Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Heat Is On

Basil, summer squash and tomatoes--Oh my! This is the moment we've all been waiting for. There's such abundance with even more to come, so come to the Thursday market in Enterprise or Saturday market in Joseph to check out all the vendors.

There are so very many vegetables (and fruits) to get excited about. Still, there's one that's notable simply because it's only available fresh for a limited time, and it doesn't keep or freeze well at all: green beans.

Tender and snappy, green beans are summer's sweet treat. Great for snacking straight out of the bag, they're also marvelous steamed for salads, sauteed with garlic or roasted until crinkly and browned.

One of our favorite recipes from the Backyard Gardens Kitchen is Green Bean Salad with Walnuts and Shaved Parmesan in Lemon Dressing from Friend of the Farm. It is so summery, delicious and satisfying.

And isn't it great to make green beans the star of the show?

Green Bean Salad with Walnuts and Shaved Parmesan in Lemon Dressing
Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 pound green beans
1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, thinly shaved (about 1/2 cup)

1. Toast the walnuts in a dry, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat until they start to brown in spots and become fragrant. (Be careful not to overtoast them, as they will burn very quickly once toasted.) Immediately transfer the nuts to a dish to cool.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the beans and salt; cook until tender but still firm, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Transfer the beans to a colander in the sink and run cold water over them. Trim the beans if necessary.

4. Toss the beans and walnuts in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and olive oil until well combined. Pour this mixture over the beans and toss until well coated. Transfer the salad to a serving platter or to individual plates. Scatter the Parmesan shavings on top.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Heart of Summer

With this heat comes great reward: summer offerings start showing up at the market to accompany the greens and herbs. This week brings sweet carrots, luscious beets and tender cauliflower.

Sure carrots are great for nibbling raw, beets for roasting and cauliflower for steaming, but try mixing things up this summer.

How about:
*grilled whole carrots slicked with olive oil and coarse sea salt as a side dish
*raw grated beets in your salad--how pretty and tasty
*roasted cauliflower florettes tossed with pasta and parmesan

Keep on the lookout for green beans, summer squash and peas all coming soon.

Special this week: Sweet cherries from Cove only at the Thursday market in Enterprise. (There is no Saturday market in Joseph because it's Chief Joseph Days.)

See you at the lake!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cooking with the Kids

Getting kids interested in cooking goes a long way toward increasing their appetite for a range of foods. And we all want them hooked on what's fresh, local, seasonal...and green.

At last Saturday's cooking demonstration, Ann Bloom helped Chance slice, season and toss together a wonderful Mixed Greens and Blueberry Salad. Try it yourself at home!

Mixed Greens and Blueberry Salad
Serves 6-8

Other berries or nuts may be substituted if desired. Avocado is also a good addition.

For the salad:
6 cups salad mix, spinach, or other mixed greens
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 small red onion or several scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped tarragon leaves

For the dressing:
1/2 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or blueberry vinegar
1 tablespoon blueberry jam (raspberry may also be used)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine the greens, blueberries, onion, walnuts, and tarragon. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. Garnish with a few blueberries and nuts.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New to the Market

Great new local products are always coming into the Wendy McCullough's goats' milk soap.

Check out her unscented and lemongrass soaps available at Saturday's Joseph Farmers' Market.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Cherries Are Coming!

We know you get excited when the fruits begin to arrive at the farmers' markets. Along with the heat, they're the sure sign that summer is here.

At this week's Thursday market we'll have not only strawberries from Double Eddy Farms in Troy, but more cherries from Peach Blossom Orchard. Come get 'em while they last!

At Saturday's market Lynne Sampson Curry will prepare a July 4th menu from items you can pick up right at the market, including:
  • stuffed hamburgers
  • Asian cole slaw
  • a cherry honey milk shake.
Recipes from this demonstration and all other farmers' market events will soon be posted on our recipes archive coming soon.