Farmers’ Market Box August 10th, 2023

August 8, 2023 0 Comments

Weekly Farmers Market Box at Specialty Produce

This week’s local produce and featured farms:

Farmers’ Market Box Recipes

Summertime Orzo Salad

Serves 6

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup chopped indigo rose tomatoes
1 cup finely chopped chile toro de 
1 cup finely chopped basil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
One pound orzo pasta, cooked 2 minutes short of al dente
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil, saute the garlic, onion, tomatoes, and chile, until the vegetables are softened. 
  2. Add the basil, and vinegar and set aside.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Put the pasta into a salad bowl, add the dressing from the skillet, and toss to coat. 
  4. Add the feta and toss again.  Season with salt and pepper if needed and serve.  This pasta keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 days.  You can make the dressing, refrigerate for 2-3 days, then toss with the orzo and feta. 

Farfalle with Sicilian Pesto

Serves 4 to 6

1 1/2 cups chopped Indigo rose cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup packed Italian parsley
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup shredded Pecorino Romano, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 pound farfalle, cooked al dente, saving a bit of the pasta water
  1. In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, parsley, garlic, almonds, and Pecorino.  Pulse on and off until the mixture comes together.  Stir in the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Toss the pesto with the pasta, adding some of the pasta water to make a creamy sauce. 

Layered Salad with Basil Pesto Dressing

Serves 6

Little gem lettuce, washed, spun dry and chopped
2 Carolina gold tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
¼ pound Toro de Oro peppers, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 cups shredded orange carrots
2 cups thinly sliced Romanesco squash
2 purple bell peppers, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 ½ cups mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream or Greek style yogurt
3 garlic cloves
1 cup packed basil leaves (if the stems are tender, use those too)
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt and pepper
  1. Layer the lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, squash, and bell peppers in a large salad bowl. 
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, basil, lemon juice and Parmigiano.  Process until pureed.  Taste for seasoning and adjust using salt, pepper, or additional cheese or lemon juice. 
  3. Spread the dressing over the salad, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. 

Pesto Shrimp and Tortellini

Serves 4 to 6

Basil Pesto
Makes about 3 1/2 cups

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup olive oil
  1. In a blender or food processor, process the basil, cheese, pine nuts, and garlic together until broken up.   With the machine running, gradually add the oil and process until smooth. Scrape down the bowl and process again for another 30 seconds.
  2. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can pour into a jar, float ½ inch of olive oil on the top, and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Pour off the oil and stir before using. 
For the Pasta

3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup basil pesto 
20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 ounces cheese tortellini, cooked 1 minute short of al dente saving some of the hot pasta water
Salt and pepper
½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for garnish
  1. In a large skillet, heat the cream, add the basil, and stir to blend. 
  2. Add the shrimp and stir to coat.  Cook until the shrimp turns pink on both sides. 
  3. Add the cooked tortellini and stir to coat.  Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with grated Parmigiano Reggiano. 

Sundried Tomato Pesto

Makes about 4 cups
This pesto is delicious substituted in the shrimp recipe above, or use it to drizzle on grilled steak, chicken, or fish.  Use it as a topping for crostini, too.

1 1/2 cups oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
6 medium-size cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  1. In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, and Parmesan and process for about 1 minute. 
  2. With the machine running, gradually add the oil and vinegar and process until thoroughly incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and process for another 30 seconds.
  3. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can pour it into a jar and refrigerate for up to 7 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Bistro Carrot Salad

Serves 4

One bunch carrots, scraped, and shredded
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  1. Put the carrots into a bowl. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, honey, cumin, and oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the carrots, add the parsley, and toss to coat.  Serve cold. 

Pimento Cheese

Makes 2 cups
Pimento cheese is standard fare in the South; served with crackers or mixed into mac and cheese.

3 large pimento peppers 
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. Tabasco
½ teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
1/8 tsp. smoked paprika
4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat the broiler.  Lay the peppers on a foil lined baking sheet.  Roast the peppers, until they begin to blister on all sides, turning them.  Turn off the broiler when the peppers are blistered on all sides.  Allow them to cool in the turned off oven for 1 hour. 
  2. Carefully peel the blackened skin off each pepper. Cut the peppers lengthwise in half, open out flat on a cutting board, and carefully scrape away all the seeds and membrane. Dice the peppers.
  3. Put the cream cheese in a medium bowl and beat it with a wooden spoon until softened. Add the mayonnaise and mix well. Add the hot sauce, salt, sugar, cayenne pepper, white pepper, and smoked paprika and stir to blend. Add the cheddar cheese and stir again.
  4. Fold in the diced pimentos.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Tightly covered, the pimento cheese will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator and frozen for up to 3 months.

Roasted Pimento Pepper Salad

This is a dish that is served as part of an antipasti in Italy, or as a contorno, side dish.
Serves 4 to 6

4 pimento peppers
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 baguette, sliced
  1. Preheat the broiler and arrange the peppers on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (silicone will burn under the broiler)
  2. Broil the peppers, turning them as they char on each side.  When the peppers are completely charred, turn off the broiler, close the door to the oven, and allow the peppers to rest for 1 hour. 
  3. Remove the peppers from the baking sheet and slip the skin off the peppers.
  4. Remove the core and any seeds (you can’t remove them all, but they are not hot, so no worries) 
  5. Cut the peppers into strips 1/2-inch thick and put them into a bowl. 
  6. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to blend.  Season to taste, and let the peppers sit at room temperature for at least 4 hours to marinate.  Remove the garlic cloves and serve the peppers with crusty bread.

Pluot Compote

Makes 2 to 3 cups
This is delicious over ice cream, or serve it over plain pound cake, or angel food cake.

6 firm pluots, pitted, sliced into wedges
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar (plus more to taste if the pluots are tart)
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional but oh, so good!)
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract 
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and arrange the pluots in 3-quart baking dish.  In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, and pour over the pluots, stirring to coat the fruit. 
  2. Bake for 10 to 20 minutes, until the pluots are tender.  (If your pluots are very ripe, read that as soft, they should only bake 10 minutes)
  3. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving, or cool completely and store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 

Pluot Streusel Muffins

Makes 1 dozen

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
3 pluots, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter or margarine
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and coat the inside of muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Beat 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1/3 cup sugar, beating until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg, beating until blended.
  4. Combine 2 1/3 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, stirring well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract, and fold in chopped pluots.
  6. Spoon muffin batter into greased or paper-lined muffin pan, filling two-thirds full.
  7. Combine 1/4 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, and cinnamon; cut in 2 1/2 tablespoons butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over muffin batter.
  8. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans, and cool on wire racks.

Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Pluot Gastrique

Serves 6

For the Gastrique

1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 pound flavor king pluots, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the honey until it becomes a tawny color, about 3 minutes.  Add the vinegar and pluots, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  2. The Gastrique can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.  It’s delicious over chicken, lamb, or pork. 
For the Tenderloins

Two one-pound pork tenderloins, trimmed
4 cups water
4 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  1. Put the pork tenderloin into a zip-lock bag. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, dissolve the salt and sugar in the water.  Pour over the pork, seal the bag, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 12 hours. 
  3. Discard the water in the bag, rinse the tenderloin, and pat dry. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In an ovenproof skillet, heat the oil, and brown the tenderloin on all sides. 
  5. Generously brush with the Gastrique, and roast until an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 155 degrees. 
  6. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes. 
  7. Slice the tenderloin and serve garnished with the Gastrique.  Serve any additional Gastrique warmed on the side. 

Pan Roasted Chicken and Pluots

Serves 4

1 pound firm pluots
1-pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup ruby port
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger root, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.	Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and toss together the ingredients in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.  
2.	Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once during the cooking time, until the chicken is cooked through, and the sauce is bubbling.  
3.	Serve over rice, or polenta.  

Stuffed Tomatoes

Serves 4

2 Carolina gold tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/3 cup water

Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and season the cut sides with salt and pepper. 

  1. Film the bottom of a 10-inch skillet with some oil, and put the tomatoes into the skillet, cut side up. 
  2. In a bowl, combine the crumbs, cheese, basil, garlic, and parsley.  Mound the mixture onto the cut sides of the tomatoes, and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. 
  3. Turn on the heat to medium high and add the water.  Cook for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to sizzle. 
  4. Cover and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, basting with the sauce in the bottom of the pan. 
  5. When the tomatoes are softened, remove from the heat, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  6. These are delicious with grilled meats, fish, or poultry.  They can be made ahead and then reheated before serving. 

Romanesco Squash Fritters

Serves 4

2 cups Romanesco squash, scrubbed, and coarsely grated
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 garlic clove, minced
1 scallion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying
  1. Put the squash into a colander and sprinkle with the salt.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Squeeze out the moisture, and transfer to a bowl. 
  2. Add the egg, breadcrumbs, Parmigiano, garlic, and scallion to the squash.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a large skillet, form the zucchini mixture into 1 to 2-inch patties, and fry on one side till golden brown, turn and fry on the other side till golden brown.  Drain on paper toweling and serve warm.  These can be kept warm in a 250-degree oven for up to 1 hour. 

Romanesco Parmigiano

Serves 6

1 pound Romanesco squash, scrubbed, ends trimmed, and sliced in half lengthwise
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 pound bulk Italian sweet sausage
½ cup finely chopped leek
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes in their juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano (because this sauce will go in a hot oven, you need the strength of the dried herb)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
½ cup shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment, or silicone.
  2. Using a grapefruit knife or melon baller, remove the inside flesh of the zucchini, leaving ¼-inch rim on the zucchini.  Finely chop the zucchini flesh and set aside.  Rub the inside of the zucchini with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a skillet, cook the sausage until it is no longer pink, breaking up any large pieces. 
  4. Add the leek and zucchini flesh and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the leek is softened.  Remove any excess fat from the pan, add the tomatoes and oregano, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and fold in the parsley. 
  5. Cool the mixture and fill each zucchini with the mixture. 
  6. Sprinkle each zucchini with the cheeses and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the cheeses are melted and bubbling and the zucchini is tender. 

Pasta alla Nerano

Serves 4
If you watched the Stanley Tucci CNN series on Italy, this was what he called life changing pasta; I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s pretty darned delicious.  

1/2-inch extra virgin olive oil (see note below)
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 cups thinly sliced Romanesco squash (2 medium or 4 small)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano (the show used aged Provolone, which can be hard to find)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
6 nests tagliatelle or 1/2-pound fettuccine cooked al dente, saving a bit of hot pasta water
salt and pepper
  1. In a large skillet, heat 1/2-inch of extra virgin olive oil, add the garlic, and cook until the garlic is translucent, remove from the pan, add the squash, and fry until the squash is browned on both sides. You may have to do this in batches, remove the browned squash to a pasta bowl, and continue to cook until all the squash is fried.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of cheese, the butter, and basil to the pasta bowl with the squash.
  3. Add the hot pasta to the bowl, and toss to coat, adding some of the pasta water to make a creamy sauce. Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with the remaining cheese.

Squash Casserole

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped sweet yellow onion
1 pound Romanesco squash cut into 1 inch dice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole or 2% milk
One 5.2-ounce package Boursin cheese, crumbled
1 ½ cups shredded Gruyere cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a 12-inch skillet, over medium heat melts the butter and oil together, add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the squash and cook another 3 minutes, stirring a few times, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until the mixture begins to lose some of its moisture, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir the flour into the squash mixture, and cook until absorbed, another 2 minutes.
  5. Add the milk and Boursin and stir until the mixture comes to a boil and the cheese has melted.
  6. Transfer to the prepared dish and sprinkle with the Gruyere cheese.
  7. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can let cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
  8. Bake the casserole until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Broccolini with Pasta and Sausage

Serves 4 to 6

1/2-pound bulk Italian sausage
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 bunch broccolini, chopped
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 pound orecchiette, cooked 3 minutes short of al dente, saving some pasta water
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  1. In a large skillet, cook the sausage, breaking up any large pieces, until it is no longer pink.  Transfer to a plate, wipe out the pan, add the oil, swirl the garlic and red pepper flakes in the pan, add the broccolini to the pan with the broth, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the broccolini is tender.  Add the sausage to the pan, and season with salt and pepper. 
  2. When the pasta is cooked, add it to the skillet, tossing to coat, adding pasta water to create a creamy sauce. 
  3. Add 1/2 of the cheese and continue to toss until the sauce is creamy.  Serve the pasta garnished with the remaining cheese. 

Broccolini with Gremolata

Serves 2

1 bunch broccolini, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Grated zest of 1 tangerine
1 tablespoon grated Oro Blanco zest
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  1. Steam the broccolini for 2 to 3 minutes until crisp/tender.  Heat the oil, add the garlic and zest, and swirl for 1 minute.  Add the broccolini and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper, add the parsley, and serve. 

Creamy Chicken Stuffed Peppers

Serves 4

For the Marinara
Makes about 4 cups

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the oil, and sauté the garlic and basil for a minute, swirling the pan, and being careful not to burn the garlic.
  2. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar, and simmer the sauce for 45 minutes.  Taste the sauce for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.  Cool the sauce and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for 3 months. 
For the Peppers

4 cups quick marinara (see preceding recipe)
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup finely chopped sweet yellow onion
2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
1 cup ricotta cheese
½ cup finely minced ham
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
¼ cup finely chopped basil Genovese
4 purple bell peppers, tops cut off and saved, and seeds removed
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pour the marinara into the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch oven proof casserole dish. 
  3. In a skillet, melt the butter, add the onion, and cook until the onion begins to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. 
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the chicken, ricotta, ham, parmesan, and cream, simmering the mixture for 10 minutes, until the sauce is reduced by half. 
  5. Stir in the parsley, taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.  Cool the filling, fill the peppers, arrange the peppers on the sauce stem filling side up, top with the stem end. 
  6. Bake the peppers for 45 to 50 minutes, until the filling is bubbling, and the peppers are softened.  Serve in a pool of the marinara. 

@Diane Phillips Diane Phillips Blog: Cucina Divina
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