Sunday Farmer’s Market, aka Making Up for Burned Bagels

Had a rough start to my morning today — burned my bagel in the toaster oven, then quickly burned the replacement bagel as well. Awesome! I made myself eat the second one as punishment for being such a space case. (It actually wasn’t too bad, just a little char. Mmmm, carcinogens.)

Good news is I redeemed myself at the farmer’s market. I’m planning to make one of my favorite pasta salads this week — Cold Pasta Salad with Roasted Chicken, Plums, Blue Cheese and Basil — as well as a yummy salad as it’s supposed to be in the 90s (!) again this week. I was a vision of efficiency — flitting here and there, making decisions in a snap, filling my bags and busting out of there in no time. Check out the haul:

The list: beets with their greens, a beautiful head of Bibb lettuce, basil, plums, pluots, cucumber, parsley, chives, grape tomatoes, strawberries and a cantaloupe. Yes, that’s a lot of plums, which are in the pasta salad. And I’m planning to steam the beets and use them in my salad…and do something awesome with the beet greens. It’s been ages since I’ve had beet greens, but I used to love them when my mom cooked them growing up. So we’ll see what happens there. Check out these awesome looking strawberries — I bought some last week and they were so sweet and delicious:

Something else pretty awesome: I did ALL my food shopping for the week at the farmers market. Everything else I needed for my meals I had already. Now that is a score.


Oh Farmers Market, I’ve Missed You

It’s been a while. I admit it. But after my Sunday trip to the farmers market, I’m back in the swing, and remembering what I’ve missed. Check out my haul this week:

The tally: blueberries, blackberries, nectarines. Summer squash. An heirloom tomato (love this time of year), cherry tomatoes, arugula (spicy and fresh), parsley, garlic, onion, a lemon and avocadoes.

I got a couple of super fresh (and huge!) zucchini from my friend Megan’s garden, so my plans include a summer squash/zucchini/tomato/arugula pasta and a zucchini and olive flatbread. Plus some veggie and hummus pita wraps, which have been my latest obsession for lunch.

Hit your farmers market! There is nothing like fresh produce in the summer.

The Week’s Farmers Market: Figs, Squash and Curry

After two weeks eating way too much fried food in Wisconsin, I could NOT wait to get to the farmers market on Sunday. I have three dishes in mind for this week, and my hope was that I could find fresh figs. Success! Plus many other treats, including four adorable pumpkins to decorate my house for fall.

The tally: mushrooms, broccoli, butternut squash, basil, pumpkins, plums, a nectarine, arugula, garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemons and figs.

In store in the kitchen for the week: Chicken Paillard with Fresh Fig Salad and Blue Cheese; Herb-and-Lemon-Roasted Chicken with Smashed Broccoli and Garlic; and Cold Pasta Salad with Roasted Chicken, Plums, Blue Cheese and Basil. Also, salmon with some sauteed mushrooms and squash. Can you tell I’ve been missing my kitchen?

I’ve also been meaning to eat some of the delicious-smelling food sold by street vendors at the farmers market. With an empty refrigerator at home, perfect timing! I tried panang curry with chicken from the Thai stall, and it was absolutely mouth-watering. For just $8, I got a huge serving, and I was only able to eat about one-third of it for lunch. Hellooo, tomorrow’s lunch!

The curry was served on top of your choice of white jasmine rice or whole grain red rice, which I went for in a heartbeat. It was great, and very interesting looking as well.

Stay tuned for the week’s dinners! I can’t wait to get my hands dirty in the kitchen again.

This Week’s Farmers Market Haul

The tally:

  • Ruby red grapefruit
  • Nectarine
  • Kale
  • Basil
  • Romaine
  • Thyme
  • Summer squash
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Pluots
  • Fresh burrata

The little blue and white packet on the right is the fresh burrata (a super creamy mozzarella), which I ate promptly with slices of tomato, basil and olive oil.

Tonight: a quiche with summer squash and thyme. Tomorrow: a romaine salad. Yum!

Farmers Market Love: Squash Blossoms

I did my hippie thing this Sunday and rode my beach cruiser to the farmers market and crammed my hippie bike basket full of yummy finds. This week: heirloom tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, raspberries, pluots, green beans, grapefruit and (cue the angels singing) squash blossoms.

How excited was I to find squash blossoms? Well…very. I’ve been dying to try this recipe from “Lunch in Paris” by Elizabeth Bard (a great beach read that tells a love story through food and ends each chapter with recipes). Her recipe calls for zucchini blossoms, but seeing how hard it was for me to find ANY edible blossoms, I subbed in my squash blossoms and it worked quite well.

The recipe: Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Mint.

Warning: stuffing the delicate flowers definitely takes some patience so you don’t rip the flower open and ruin the great little pocket it has created for you. Careful! I’m not very patient, but I managed to not make too much of a mess of the process.

After roasting in the oven, the end result, sprinkled with sea salt, was delish. I confess: I ate almost all of them.

Aren’t they pretty? The recipe:

1 egg

3 ounces goat cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

2 packed teaspoons chopped fresh mint

12 zucchini (or squash) flowers

Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly beat the egg, crumble in the goat cheese, and mash them together with a fork. Add salt, pepper and mint.

Stuff the flowers (no need to take out the stamen) with a small amount of the cheese mixture. Twist to close.

Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Pour a small amount of olive oil onto the sheet and spread it around with your fingers. Roll the stuffed flowers through the oil until lightly coated.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant.