Chefs David Rashty, left, and Daniel Asher put on a cooking demonstration using locally grown produce and eggs for shoppers at the Union Station Farmers Market on July 15, 2017 at Union Station in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Gabriel Scarlett/The Denver Post)
Starting on Saturday, May 11, Denver residents can once again buy their groceries in the heart of downtown, at an open-air market, while talking to farmers and swapping asparagus recipes with some of the best chefs in the region.
Now in its fourth season, the Union Station Farmers Market has become a melting pot of growers, cooks and consumers, said Josh Olsen, a chef-turned-farmer with Acres at Warren Tech school in Lakewood. Together with groups of teenagers, Olsen is harvesting radishes, kale and onions ahead of the market’s opening weekend.
Alongside Acres, some 40 other vendors will start out the spring at Union Station selling herbs and greens, breads and cheeses. Local chefs will host cooking demos, showing shoppers what to make with the fresh ingredients.
“There’s just a lot of healthy clamor, talking about the season,” Olsen said. “The surrounding community sees that, and it’s definitely contagious.”
You can catch the farmers market bug at these 11 springtime markets, opening this month. And stay tuned for a complete guide to all summer farmers markets around Denver.
(P.S. Scroll all the way down for a seasonal veggie recipe, using those farmers market ingredients. Or click here to hop down there.)
Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Denver
Look for the full espresso bar from Jubilee Roasting to get your fancy market day started.
When: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., May 4-Oct. 26
Wadsworth and Bowles, Littleton
Jams, barbecue, pierogies, teas, juices and dips are some of the specialty foods and drinks at this one.
When: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., May 4-Oct. 26
Highlands Ranch Town Center, Highlands Ranch
Choose from grains, chocolates, tamales, dips, pet leashes and pickled vegetables.
When: Sundays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., May 5-Oct. 27
Union Station plaza, Denver
Denver’s downtown option, complete with chef demos, herbs, breads, meats, pies and veggies.
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., May 11-Oct. 26
Southlands Shopping Center, Aurora
Find more than 40 vendors selling seasonal produce, Western Slope fruit, crafts and more.
When: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., May 11-Sept. 28
19751 E. Main St., Parker
Parker’s 7-year-old market brings in more than 90 vendors selling Western Slope fruit, local vegetables and flowers, among other fresh things.
When: Sundays, 8 a.m.-1 pm., May 12-Oct. 27
Briggs Street between Wells and Moffatt, Erie
Vegetables, wine, cheeses and baked goods, plus live music most Thursday evenings in downtown Erie.
When: Thursdays, 5-8 p.m., May 16-Sept. 12
824 Front St., Louisville
All the usual suspects here, plus wine, coffee, salsas, natural body care and massages.
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., May 18-Oct. 12
South Pearl between Florida and Iowa streets, Denver
This market has been going strong in Denver for 18 years, with stands such as Ela Family Farms and Styria Bakery around since the start. Go for a flea market the last Sunday of every month.
When: Sundays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., May 19-Nov. 17
7043 West 38th Ave., Wheat Ridge
Goat milk and cheese are the latest additions to this year-round farmers and artisans market with everything from microgreens to vinegars.
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
This year at Union Station Farmers Market, a team of five local chefs will create monthly recipes using market-fresh ingredients. Beast + Bottle and Coperta chef Paul C. Reilly leads the new “chef’s council.” Here’s his first recipe highlighting local asparagus and Fruition Farms Icelandic yogurt-style SheepSkyr.
Steamed Asparagus with Herb Whipped Skyr
1½ pounds large or medium asparagus
1 cup Fruition Farms skyr
½ cup heavy cream
zest of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mixed market herbs (any combo of parsley, chives, tarragon, chervil, spring onion tops, green garlic tops)
½ pound arugula, spinach or any leafy market lettuce
fresh ground pepper
Bring 4 quarts of well-salted water (think ocean water) to a rolling boil in a non-reactive pot. Add asparagus and cook 3-5 minutes until done. Remove with a large spider or tongs and line up on clean kitchen towels. The asparagus can be served at room temperature or just chilled.
For the skyr, beat cream and skyr with a whisk or electric mixer only until it begins to thicken (keep it loose). Season with salt and lemon zest. Fold in mustard and herbs.
Plate with arugula on the bottom. Top with asparagus and then savory cream. Finish with a few clicks of fresh ground pepper.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get entertainment news sent straight to your inbox.