Farmers’ Market Box July 15th 2021

July 13, 2021 0 Comments

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This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Street Corn Pasta Salad

Serves 6:
This recipe is easily doubled or tripled for a crowd. It’s terrific with grilled carne Asada, or pollo Asada.

1/2 pound shaped pasta (penne, shells, elbows, farfalle, small rigatoni) cooked 2 minutes short of al dente
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
2 ears corn, kernels cut from the cob (you should have about 1 cup)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped cucumber
1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1. Put the cooked and drained pasta into a large salad bowl and allow to cool.
2. In a saute pan, heat the butter, saute the onion, jalapeno, and corn for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion is softened. Season with salt and pepper. When cooled, transfer to the bowl with the pasta, adding the cilantro, red pepper, cucumber and cotija cheese.
3. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the mayonnaise sour cream, chipotle, and lime juice. Pour over the pasta and vegetables and toss to combine and coat. Season with salt and pepper if needed, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Re-toss before serving.

Pan Roasted Salmon over Ratatouille

Serves 6:

For the Ratatouille
If you got the Farmer’s Choice use the San Marzano Tomatoes, otherwise, Romas or cherry tomatoes—you’ll need 2 cups chopped

1 red onion, sliced ½” thick
1/2 pound Italian long peppers, cored and chopped into 1-inch chunks
1 medium eggplant, cut into ½” chunks
2 medium zucchini or summer squash, trimmed and cut into ¼” thick rounds
4 Roma tomatoes, (canned or fresh depending on the season), cored, and cut into ½” chunks
6 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried herbs de Provence
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
¼ cup finely chopped basil

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. In a large bowl, toss the onions, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and herbs de Provence. Season the mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Spread the vegetables into a baking dish (13 x 9”).
4. Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 15 minutes and remove from the oven.

Roasted Salmon

½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
2½ pounds salmon filets
½ cup unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
⅛ teaspoon cayenne
1 lemon, grated zest of
¼ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon paprika
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a shallow dish, combine the oil and Old Bay seasoning.
2. Dip the filets in the mixture, turning them to coat. Lay the salmon over the partially cooked ratatouille in the baking dish.
3. In a small skillet, heat the butter; add the garlic, cayenne, and lemon zest. Sauté for 1 minute. Cool, and add the lemon juice and paprika.
4. Pour ½ the mixture over the salmon, and roast for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. When the salmon is cooked through, (160°F on an instant read meat thermometer) remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
5. Serve each filet over ratatouille and drizzled with the remaining garlic butter sauce.
6. Cook’s note: this recipe also works with other thick fleshed fish such as seabass, or halibut.

Eggplant Meatballs

Serves 6:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant, stem end trimmed, and cut in half (about 1 pound) If you have small eggplants, cut them in half lengthwise
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fresh breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for cooking the meatballs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking liner, parchment, or aluminum foil. Brush the cut sides of the eggplant with 2 tablespoons of the oil, and lay the eggplant halves, cut side down. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes until the flesh is completely tender.
2. Remove from the oven and when the eggplant is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and chop it on a cutting board. Transfer it to a bowl, and add the breadcrumbs, eggs, remaining oil, basil, cheese, parsley, and pepper.
3. Spread the flour onto a cutting board, and using a portion scoop, form the eggplant into 1-inch balls. Coat them in flour, and then transfer to a baking sheet, while you roll the remaining balls.
4. Pour enough vegetable oil into a large saute or skillet to reach a depth of 1-inch and heat to 375 degrees.
5. Fry the polpette until golden brown, turning them frequently.
6. Transfer them to a paper towel lined baking sheet and continue to cook the meat-less-balls, until they are all cooked. The meatballs can be added to marinara sauce or served plain as an appetizer.
7. Cook’s Note: If you would prefer to make these into fritters, form them into 1/2-inch thick patties about 2-inches in diameter and fry in about 1/4-inch of olive oil.

Roasted Tomato Sauce:

Makes about 3 cups
In the winter when tomatoes aren’t at their peak of ripeness, Italians will roast canned Roma tomatoes with aromatics to intensify and concentrate their flavor. This is a great trick for getting a full flavored sauce, with not so flavorful tomatoes. If you got the San Marzano tomatoes, you could try this with those, cutting the tomatoes in half.
Three 28-ouce cans peeled whole Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, crushed
1/2 cup chopped red onion
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a jelly roll pan with a silicone liner, parchment paper, or aluminum foil.
2. Cut the tomatoes in half and put in a large glass bowl. Stir in the olive oil, basil, rosemary, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, being careful not to tear the tomatoes.
3. Pour onto the prepared pan, spreading it out in a single layer. Bake until the tomato liquid is absorbed, and the tomatoes have firmed up and turn a deep red color, 35 to 45 minutes, checking to make sure that the tomatoes and garlic don’t brown.
4. Transfer the tomato mixture to blender or food processor, and pulse to break up the tomatoes. Stir in the basil and parsley.
5. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Mediterranean Stewed Green Beans

Serves 4:

1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cups crushed tomatoes, either canned or fresh
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper

1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, add the beans, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until crisp/tender. Drain, and season with salt and pepper.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the garlic and onion, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes until the onion is softened.
3. Deglaze the pan with the wine.
4. Add the tomatoes, beans, mint and parsley and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until the beans are tender. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with the feta.

Green Bean Salad with Fresh Mozzarella

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 pound blue lake green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces, and trimmed
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed, or 8 ounces boccacini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup finely chopped basil leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts for garnish

1. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil and cook the green beans for 3 to 4 minutes, until crisp/tender.
2. Drain thoroughly, and season well with salt and pepper. Put into a salad bowl and cool.
3. Add the onion and mozzarella.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, basil, and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Pour over the bean mixture and toss to coat. Allow the salad to marinate at room temperature for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, sprinkle with pine nuts.
6. Cook’s note: This is a great salad to add to—you could add diced cucumber, and cherry tomatoes if you have them on hand.

Summer Squash and Pepper Saute

Serves 4 to 6:
Similar to Pepperonata, this saute is terrific with grilled meats, chicken and seafood.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large red onion, thinly sliced into 1/2 moons
3 cups diced summer squash
1/2 pound Italian long peppers, cored and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 cup tomato puree
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, saute the garlic in the oil for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
2. Add the onion, and saute another 2 to 3 minutes until it begins to soften.
3. Add the squash, and peppers, tossing in the oil. Saute for 10 minutes turning frequently, until the peppers and squash begin to soften, and the squash has turned golden.
4. Add the tomato puree, season with salt and pepper and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Serve the saute warm or at room temperature garnished with grated Parmigiano.

Crudites with Homemade Ranch Dressing

Serves 6

For the Dressing
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

1. In a bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and zest.

For the Crudites
1/2 pound blue lake green beans
1 bunch mixed carrots, tops removed, scraped, and cut into matchsticks
1 cucumber, scrubbed, ends removed, and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
3/4 pound mixed summer squash, ends trimmed, and cut into bite sized pieces

1. Blanch the green beans in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, drain, and cool.
2. Arrange the beans, carrots, cucumber, and squash on a serving platter. Arrange the dip in a small bowl and place in the center of the vegetables and serve.

Curried Carrot Soup

Serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon sweet curry powder
1 bunch carrots, scraped, and cut into 1-inch lengths
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
Salt and pepper

1. In a Dutch oven, heat the butter, and saute the onion and curry powder for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion begins to soften.
2. Add the carrots and broth. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the carrots are tender.
3. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add the cream, and parsley. Taste for seasoning and adjust using salt or pepper. Serve the soup warm.

Roasted Honey Carrots

Serves 4:

1 bunch carrots, tops removed, scrubbed/peeled, cut into quarters
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon (or more) ground cumin
Few drops Sriracha
Carrot tops

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment, aluminum foil or silicone.
2. In a bowl, combine the carrots, honey, cumin and Sriracha.
3. Lay on the baking sheet in one layer and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
4. Wash the carrot tops and spin dry, chop a few and sprinkle them over the roasted carrots for garnish.
5. Carrot tops can also be made into a pesto.

Twice Baked Japanese Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves 4:

1 1/4 pounds Japanese sweet potatoes, scrubbed and pierced with the sharp tip of a paring knife
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 scallions, finely chopped using the white and tender green parts
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper
6 strips bacon, cooked crisp, and crumbled

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Bake the potatoes for 40 to 50 minutes until they are soft to the touch.
3. While the potatoes are baking, in a skillet heat the butter, and saute the leeks until they are translucent. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
4. Remove the potatoes from the oven, and slice in half lengthwise.
5. Remove the flesh with a spoon and turn into the bowl with the leeks.
6. Mash the potatoes with 1 cup of cheddar cheese, and the sour cream. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Turn the potatoes into the baking dish, sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and bacon.
7. Reduce the oven to temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted, and potatoes are cooked through.

Summer Gazpacho

Serves 4 to 6:

1 medium red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 Italian frying peppers seeded and diced
2 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar
1 cup ice cubes
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 pound ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
1/4 cup Italian parsley
1/4 basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
5 whole scallions, thinly sliced

1. In a blender or food processor combine the onion, garlic, and half the peppers. Sprinkle with vinegar and let stand while peeling the tomatoes.
2. Add the ice to the onion mixture and process until chopped but not puréed. Add half the cucumbers, all but one tomato, the parsley and basil leaves. Process until finely chopped but still chunky.
3. Season to taste with salt and pepper and check for balance, adding more vinegar if needed.
4. Chill at least 1 hour.
5. Taste again and thin with cold water if desired. Serve the gazpacho chilled, with bowls of the reserved cucumbers, peppers, scallions, and the remaining chopped tomatoes as garnishes.

Stuffed Tomatoes

Serves 2 to 4:
These are a staple at our home during the summer when vine ripened tomatoes are available. They are terrific with grilled seafood, or meats.

Extra virgin olive oil:
1 pound San Marzano tomatoes, cut in half horizontally
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (run the bread through a food processor)
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper

1. Film a skillet that will fit the tomato halves snugly with olive oil. Fit the tomatoes into the skillet, and season liberally with salt and pepper,
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, basil, parsley, and garlic. Season the crumbs with salt and pepper and toss with 2 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil to moisten the crumbs. Pile onto the tomato halves and bring the heat to medium high. When the oil begins to sizzle, add 1/2 cup water, and turn the heat to medium. Cover the pan and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, remove the cover, baste the tomatoes with the pan juices, and cook another 15 to 20 minutes, basting with the juices until the tomatoes are softened, and the crumbs are melting into the tomatoes.
3. The tomatoes can be served hot, warm or at room temperature.

Plum Ricotta Cake

Makes one 9-inch cake:
This is a terrific cake to use as a template—try using any soft fruits for this; I’ve used berries, cherries, peaches, and figs. Change the flavoring from lemon to orange, or almond.

1¼ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup fresh whole milk ricotta
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 plums, thinly sliced and pitted
2 tablespoons light brown granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350F, coat the inside of a 9-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each one in.
3. Next add the ricotta and the sour cream, vanilla and extract and mix well.
4. Mix the dry ingredients together, then add them to the wet mixture, just folding them in until mixed. Don’t over beat.
5. Pour the dough into buttered cake tin, and level it out with a spoon. Arrange the plums on the top of the batter in a decorative pattern on top of the batter. Sprinkle the cake with the sugar and bake for 40 minutes.
6. Let cool, remove from pan, and serve with whipped cream or creme fraiche.

Savory Plum Tart

Serves 6:
This is a beautiful appetizer or first course, made with frozen puff pastry and a few other ingredients.

1 sheet puff pastry rolled to 14-inch circle or rectangle
One 5.5-ounce container Boursin cheese, softened
4 plums, halved, pitted, and thinly sliced
Apricot jam

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the puff pastry on a baking sheet lined with foil, parchment, or silicone. Prick the pastry all over with the tines of a fork.
2. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool.
3. Meanwhile, mash the cheese so it is spreadable.
4. When the pastry is cooled, spread with the cheese. Top with the plums in a decorative pattern.
5. Brush the plums with the jam and bake again for 20 minutes, until the crust is golden, and the jam is bubbling.
6. Let the pastry rest for 10 minutes, then cut into wedges or squares. The tart is best served at room temperature.

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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