As spring continues its brief appearance in Dallas, you've no doubt been making your way to your favorite area farmers markets to get your hands on the first spoils of the season. There's a bumper crop of strawberries this year, as bright as ever. Asparagus is another popular early spring crop, but harvests always seem to be limited. If you're not one of the first shoppers to the market, you'll be stuck picking your way through a massive pile of kale.
The biggest conundrum is what to do with your bounty when you get it home, and while simple preparations are usually best, there are all kinds of ways to make your produce shine. That's why many of the markets around town offer classes to help you and your greens become the best buddies possible. Who knows -- with the skills you pick up you could maybe even convince a toddler to eat some broccoli.
The Dallas Farmers Market has a long-standing culinary education program. Here's what they have left this season.
May 3 Chad Kelley takes on "Spring Elegance" as interpreted by his restaurant Café Pacific.
May 10 Estevan Galindo from Hattie's will show you how to throw your own Mother's Day brunch. You won't even need to make a reservation!
May 17 Antonio Marquez from Lazaranda will take on all things corn. With any luck he'll teach you how to turn your grill into an elotes machine, but that's just me wishing so don't hold it against him if he doesn't.
May 24 Gilbert Garza from Suze Restaurant will tackle the impossibly vague "Simply Fun Food."
Classes at the Dallas Farmers Market start at 11:30 a.m. and cost $30 at the door, though you can get in for less if you buy ahead here.
Or maybe you're more of a White Rock Local Market type of person. Their classes are often as popular as that asparagus that seems to disappear before the market is even officially open, so if you're interested in any of these, you should sign up fast.
May 17, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Kathy Neumuller from JJ&B Jellies, Jams and Butters will show you how to make two seasonal fruit preserves. The cost is $30 per person and includes a jar of each preserve made in class.
June 7, 10 a.m.-noon Lisa Staffelbach from 24 Carrot Health teaches the fizzy and fermented "Soda and Sauerkraut." The cost is $30 per person and includes take home root beer and natural sauerkraut from class.
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June 8, 9 a.m.-noon I don't know what "Hugelkultur Horticulture" is, but Heather Rinaldi from Texas Worm Ranch knows her gardening. Join her at White Rock Local Garden to learn how to use twigs, branches, logs and leaves to make a hugelkultur bed, and also how to build a carbon sink. The cost is $30 per person. White Rock Local Garden is located at 10222 Galway.
June 14, 10 a.m.-noon Carol Castillo from Cita's Salsa teaches "Salsa Soiree," walking students through some new and unique recipes. The cost is $30 per person and includes a jar of each salsa made in class.
June 21, 10 a.m.-noon Pickle master James Felps from In a Pickle Foods us having a "Pickling Party" and you're in. Well, provided you fork over $30 per person, but students will make two kinds of pickles and take home a jar of each.
All classes for the White Rock Local Market will be held at Gecko Hardware (except Hugelkulter Horticulture), 10233 E Northwest Hwy #409. Purchase tickets here.