The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 19, 2013

'Market Lady' project offers tips for preparing local produce

By Amanda Cupp
Special to The Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — What's better than a fresh, crisp, cool salad on a warm summer day? With all the delicious varieties of summer produce in season, making a fresh salad from locally grown produce is a summertime must.

An array of produce -- including lettuces, mint, strawberries and red onions -- is currently in season, and it's easier than ever to prepare fresh and healthy salads.

Local farmers markets are loaded with varieties of lettuce such as green and red oak leaf lettuce, romaine, butter lettuce, red and green leaf lettuce, bibb and frisee lettuce.

Susan Pittman, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, is one of several experts serving as a market lady at the Webb City market.

The Market Lady project celebrates the fresh produce grown locally in Southwest Missouri. As a dietitian, Pittman is an advocate for eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

"The wonderful part of salads is that they can be individualized for a person's taste, or what vegetables are available at the market," Pittman said.

"A salad is a great way to be creative in finding different combinations of vegetables that provide a variety of texture and flavors. But sometimes the most important aspect of creating a salad is to make it pretty. So find a variety of colorful vegetables that complement one another to make an eye-appealing mix. The deep-colored vegetables that are dark green, red, yellow and orange provide antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body."

There are infinite possibilities for creating fresh summer salads. Additions such as radishes and sugar snap peas -- both of which are now in season -- can be a great addition to a salad. Including in-season berries can add a bright pop of color to your summer salad, too.


Lettuce medley salad  with raspberry vinaigrette

Start to finish: 10 min

Servings: 4

1 pint strawberries, sliced

4 cups variety of lettuces

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 tablespoons kalamata olives, chopped in half

1 red onion, diced

Fresh mint leaves, torn

Raspberry vinaigrette dressing (See recipe below)

Feta cheese, crumbled

In a large bowl, add the strawberries, lettuce, raisins, olives, pine nuts, red onions and mint. Top with dressing and feta cheese.


Raspberry vinaigrette dressing

1/2 cup raspberries

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar, optional

Add the raspberries, oil, vinegar and sugar to blender and blend until smooth.

The Market Lady

The Market Lady is a project of the Webb City Farmers Market with underwriting from a USDA Specialty Crops grant through the Missouri Department of Agriculture. More recipes can be found at

Aurora Local Farmers Market

Park and Church streets, Aurora

Trish Matheny, market manager or 417-678-2324

Wednesdays: noon to sell out; Saturdays: 8 a.m. to noon

Carthage Farmers Market

Carthage square

Sponsored by Carthage Hardware, 417-358-3579

Wednesdays and Saturdays: 7:30 a.m. to noon

Galena (Kan.) Farmers Market

Seventh and Main streets, Galena, Kan.

Saturdays: 8 a.m. to noon

Details: 417-529-3191

Joplin Farmers Market

Joplin Memorial Hall Parking lot

Becky Brill, market manager

417-624-0820, ext. 203.

Wednesdays: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

10th Street Community Farmers Market

Moore Pavilion at 10th Street and Poplar Avenue, Lamar

Lendi Davis,, 417 682-2869

Wednesdays: 3 to 6 p.m.; Saturdays: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Monett Farmers Market

Front and Fourth streets, Monett


Saturdays: 7 a.m. to noon

Pittsburg Farmers Market

Second Street and Broadway, Pittsburg, Kan.

Details: 417-437-3564

Webb City Farmers Market

Under the pavilion at the Main Street entrance to King Jack Park, Webb City

Eileen Nichols, market manager, 417 483-8139

Tuesdays and Fridays: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturdays: 9 to noon