Category Archives: Farmers Market

Summer’s Swan Song {CtBF}

It seems like the weather on the first day of September is always cool and crisp.  It’s technically still summer, but it’s as if autumn pops its head up to say “Hi!  Missed me?  I’m coming soon!”  A taste of autumn for a day or two, then summer resumes its place for the duration.

Produce-wise, it’s the peak of summer vegetables.  Tomatoes, corn, zucchini abound.  It’s one of my favorite times of year for eating.

This week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays fit right into the “peak of summer” theme.  Baked Provençal Vegetables aka Tian was the order of the day.  Sautéed onions and garlic for the bed for an arrangement of thinly sliced zucchini (home grown!), eggplant, and tomatoes sprinkled with thyme and handful of Gruyère cheese.  The ingredients resemble those ratatouille, but the technique, baking instead of simmering stovetop, makes a tian so much easier to prepare.

I served the meltingly tender vegetables atop leftover spaghetti.  It was delicious.  What’s not to like?  Well, that assumes you’re a fan of zucchini and eggplant, which Howard is not.  Obviously, I was solo for dinner the night I made this.

If you’d like the recipe, you’ll find it on page 226 of David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen.  This recipe from Saveur is also very similar.  You can also find the reviews of my Cook the Book Fridays friends here.

 

Advertisements

Hey Summer, Where Are You?

It’s the first week of June, and it’s raw and rainy.  I’m bundled in fleece because it’s only in the mid-50’s outside. I’m so ready for summer.  I’d even settle for spring.  At boot camp this morning, we were taking a survey of who turned their heat back on…

Local farmers’ markets are just starting to open for the season.  I pick up my first week’s CSA share tomorrow. My vegetable garden is planted but sunshine and heat are needed for it to grow.

When summer tomatoes are at their peak later in the summer, Caprese salad with fresh mozzarella or burrata makes a regular appearance on my table, but it’s much too early for that.  I saw a recipe in the New York Times a few weeks ago for a spring version with fava beans and fennel.  Those aren’t in season yet either, but I felt inspired.

What was fresh at today’s farmers’ market?  Radishes and sugar snap peas cried out to me.  I also have plentiful arugula growing at home, self-sowed from last fall’s plants, and fresh mint in my herb garden.

Here’s my version.  The variety of color and textures is a treat for the senses.  I love how I’ll be able to vary the ingredients as the season progresses towards tomatoes and beyond.

Spring Burrata Salad

1 small shallot, diced finely
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3-4 radishes, sliced thin
1 stalk celery, sliced thin
1 heaping cup of sugar snap peas, tops trimmed, cut in half
1 4-oz ball burrata
Arugula leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces if large
1 sprig fresh mint

In a small bowl, cover diced shallot with lemon juice.  Add a pinch of salt, and let it sit while you prepare the vegetables (5-10 minutes).  Then, whisk in olive oil.

In another bowl, toss the radish slices, sliced celery, and peas together.

Arrange the arugula on a plate.  Place the burrata in the center.  Scatter the mixed vegetables over the arugula and burrata.

Spoon about half of the dressing over the salad.  Finally, tear the leaves from the mint sprig into small pieces and sprinkle over the salad.

Serve immediately.  Use a serving spoon to cut the burrata in half or quarters as the salad is served.

Serves 2-4