World market

Explore flavors of international farmers markets

Fresh fruit tart.
Fresh fruit tart.

One Iowa City author wants visitors to this summer’s Iowa farmers markets to know they are connecting with an international market tradition dating back thousands of years.

After more than 10 years visiting farmers markets around the world, Ann Crowley has compiled market histories, stories, photographs and her own original recipes into a book, “European Farmers’ Markets Cookbook.”

Released by Iowa City’s Penfield Books, it is available for sale in Cedar Rapids at New Bo Books, 1105 Third St. SE, and in Iowa City at Iowa Book, 8 S. Clinton St., Mustard Seed, 523 N. Dodge St., and Wild Rose Books in the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

The book features 170 recipes inspired by 33 farmers markets in 17 countries, all of which Crowley visited and photographed.

“I learned a lot about the people by studying their markets” she says. “In some places the markets have been there for 2,000 years.”

This is the sixth cookbook by Crowley, a registered dietitian and former director of nutrition services at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and a former UI College of Medicine associate professor.

Some recipes such as muffins, quiches and salads will be familiar to Midwestern readers, while others will require some inventive substitutions or determined ingredient hunting. For example, for her recipe for braised whale steak with lingonberry salsa, inspired by the Bergen fish market in Norway, Crowley recommends substituting fresh tuna.

There are plenty of markets Crowley still hopes to chronicle that didn’t make it into this book. She is working on two other farmers market cookbooks — one focused on the Americas and one on Asia.

In the meantime, she gives two of her farmers markets recipes, inspired by the Bastille Market of Paris, that Iowans should be able to recreate with ingredients found right here at our own markets.


Prosciutto-wrapped roasted asparagus

Serves: 4

•1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

•1 teaspoon honey

•8 spears green asparagus

•8 spears white asparagus

•4 spears purple asparagus

•1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

•1/4 teaspoon salt

•1/8 teaspoon black pepper

•6 ounces sliced prosciutto

•4 ounces crumbled blue cheese

Place vinegar and honey in small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly syrupy. Remove from heat and let cool. Place asparagus in one layer in large baking dish. Drizzle oil over asparagus. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast asparagus at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool for 10 minutes. Wrap one piece of prosciutto around two green, two white and one purple asparagus spears. Repeat with remaining asparagus and prosciutto. Place bundles on baking pan and roast for 5 to 6 minutes. Turn once during roasting. Place asparagus bundles on serving dishes. Top with balsamic vinegar syrup and cheese.

Fresh fruit tart

Serves: 8


•1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

•1/2 cup sugar

•7 tablespoons cold butter

•3 egg yolks

•1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour and sugar in mixing bowl. Cut cold butter into small pieces. Cut butter into flour mixture until small, pea-size crumbs form. Add egg yolks and almond extract, using a fork to incorporate into flour mixture. Press mixture into tart shell. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.


•1/2 cup butter

•1/3 cup sugar

•1 egg

•1/2 teaspoon vanilla

•1/2 cup ground almonds

In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light, about 2 minutes. Add egg, vanilla and almonds. Beat to blend. Pour onto cool tart crust. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes until slightly golden on top. Remove from oven and cool.

Fruit topping

•2 cups berries (strawberries, raspberries or blueberries)

•3 to 4 stone fruit (apricots, peaches or plums)

•3/4 cup apricot jam for glaze

•2 tablespoons lemon juice

•3 tablespoons water

Hull strawberries and slice, if needed. Slice stone fruit. Place jam in saucepan. Add lemon juice and water. Heat to melt jam and form syrup. Brush the top of the tart with apricot syrup. Arrange fruit on top of tart. Brush with remaining jam syrup.

Meet the cook

•What: Ann Crowley will read from and sign her cookbook

•Where: New Bo Books, 1105 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids

•When: 2 p.m. June 14

•Cost: Free

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.