Farmers’ Market Box July 21st, 2022

July 19, 2022 0 Comments

Weekly Farmers Market Box at Specialty Produce

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmer’s Choice

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes:

Pan Roasted Salmon over Ratatouille

Serves 6

For the Ratatouille

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 Romanesco squash, trimmed and cut into ¼” thick rounds
One 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes
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, squash, 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 sauté 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.

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.

Romanesco Squash and Pepper Sauté

Serves 4 to 6

Similar to Pepperonata, this sauté 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 Romanesco 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, sauté the garlic in the oil for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  2. Add the onion, and sauté another 2 to 3 minutes until it begins to soften.
  3. Add the squash, and peppers, tossing in the oil. Sauté 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 sauté warm or at room temperature garnished with grated Parmigiano.

Curried Japanese Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 Japanese sweet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 Romanesco squash, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch chunks
Finely chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
Steamed rice for serving

  1. In a Dutch oven heat the oil, sauté the garlic and curry powder for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the milk, broth, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add the potatoes, and squash, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Serve garnished with cilantro or parsley and serve over steamed rice.

Sausage and Peppers

Serves 4

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 red spring onions, thinly sliced
1/2 pound Italian long peppers, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Italian rolls for serving

  1. Put the sausage into a skillet, add 2 tablespoons of water, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, remove the cover, and cook another 10 to 15 minutes turning the sausages until they are cooked through. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, heat the oil, add the onions, peppers, tomatoes, and oregano, and sauté until the onions begin to turn translucent, and the tomatoes have cooked down. If the mixture looks dry add a few tablespoons of water.
  3. Add the vinegar, and sauté another 5 minutes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, add the sausages back to the skillet, and heat through.
  4. Serve the sausages and peppers in Italian rolls.

Loaded Mashed Golden Turnips

Serves 4

One bunch golden turnips, peeled and cut into wedges
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup sour cream or Greek Style yogurt
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar
6 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Salt and pepper

  1. Put the turnips into salted water to cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the turnips are tender.
  2. Drain thoroughly and turn into a mixing bowl.
  3. Mash the turnips with the butter, sour cream, cheese, scallions, and bacon. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.

Save the Greens Sauté

Serves 4

Turnip greens are a major source of iron, and they taste delicious. Sauté them for a terrific side dish, or to serve on bruschetta with burrata.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 bunch turnip greens, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
Salt and pepper

  1. In a sauté pan, heat the oil, sauté the garlic until it is softened, but not browned.
  2. Add the greens and sauté until wilted.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm or at room temperature.

Kale Salad with Tangerines and Soy Vinaigrette

Serves 4

One bunch kale, washed, spun dry, tough stems removed and chopped
2 tangerines, peeled and separated into segments
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

  1. Put the kale and tangerines into a salad bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, ginger, and garlic.
  3. Pour the dressing over the kale and tangerines, tossing to coat.
  4. Plate the salad and garnish with almonds.

Chicken, Orzo, and Kale Soup

Serves 6

This is a great vehicle for using leftover chicken or turkey. Substitute your favorite bean for the white beans if you like.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 bunch kale, washed, spun dry, tough stems removed, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
8 cups chicken broth
3 cups cooked shredded chicken
2 cups cooked white beans (or one 14.5-ounce can rinsed and drained)
1/4 cup chopped Parmigiano Reggiano rinds
1 cup orzo
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano for serving

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, add the garlic and lemon zest, swirling in the pan for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the kale and toss to coat.
  3. Add the broth, chicken, white beans, and Parmigiano rinds if using.
  4. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes.
  5. Add the orzo, simmer another 12 minutes until the orzo is tender
  6. Season with salt and pepper, as needed, and serve garnished with Parmigiano Reggiano.

Tangerine Cheesecake Squares

Serves 6 to 8

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 8-ounce cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon finely shredded tangerine peel
1/3 cup tangerine juice
1 teaspoon vanilla paste, or vanilla extract
Tangerine segments for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a small mixing bowl beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until light and fluffy. Add flour, beating until combined (mixture will be crumbly). Press mixture evenly onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, for filling, in a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in egg, whipping cream, tangerine peel, tangerine juice, and vanilla until combined. Pour filling over crust.
  4. Bake about 30 minutes more or just until filling is set. Cut the squares while still warm, then let cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
  5. Use the tangerine segments to decorate each square.
  6. Bring the squares to room temperature before serving.

Pluot 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, plums, pluots, apriums 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 pluots, 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 pluots 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 crème fraiche.

Emerald Drop Pluot Clafoutis

Serves 6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups Emerald Drop Pluots, cut into wedges and pitted
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
Powdered sugar for serving (optional)

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and melt the butter in an ovenproof skillet. (A cast iron skillet is great for this)
  2. Add the pluots to the butter and turn to coat.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a blender or food processor fitted with the blade attachment and process until the batter is smooth, about 20 seconds.
  4. Add the flour, zest, and salt and pulse until just incorporated, 5 to 7 pulses.
  5. Pour the batter over the fruit in the pan.
  6. Bake until set, puffed, and light golden brown around the edges, about 50 minutes.
  7. Cool the skillet on a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes (the clafoutis will deflate).
  8. Dust with powdered sugar if using, cut into wedges or scoop and serve warm.

Spinach, Bacon, and Orzo Pasta Salad

Serves 6

One 12-ounce package orzo, cooked 2 minutes short of al dente
8 strips bacon
1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
8 ounces baby spinach (about 6 packed cups), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces Asiago cheese, diced

  1. Put the cooked orzo into a salad bowl and set aside.
  2. Place the bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until the fat has rendered out and the bacon is crispy, flipping halfway through, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Once cool, break the bacon into small crumbles.
  3. In the same skillet, sauté the shallot and spinach in the bacon drippings, until the spinach is wilted.
  4. Add the vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper and whisk until emulsified.
  5. Add the mixture to the orzo and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, add the cheese, and the crumbled bacon, and season again. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Creamy Avocado Pasta

Serves 6

1 pound linguine or spaghetti, cooked al dente
2 ripe medium avocados halved and pitted
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup lightly packed spinach leaves
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. While the pasta is cooking, scoop the avocado flesh into a blender. Add the basil, spinach, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. With the blender running, drizzle in the olive oil and blend until incorporated.
  2. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Toss the pasta with the sauce, add the tomatoes, and season with black pepper. Garnish each serving with additional Parmigiano Reggiano.

Baked Avocado Boats

Serves 4

2 ripe avocados, halved and pitted
4 large eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the avocados in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish, cut side up.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, pepper, chives, and cheese.
  3. Fill the avocado shells with the egg mixture, top with the bacon, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the eggs are just set. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, before serving.

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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