Our local farmer’s market opens this weekend. We live in the Northeast and thanks to an unusually cooler Spring, the harvesting started a few weeks late. I am happy that the market is FINALLY opening and that fresh local produce will be easily accessible to my family. I have decided to make sure that the bulk of my weekly cooking will be planned around the produce I am picking up at this market each weekend. I’d like to encourage some of you to do the same.
Check out some of these fantastic recipes that you can make with some of the most popular farmer’s market produce.
This gratin is NOT your typical heavy cream and cheese gratin. It is much lighter and fresher but still satisfying. Serve along a great green salad with a sweet dressing. If you aren’t a fan of goat cheese you can substitute ricotta or feta. IF you choose ricotta add a pinch or two of extra salt. This recipe was posted in 2009 on the kitchn website. It’s a good one. http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-potato-squash-goat-cheese-gratin-90647
Potato, Squash, & Goat Cheese Gratin
2 medium yellow summer squash, about 1/2 pound
4 small to medium red potatoes, about 1 pound
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces goat cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon thinly sliced basil or thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 1 1/2- to 2-quart casserole dish with a drizzle of olive oil.
Use a mandoline or chef’s knife to slice the squash and potatoes into very, very thin slices, 1/8-inch thick or less. Toss the sliced vegetables with the 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl.
Place a third of the squash and potato slices in the bottom of the dish — no need to layer them squash-potato-squash; just spread them evenly — then season with salt and pepper. Top with half of the goat cheese, scattered evenly in large chunks. Repeat with another third of the vegetables, seasoning again with salt and pepper and topping with the other half of the goat cheese. Finish by layering on the final third of the vegetables and seasoning with salt and pepper.
Pour the milk over the entire dish. Top with the Parmesan cheese. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 more minutes, until the top browns. Scatter on the fresh basil, if using.
Fresh corn on the cob is by far my favorite farmer’s market get. Sweet and juicy it is a quintessential summer vegetable. I make corn salads, soups and use it in a bunch of recipes cut from the cob. Still, there is something to be said about good old corn on the cob. This summer, spice it p a bit with this Honey-Chipotle Grilled Corn on the Cob recipe. You won’t regret it. Leftovers can by cut from the cob, tossed with tomatoes, some chopped onion and parsley for a delicious salad side dish. Grab honey from your farmer’s market if they offer it as well.
1. Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-hot (you can hold your hand 1 to 2 in. above cooking grate only 3 to 4 seconds). Combine chiles, butter, honey, garlic, and salt in a blender and whirl until smooth.
2. Put unhusked corn on grill and cook, turning occasionally, 15 minutes. Husks will blacken. Transfer to a work surface, remove husks, brush ears generously with butter mixture, and return ears to grill. Grill until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Serve warm, with remaining butter.
There are no better tomatoes than Jersey tomatoes (clearly, I’m a Jersey girl!). BLTs, tomato salads, bruschetta, and tomatoes added to my omelets are a given every summer. This recipe, however, is something simple yet different. Take advantage of the sweetness of the summer tomato and make this delicious crostata served with a fresh bright salad. YUM! I found this recipe at the link below. This recipe calls for some prep work with a bit of resting time so make sure you plan ahead for that. Try grilling your crostata for some extra flavor and unique texture.
FOR THE CRUST
- 125 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 cup), more for rolling out dough
- 75 grams fine cornmeal (about 1/2 cup)
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter(1 stick plus 2 tablespoons), cut into small cubes
- 35 grams grated extra-sharp Cheddar (about 1/2 cup)
FOR THE FILLING
- 1 ½ pounds different color tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick (or halved if cherry or grape tomatoes)
- 1 teaspoon kosher sea salt, plus a pinch
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ bunch fresh thyme sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 65 grams extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1 large egg
- Flaky sea salt, like Maldon
- Make the crust: In a food processor, briefly pulse together flour, cornmeal and salt. Add butter and cheese and pulse until mixture forms chickpea-size pieces (3 to 5 one-second pulses). Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, up to 6 tablespoons, pulsing occasionally until mixture is just moist enough to hold together. Form dough into a ball, wrap with plastic and flatten into a disk. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Spread out tomato slices in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and let sit for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
- In a skillet over medium heat, combine vinegar, honey and thyme sprigs and bring to a simmer; let simmer 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl. Wipe out skillet, then add olive oil and garlic. Cook garlic for 2 to 3 minutes, or until garlic is golden and caramelized. Remove garlic and finely chop. Reserve garlic oil.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin. Gently roll out dough to a 1/4-inch thickness, dusting with flour if dough is sticking. Transfer dough to baking sheet and return to fridge for another 20 minutes.
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. Pat tomatoes dry with paper towels. Brush tomatoes with honey mixture (reserve the thyme sprigs). Leaving a 3-inch border, distribute cheese, garlic and half the chopped thyme leaves on center of crust. Add black pepper to taste, then layer tomatoes in an overlapping pattern, maintaining the 3-inch border. Drizzle garlic oil over tomatoes, sprinkle with remaining thyme leaves and lay the reserved whole thyme sprigs on top. Gently fold crust up around tomatoes, making a 2-inch border.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg and 1 teaspoon water. Using a pastry brush, brush egg wash over crust and sprinkle top of crostata with flaky salt. Bake for about 35 minutes, until pastry is deeply golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Now, lets talk fruit. I love summer fruits especially peaches. So here is a beautiful summer dessert made with fresh summer peaches right off the farmer’s stand. Serve with a big scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream.
Peach Upside-Down Cake from Southern Living
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (This helps with cleanup.) Toss peaches with lemon juice. Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
2. Cook 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, 10 minutes or until sugar melts and turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat. Immediately add 1/4 cup butter, stirring vigorously. Spread caramelized sugar to coat bottom of skillet evenly, and sprinkle with brown sugar. Arrange peach wedges in concentric circles over sugar mixture, overlapping as needed.
3. Split vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape out seeds into bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer. Beat vanilla seeds and remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add sour cream, beating until blended. Gradually add sifted flour mixture, beating at low speed just until blended and stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Spoon batter over peaches in skillet, and spread to cover. Place skillet on prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in skillet on a wire rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge to loosen.
5. Carefully pour out any excess liquid from skillet into a measuring cup, and reserve. (It’s okay if you don’t have any excess liquid–it all depends on how juicy your fruit is.) Carefully invert cake onto a serving plate, and drizzle with any reserved liquid. Cool slightly (about 10 minutes). Cut cake into wedges using a serrated knife. Top with sweetened whipped cream, if desired, and serve immediately.
I hope these recipes inspire you to try out some new summer recipes with the freshest produce available this summer. I will be posting plenty more over the next few weeks! happy Cooking!!!!