market takes place every Saturday, rain or shine, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Urban Harvest/Facebook
Urban Harvest cauliflower farmers market
Urban Harvest logo large