Ready, Set, Eat: Opening Day at the Market!

The spinach and red pepper frittata is one of many delicious recipes that requires fresh ingredients from April’s growing season — all of which you can get right from the local Western Wake Farmers’ Market (WWFM), opening this Saturday.

The recipe, printed below, is straight from the cookbook of Madison Whitley, marketing manager of WWFM for the past four years.

With a background in nutrition, she gathers all of the market's featured recipes from her own collection or from customers and vendors. The recipes are available at the market’s information tent or online.

“I try to highlight recipes that are packed with nutritional ingredients that you can easily find while walking around the market,” said Whitley.

The recipes are the icing on the cake for everything Western Wake Farmers’ Market has to offer. With 12 new vendors — 50 total — the year-round market continues to provide fresh, in season produce, flowers, herbs, baked goods, cheeses, meats, locally made beverages, crafts, face painting and more.

This weekend's opening day celebration marks the market's sixth year of educating the community and providing a lively, welcoming atmosphere for farmers, community members and those less fortunate.

More Market Openings

This month, the WWFM will host a wide variety of food educators and musicians. On Saturday, Stevan Jackson will perform lively farmers’ market melodies from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

From April to November, market hours are every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Be sure to keep in mind that vendors grow the foods of the season. A list of foods for each month can be found at

Other farmers’ markets in the area, such as the Cary Downtown Farmers Market and the Apex Farmers Market, are also opening this weekend.

The Cary Downtown Farmers Market — newly located on 135 W. Chatham St. — is open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and on Tuesdays from 2 to 6 p.m. New this year are musical guests and vendors Coon Rock Farms and Queen B Farms.

The Apex Farmers Market has new operating hours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., every Saturday from April to September. This Saturday, the market will feature the Route 55 Jazz Orchestra Band and more food trucks serving lunch.

And now, that recipe:

Spinach and Red Pepper Frittata

From Madison Whitley, Western Wake Farmers Market

1 bunch spinach, washed and stemmed

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced

1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), minced

10 fresh marjoram leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon salt, divided

8 eggs

freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons low-fat milk

Steam the spinach above an inch of boiling water until just wilted, about 2 minutes, or wilt in a large frying pan with the water left on the leaves after washing. Remove from heat, rinse with cold water and squeeze out excess water. Chop fine, and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy 10-inch nonstick skillet. Add the bell peppers. Cook, stirring often, until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and salt to taste, stir for about half a minute, and stir in the chopped spinach and the marjoram. Stir together for a few seconds, then remove from the heat and set aside.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Stir in the salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), pepper, milk, spinach and red peppers. Clean and dry the pan, and return to the burner, set on medium-high. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet. Drop a bit of egg into the pan; if it sizzles and cooks at once, the pan is ready.

Pour in the egg mixture. Tilt the pan to distribute the eggs and filling evenly over the surface. Shake the pan gently, tilting it slightly with one hand while lifting up the edges of the frittata with a spatula in your other hand, to let the eggs run underneath during the first few minutes of cooking.

Turn heat to low, cover and cook 10 minutes, shaking the pan gently every once in a while. From time to time, remove the lid, tilt the pan, and loosen the bottom of the frittata with a wooden spatula so that it doesn’t burn. The bottom should turn a golden color. The eggs should be just about set; cook a few minutes longer if they’re not.

Meanwhile, heat the broiler. Uncover the pan and place under the broiler, not too close to the heat, for 1 to 3 minutes, watching very carefully to make sure the top doesn’t burn (at most, it should brown very slightly and puff under the broiler). Remove from the heat, shake the pan to make sure the frittata isn’t sticking, and allow it to cool for at least 5 minutes and for as long as 15 minutes. Loosen the edges with a wooden or plastic spatula. Carefully slide from the pan onto a large round platter. Cut into wedges or into smaller bite-size diamonds. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature or cold.

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