Monday, August 16, 2010

More Farmers' Market Menus

Every week at the farmers’ market is a new adventure. I always look forward to seeing what new arrivals will make an appearance. We make one pass tasting all the varieties of fruits, inspecting the flowers and checking out the various offerings. The second pass is for making our selections. Every stall is a visual work of art. Some purchases are a given. Bread from Acme Bread, tomatoes from my favorite “Tomato Guy” and Brentwood white corn. For many purchases I gravitate toward the vendors who provide plenty of samples so I can choose which flavors appeal to me on a given day. Recent purchases included red and yellow peppers, Thai bird chilis, golden beets, strawberries, peaches, peppers, green beans, grapes, lots of tomatoes, plums, nectaplums, yellow cauliflower, figs, cucumbers, corn, basil, cilantro and flowers. Usually I prefer white nectarines, but the summer has been so cool and the growing season so late, the yellow nectarines were actually sweeter than the white this week so we got a few of those as well.

When I arrive home with all the purchases, I spread the bounty on the kitchen counter for viewing and plan the menu for the week. Next I make the grocery list for the other items we need. This week there was a very short list. We really only needed the meat and seafood. Larry loves it when I don’t send him to four different stores in search of exotic ingredients.

This week the menu plan is (I’ve highlighted the farmers' market ingredients) :

Heirloom tomato and corn “pizza” (basil and Acme herb slab) This was a great alternative to our usual Sunday lunch routine of heirloom tomato salad with bread and cheese

Grilled stuffed figs
Spicy Chicken Peperonata with Lime and Mint Dressing (Red and yellow peppers, chilis)
Garlic Green Beans
(This was also a big success)

Cheeseburger with Spinach/Arugula Pesto on Acme herb slab 
Tomato/Watermelon/Feta Salad (Check off another good meal!)

Fennel and Coriander Spiced Salmon
Arugula and Peach Salad
Corn with Indian Spices

Grilled halibut
Crispy cauliflower
Tomato/Yellow pepper crostini
Peach galette

Golden beet soup with goat cheese crostini
Tomato and cucumber salad

This week will also have some great fruit salads and smoothies for lunch with the abundance of fruit we purchased. Today's lunch included a salad of strawberries, banana, nectarine and nectaplum. Sliced or blended, alone or in combination, nothing says summer like fresh fruits and vegetables.

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