Monthly Archives: August 2015

Farmer’s Market Booty

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The waterfowl of Farm Pond had been our alarm clock for over two weeks. We’d been renting a home, built in 1900, with an unobstructed view of Farm Pond and the Nantucket Sound beyond. Early mornings had found us on the wraparound front porch, steaming cup of coffee in hand, dogs snoozing by our side, while we sit quietly and watch the pond’s feathered friends perform for us. It’s how we’d like to begin everyday of our lives, but alas, we had to leave Martha’s Vineyard. 
My goal this trip had been to hit as many of the island farms as possible, and I’m happy to report that I made a sizable dent. The only down side to having so many beautiful/quaint farms at your disposal is that one (being me) tends to over buy. Every piece of produce looks so gorgeous that I have a hard time walking away. A few days ago I picked up way too many ears of fresh corn (they were just picked, so who could blame me?) and I spent days trying to use up all those beautiful kernels. I’d put them in salads, on crostinis, in salsas, inside of omelets, you name it, and I’d put corn in or on it.
Every islander knows about the fantastic West Tisbury Farmer’s Market held in The Grange Hall, on State Rd, every Wednesday and Saturday from June until October (Wednesdays are from June until late August). I’d made several trips during our two weeks and loaded up on a menagerie of artisanal items. You can find blended teas, products made with lavender, soaps, salves, sea salt, herbs, orchids, pies, locally farmed meat, eggs, island made cheeses, and the list goes on and on. Who knew there were so many talented individuals living on one small island?
It being summer on the Vineyard, we had a house full of people the entire time we were on the island, so spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen. I love to feed people, so I’m not complaining, but the name of the game those days was fast and fresh.
After perusing the market last Saturday, I came home with some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, just picked peaches, fromage frais (a soft creamy cheese, and my latest obsession), freshly laid eggs, basil, bread, sweet Italian sausage, herbs, and some lunch ideas to feed a hungry crowd.
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If you’re looking for a fast, nutritious, juicy, wake up your mouth kind of thing, this crostini is right up your alley. Here’s what you’ll need to prepare 10 to 12 crostinis –
1 loaf of fresh bread
1 large heirloom tomato
2 ripe peaches
1 jar of fromage frais (subsitite with fromage blanc or softened goat cheese)
Sea salt
Fresh basil to garnish
Slice your bread thick enough (how much bread depends on how many hungry mouths you’ll be feeding) that it can hold a spoonful of delicious topping without giving way. Lightly toast and let cool.
Dice your heirloom tomato and peaches and place in a bowl. If you have any leftover deliciousness (doubtful) when you’re done feeding your peeps, pop it into the fridge for those late night feeding frenzies. Or you could use it later as a salad. Add a little burrata or goat cheese? Maybe some greens?
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Spread fromage frais on the toasted bread, then spoon a bit of the tomato and peach mixture on top, sprinkle on some sea salt, and garnish with a chiffonade (fancy word for julienne) of fresh basil. So easy and tasty.
Alongside the crostinis I served a frittata and some sweet Italian sausage patties. Here’s the recipe for the frittata –
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees
10 farm fresh eggs
2 baby leeks (white and light green parts only), washed and minced
Fresh goat cheese
2 small waxy potatoes (I used red), diced very small
1 ½ tsp. fresh minced oregano
1 ½ tsp. sea salt (sprinkle on some finishing salt at the end of cooking)
1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Pour EVOO into a large non-stick skillet and heat until shimmering. Add the potatoes and ½ tsp. of salt. Sauté on medium heat until almost cooked through. Add the baby leeks and cook until soft and fragrant.
Whisk your eggs vigorously in a large bowl until they’re almost frothy. Add the minced oregano and 1 tsp. of salt. Slowly pour the eggs into the skillet with the potatoes and leeks. Dot the top with some goat cheese (the amount is up to you). Cook on medium heat until you see the edges begin to set. Pop the pan into the oven until the frittata is fully set through to the middle. If you’re unsure if it’s done, push lightly on the middle of the frittata. It should be soft, but not liquid-y.
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Every ingredient in the photo above came from the West Tisbury Farmer’s Market. How cool is that?
We are also blessed with a fabulous Farmer’s Market in Laguna Beach and every Saturday as I stroll through the isles, I thank my lucky stars!
Eat well,
April

“We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough.” – Wendell Berry

Corn and Blueberry Salad

IMG_0535We’ve been renting a house on Martha’s Vineyard where the living is easy, and the farms are plentiful. The island’s only twenty miles long and nine miles wide, but it’s home to over three dozen produce farms (several with meat and dairy) and 9 shellfish farms! It’s really remarkable. My goal this trip is to hit as many of the farms as possible, and I’m happy to report that I’ve made a sizable dent so far.

The only down side to having so many beautiful/quaint farms at your disposal is that one (being me) tends to over buy. Every piece of produce looks so gorgeous that I have a hard time walking away. A few days ago I picked up WAY too many ears of corn (they were just picked, so who could blame me!) and I’ve been trying to use up the extras. After another trip, to yet another farm, where I picked up some gorgeous blueberries, I decided to make a salad using them with the leftover corn. I added some local bacon, too, but you can omit this if you want it to be strictly vegetarian. Here’s what you’ll need –

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3 slices quality smoked bacon, cooked and cut into lardons

2 ears of corn, pre-cooked

1 pint of blueberries

1 shallot, minced

1 lime, zested and juiced

¼ tsp. fleur de sel

1 tbsp. EVOO

1 tsp. chopped mint

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Stand the corn on end and use a sharp knife to slice the kernels (start at the top and cut down) off of all sides.

Add the corn, blueberries, and all other ingredients to a large bowl. Toss and serve. Enjoy!

Eat well!

April

“ A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine.” –Anne Bronte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mango and Avocado Salsa

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Taco Tuesdays are always great, but I recently found myself in a bit of a rut with the usual toppings. I felt the need to jazz it up a bit, so I decided to tinker with salsa fresca. After traipsing through the isles of the market, I decided to focus on mango and avocado.

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1 ripe mango

Juice of 2 limes

2 tbsp. smokey serrano sauce (I used Boulder Hot Sauce), or hot sauce of your choice

2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. finely chopped cilantro

1 tbsp. EVOO

1 tsp. salt

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Peel the mango and slice off the sides, avoiding the bone in the middle.

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Dice your avocado and add the mango and avocado to a large bowl.

Add the lime juice, smokey serrano, EVOO, and salt.

Depending on how chunky you want your salsa, you could either just smash the mixture with a fork or give it a quick zip in either a robot coup, or a Vita Mix.

I served the salsa with grilled pork chops.

Enjoy!

Eat well,

April

When life gives you lemons, throw them back and say, “I said I wanted mangos!”