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Cooking From The Farmer's Markets . . . what's on your table these days?

This is an exciting time at the farmer’s markets where I live (in Southern Ontario, Canada). Luscious stone fruits and a wide variety of vegetables are in abundance. We also have our own, small herb and vegetable garden that has now started to yield super-sweet, juicy tomatoes, zucchini flowers, garlic scapes and, lots of lovely herbs.

Fresh from the vine or ground, this produce is the inspiration for most of our meals at this time of year and I imagine many other hounds are doing the same thing.

I thought it might be fun to start a thread to post an account of what’s on our plates these days. Where do you live and what’s fresh these days at your market? What wonderful meals are you creating with the season’s best? Are you using family recipes, creating your own dishes, delving into seasonal cookbooks? I’ll post my dishes here and I’m hoping others will join me in sharing meals, favourite cookbooks, recipes and stories.

FYI, here’s a link to a thread on Seasonal Cookbooks if you’re looking for some inspiration:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/777753

So, what are you cooking from the farmer’s markets?

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  1. Grilled Chicken Wings

    It was extremely exciting to learn that a local organic poultry farmer joined the small farmer’s market in my area this year. We’ve been enjoying his wonderful, plump, juicy whole chickens ever since. Last Friday was the first time he brought chicken wings and I just had to have some. These lovely little morsels had “grill me” written all over them!! I’ve had a Jill Dupleix recipe (yes, she IS the one who brought us those wonderful Crash Hot Potatoes!!) for Chili-lime Chicken Wings earmarked for some time so it was the first dish that came to mind when I brought my wings home since Jill had indicated the wings could be done in the oven or, on the grill. The wings marinate overnight in a chili-lime, garlic mixture before hitting the grill. They are served w an outstanding Chili-lime sauce drizzled over top. These flavours appeal to us in any event but I have to say, these were simply the best chicken wings we’ve ever had . . . so flavourful with a wonderful tangy heat from the sauce. Outstanding!

    I found the recipe online for those of you that might be interested in this dish but, don’t have Jill’s cookbook – “Very Simple Food” (which I’d highly recommend btw!):

    http://www.insanitytheory.net/kitchen...

     
     
     
    4 Replies
    1. re: Breadcrumbs

      Thank you for posting this. I have wings in the freezer I'd like to use up and this sounds great!
      The flavors sound great for a Summer evening and I love the overnight marinating.

      1. re: rabaja

        I hope you enjoy it rabaja, do let us know!! btw, it goes really well w sangria!!!

        I use this recipe:

        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      2. re: Breadcrumbs

        I am drooling already. I am always looking for good app recipes and have limes to use up, so this is a perfect excuse to make these! I wish we had a good poultry farmer at our local markets. We had a couple of pork farmers at our local farmer's market last week and I got some amazing sausage. If pigs had wings, I'd try this recipe on those!! lol

        1. re: Scirocco

          Oh enjoy Scirocco, pls let us know how you like them! I wish we were having them again today!! They really are delicious.

      3. Potato Salad

        I’m guessing most of us have our own favourite potato salad recipe and I’m no different. Mine is a pretty standard mayo-based recipe but what really makes it special are the potatoes. On Saturday we stopped in at a local farm market and they had the most beautiful, tiny potatoes I’ve ever seen. Both blue and white new potatoes ranged from the size of a pea to the size of a grape tomato. They were so fresh and young you could rub the peel off w a brush of a finger. They were begging to be made into potato salad and that’s just what happened. This farm also sells just hatched eggs so a few of those were tossed into this salad as well. Perfect w the wings I mentioned up-thread . . . so summery!

         
         
         
        2 Replies
        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          I made my favorite potato salad this week. Lovely little fingerling potatoes, fresh farm eggs, cucumber, radishes, chives, parsley, oregano, basil, a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and creme fraiche. Yes, just a small amount of creme fraiche.

          Also made an heirloom tomato gazpacho. I don't blend mine. Just mix finely chopped vege's - red pepper, serrano, cucumber and red onion- with different colored chopped heirloom tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice. Add some red wine vinegar, great olive oil * and a little sea salt and pepper. Let chill overnight in refrig - mmmm.....

          Next up - Black bean and corn salad. The corn is being harvested in Minnesota! That's all I'll eat the next three weeks.

          * Twice a year, at our Mill City Farmer's Market, we have access to cold pressed, organic, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil straight from the source. Valli dell'Etna, located on the northern slopes of Mt Etna. I love their Etna Dario, which uses the Brandofino olive. It's a smooth, buttery, beautiful olive oil. Their next visit is first Saturday in September. My calendar is marked.

          1. re: rp1760

            All your meals sound wonderful rp and I especially love the idea of adding a little creme fraiche to potato salad. I've added sour cream in the past but this would be nicer.

            I can imagine how much you're looking forward to that olive oil, very exciting!!

        2. Pantelleria Potato Salad

          I know, I know, I’m on a bit of a “potato salad” binge here but with some of those lovely, tiny potatoes I mentioned up-thread on hand, I wanted to try another dish that would let them really stand out. Thanks to a quick EYB (Eat Your Books) search, I found this recipe in Faith Willinger’s book “Red White & Greens”. I’d been searching for a mayonnaise free potato salad recipe and this one immediately caught my attention because it called for tomatoes which I can pick fresh from my garden and, red onions which are also fresh and in season now. I didn’t follow this recipe to the letter as my potatoes didn’t need peeling or chopping and, I used grape tomatoes vs juiced, seeded tomatoes. Faith serves her salad at room temp whereas I served ours warm and boy was it delicious w our grilled steaks. The red wine vinaigrette and capers paired perfectly w these lovely little potatoes and the sweetness of the-just picked tomatoes. I’ll definitely be making this dish again and again, everyone loved it!

          I should note that this was the first time I’ve used this cookbook and based on the success of this dish, I’m looking forward to trying more recipes. I’d love to hear if anyone else has some favourites.

           
           
           
          7 Replies
          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            Coincidently, tonight I'm making Vincenzo's Summer Vegetable Ciambotto from the Red, White and Greens book with veggies from my local farmers' market: Potatoes, eggplant, parsley, peppers...

            My favorite potato salad is mayo-less so I'll have to check out the Pantelleria.

            Wait till you taste her Toquato's Thick Grilled Eggplant... it's been one of the few ways I cook eggplant since I first made it in '96.

            1. re: Gio

              I'll have to check both of those recipes out Gio, that is a coincidence!! My favourite market vendor told me she should have eggplant next week so I can't wait to try that recipe!! Thanks.

              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                We made the Ciambotta last night and thought it was very good. It's much less soupy than others of that ilk that I have had, but very flavorful. I think it's because there's just 2 chopped tomatoes rather than a tin of them. Let it cool a bit before eating, especially if the weather is hot where you are. We added freshly ground Romano over top to each serving.

                Also, read her header notes to learn the "real" meaning of Ciambotta. She's a hoot.

                1. re: Gio

                  I had to read that note Gio and laughed out loud when I did. Like you, I've been really enjoying the context and humour injected into this book!

              2. re: Gio

                Gio I had to let you know that I pulled Red, White & Greens again to look at that Eggplant recipe and aside from it sounding wonderful, I also discovered a coincidence.

                Not sure if you recall that this dish gets its name from the vendor at the Santo Spirito farmer's market in Florence. When I read that my jaw dropped. This market is one we've frequented regularly as we rent a villa a short walk away. I couldn't help but think I may have purchased Torquato's eggplants on one of our visits to the market!! Such a small world isn't it? mr bc took lots of photos so at some point he's going to look through them to see if we have a photo w this vendor in it! Thanks for pointing me to this recipe Gio, it brought back lots of wonderful memories of Florence!

                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                  Oh what a happy memory! Vincenzo figures mightily as Senora Willinger perambulates though Italy. As does Torquato. And Massimo.

                  1. re: Gio

                    Such a lovely book isn't it? I'm looking forward to reading more about her journeys.

            2. For the past few weeks, my "farmer's market" has been my own backyard: eggplant and tomato tian; eggplant tapenade; tomato soup; homemade ketchup; green beans with roasted red peppers; habenoros and bhut jolokia chutney; pesto (only purchased ingredient was walnuts); brinjal biryani; fried zuchinni blossoms. All that and I'm still handing out homegrown veggies to friends and neighbors, and all from a tiny backyard plot.

              1 Reply
              1. re: pine time

                pine time I'm wishing I was your neighbour!! If you have a moment, could you tell me more about your bhut jolokia chutney?

              2. Not exactly cooking, but Italian salads with our homegrown tomatoes. Either Insalata Caprese or something my wife calls Italian Tomato Salad. The former one, if it is not familiar to one, is alternating layers of sliced tomato and sliced fresh mozzarella topped with "basilico tagliato a brandelli" (basil sliced to shreds, I do not use French culinary terms...ugh) and drizzled extra virgin olive oil. The latter one is diced tomato with diced raw onion bathed in oil and a little red wine vinegar, the juice being sopped up with Italian bread.

                Buon appetito e mangia bene!

                5 Replies
                1. re: ChiliDude

                  I think this one is the boom just droped copies off at our farmers market.

                  GRILLED CORN CREMA MEXICANA AND CILANTRO

                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                  1. re: don515

                    That sounds great don. I tend to like my corn w just butter and salt but after trying a COTM recipe for something a little more exotic, I'm ready to try other variations. Thanks for sharing!

                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                      Not a problem wait on a review!

                      dc

                    2. re: don515

                      one of our favorite local restaurants does this every summer (except they rub it on the cob and serve it whole) for only $2 an ear!! SO SO SO good. I am usually just a simple seasoning girl with my corn, but this prep is amazing.

                    3. re: ChiliDude

                      Buon appetito to you as well ChiliDude, both salads sound scrumptious! Caprese is one of my favourites and I haven't tried the second one but I'll most certainly do so! Thanks.